January Garden Chores on 4 YOUR GARDEN

While the entire country is cowering under the grip of this record-setting cold, here on the prairie we have our own schizo weather patterns to contend with... we are suffering acute seasonal whiplash. For the past couple of weekends we have enjoyed balmy 60+ degree temps...only to plummet to the teens or single digits during the week. The extreme pattern is forecast to continue in the coming weeks.

Confusion reigns. To emerge or hunker down?...both for the garden and the gardener. To remove the leafy debris around the soon-to-bloom daffodils shoots, or leave it in place?... and then go back to your chair by the fire to gorge on the pretty images in your stack of seed catalogs.

This winter, patience should be our gardening mantra...premature and promiscuous pruning and planting this month will be counterproductive and probably do more harm than good. As a recent Facebook cartoon said: 

"welcome to the land where you can get sunburn and frostbite in the same day'.

So put your garden blinders on, shut the curtains, and try your utmost to ignore
the ugly winter debris that is blowing and growing around you. Savor these last lazy cold days, cuz spring WILL be here, with all of its gardening frenzy before you know it.

Or as some random guy at a 401K meeting I just attended said (eloquently put, I might add...)

" Have you ever noticed that the closer you get to the end of the toilet paper roll, the faster it goes?"

(Well, ahem. Now that you say it, yes.) And even though old man winter still holds us in his spell, there are things we CAN do NOW to get a jump on spring, even in the frozen task tundra of January. So sharpen and/or replace your garden tools, feed the birds and clean out your birdbaths and birdhouses, watch out for pests on your houseplants, and heed these other tips we talked about BELOW on last Friday's segment of 4 YOUR GARDEN.

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