Get a soil test. The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension can provide you (for a small fee) with a kit and test results for the lawn and garden. This is an invaluable tool that will provide you with recommendations on how to amend your soil in preparation for spring planting. Click here for the information.
Give some thought to planning your gardens in January. Think about where your garden will be situated and what crops and flowers you want to grow. Here is a checklist for planning. Pre-order your spring plants beginning the middle of January at www.gardenshackshop.com.
You can plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, and large perennials whenever the ground isn’t frozen. Here is helpful information on planting.
Cut back non-native ornamental grasses if you haven’t already. Some folks like to leave the grasses up until late winter, but the drawbacks to leaving them up probably outweigh cutting them back. First, as they dry out and are exposed to winds, they will start to fall apart and end up all over the place. The second problem that can develop is the invasion of ornamental grass seedlings into the turf. Many grasses popular with homeowners and landscapers are imports from places like China, Korea, and Japan. The seeds have begun to become viable as these plants adapt to our region, turning up along roads, in lawns, and in landscapes.
Light tree pruning can be done in January.
Do any necessary maintenance on your mowers, trimmers, and hand tools while you do not need to be using them.
Provide food and water to our area’s wintering birds. Look up what the birds you have, or want to attract, like to eat and feed accordingly.
Water your houseplants as necessary. Heating systems can dry them out.
This is a great time to build raised beds, window boxes, or to find unique containers for plantings. Always be sure your containers have drainage. Here are some "out of the pot" ideas.
Keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly egg masses on flat surfaces. Here is more information.
Remember that ticks can live through the winter and can be active any time the temperature is above freezing. Take necessary precautions when outside. Information can be found here.
If it snows, brush snow off your shrubs and trees as they can get damaged by heavy loads.
Think spring because it will not be long before it’s here!