January is all about making the most of opportunities. When the weather allows, get to work outdoors. Tackle basic cleanup and annual chores such as pruning, spraying and dividing. If you’ve been thinking of adding fruit trees or roses to your landscape, this month is prime planting time.
▪ Clean up leaves and debris around fruit trees and rosebushes to prevent the spread of disease. Don’t compost this material; it likely contains a lot of fungal disease. Instead, dispose of it in the household trash.
▪ Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees soon after a rain to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective. Don’t apply on foggy days.
▪ Use a copper-based spray on peach and nectarine trees to control leaf curl.
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▪ Prune hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses for April bloom. For more flowers this spring, prune less severely for a taller bush. Prune canes to 24 to 30 inches tall instead of 12 to 18 inches.
▪ Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.
▪ Cut back chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches tall; divide if necessary.
▪ In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.
▪ Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.
▪ Plant bare-root roses, shrubs and fruit trees.