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January Organic Maintenance





  • Cold hardy flower transplants outdoors during mild weather. If you don't like to roll the
    dice on the future weather try cabbage, calendulas, dianthus, flowering kale, pansies, or snapdragons
  • Spring flowers and vegetable seeds indoors, in greenhouses or cold frames.
  • Fruit and pecan trees, anemones, asparagus, berries, English peas, grapes, onions, potatoes, and ranunculus.
  • Shrubs, vines, trees and other permanent plants.
  • Complete tulip, daffodil and other bulb plantings in early January. Force½ bulbs in pots indoors.  Paperwhites are the easiest to grow and smell terrific.
  • Transplant plants during this dormant period.


  • Spray Garrett Juice Plus and drench  plants roots with Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I.. 

    Asparagus beds in late January with manure-based organic fertilizer and compost
Cool season grasses at ½ rate, about 10 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.   Dry molasses is a good choice.
Apply greensand to any plants that appeared chlorotic (yellow leaves with green veins) at about 80 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.  The entire Sick Tree Treatment may be needed on some plants.  


  • WEEDS:  Spray dormant turf with vinegar-based herbicide for cool season weeds.  Do not use the so-called vinegars made from 99% acetic acid. Use real 10% vinegar made from grain alcohol.  Add 2 ounces orange oil per gallon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of BioWash or Lemon Joy.  For nutsedge drench each 100ft. with ½ cup of molasses per gallon water.
  • INSECTS:  Horticultural oil if needed on scale-prone plants such as: camellias, euonymus, hollies, oaks, pecan and fruit trees. Remember that this organic pesticide kills good bugs as well as pests. Orange oil at 2 ounces per gallon of water can also be used.  
  • HOUSEPLANTS: Mealybugs, spider mites, scale ½ spray with orange oil at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.  Add BioWash per label directions for added control.


  • Remove all vines from trees and pull groundcovers back from the bases of trees
  • Shade trees by removing dead, damaged and out of place limbs, water sprouts and ground shoots.

  •  Do not routinely thin trees unless more light is needed for understory plants.

  • Do not lift trees for any reason unless limbs are in the way and causing a problem.

  • Summer-flowering trees as necessary to control form.
  • Do not prune the tops of crape myrtles. The seed pods are decorative and some bird species like the seeds.
Evergreen shrubs lightly if needed.

Fruit trees and grapes. However, the best time is just before bud break as late in winter as possible. 

Do not make flush cuts, protect the branch collars, and do not use pruning paint. 
Do not overprune any wood plants, other than large perennials such as butterfly bush.


  •  Spot water any dry areas to avoid plant desiccation.
  •  Potted plants and baskets as needed.
  •  Entire properties during drought periods.
  •  Be careful to avoid over watering. 


Cover tender plants with floating row cover during extreme cold 
Have soil tests run at that give information on organic matter, what nutrients are available to plants and the level of biological activity.
Turn compost pile monthly or more often and keep moist.  There is no reason to try to keep it warm with coverings or sunlight.   The compost action is down in the center of the pile, not on the outside edge.
Plan spring landscape improvement projects and begin hard construction activities
Prepare new beds by adding compost, zeolite, dry molasses and mulching bare soil.
  Take mowers, tillers, trimmers into shop for repairs if needed, before spring.

Don't forget to feed the birds!

  *Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate, which is zone 8. Check with your local nurseries and extension service for specific varieties and timing.


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