Tips for the Home Gardener: January and February
Get Into Gardening Indoors this Winter!
In Pennsylvania, we typically experience frigid Winters. While the colder temperatures may make it challenging to enjoy the outdoors, there are still plenty of great indoor gardening projects to try this season. Most of the plants around your landscape will remain dormant until Spring arrives, so the Winter season gears more towards preparation for Spring gardening. We have many tips for the home gardener to follow for January and February, so split your planning process between the next two months, and you’ll have a full calendar of exciting things to do!
First, let’s discuss January tasks.
January Home Gardener Checklist
Order your seed and gardening catalogs, then decide which plants you want to grow this year. Visit our stores to pick out packets from Lake Valley, Burpee, or Livingston. You can also perform a germination test on last year’s stored seeds by placing 10 seeds between moist paper towels. Keep them warm for several days, and if fewer than 8 of the 10 seeds sprout, think about starting with fresh seeds.
Purchase your seed starting supplies from our stores! We have seed starting mix, pots and trays, watering cans, labels, and more. We’re here to help you be successful. (Don’t forget to clean and disinfect pots or containers you already have with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water before use. Always use safety glasses and gloves!)
As a good rule of thumb, start your cool season annuals, checking the back of the seed packets for growing details.
Next, check on your overwintered Summer bulbs like dahlias and cannas. Cut off the spent flowers and stems of your bloomed amaryllis, then water and fertilize it like your other houseplants.
Your annual cuttings from Fall should appear to be well-rooted by this point. Repot them with potting soil mixed with slow release fertilizer to give them an extra boost. Check geraniums that are overwintered bare-root in the dry basement or dark room.
If you’re experiencing the Winter blooms, give a beautiful gift from our greenhouse! We have Winter-blooming plants like Cyclamen and Primroses that will brighten anyone’s day.
While it is certainly not the time of year to be planting, you may have to do some reconnaissance on your Fall plantings. If any perennials have heaved out of the soil due to the elements, cover them with a light mulch for insolation.
Vegetables and Herb Tips
Plan your vegetable garden as soon as possible! Lazy Winter days prove to be the perfect time for brainstorming and mapping out what you need for a successful harvest. Rotate the kinds of crops you plant, and plow or till your garden to reduce pest infestations. Grasshoppers and harlequin bugs can be a real pain!
Enjoy the taste of Summer this Winter! Try growing your own fresh herbs indoors to use in your cooking. Learn more grow-your-own information.
Winter is the time for houseplants, succulents, and cacti to shine! While you await your favorite Spring and Summer plants to arrive in our stores, our greenhouses are filled with beautiful foliage plants for you to add to your indoor collection. Pick out the perfect one for your home or office!
Also, place your existing houseplants on trays of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity around plants during Winter. This season is a resting period for houseplants, so stop fertilizing them and reduce watering. Use system granules or insecticidal soap to prevent insects.
Now…let’s talk about tips for the home gardener for this February!
February Home Gardener Checklist
You still have time to purchase seeds and do your germination tests on last year’s, however now is the time you can also start cool season annuals like pansies and calendula. Moonflowers cannot be planted outside until after first frost, though you can get a head start on them indoors, as they take some time to germinate.
Start these herbs now:
- winter savory
- French sorrel
Pinch the cuttings on your annuals if they become too leggy. This will promote strong, compact growth and healthier, happier plant.
Plant stunning hellebores! They’ll be one of the first perennials to bloom in the Winter.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Surprise your special someone with a gorgeous gift from our greenhouse like mini roses, cyclamen, heart hoyas, orchids, tulips, peace lilies, succulents, primroses, and more!
Visit our Home & Garden Stores this Season!
We want to help you be the most successful you can be with your indoor gardening. Take on some of these tips for the home gardener, and stop by to talk to any of our gardening experts for any additional tips and product suggestions. Find a local Home & Garden Store near you, and subscribe to our email list for updates on sales and further resources that will help this Winter.