January Southwest Desert Garden Chores and Tips

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1.  January Garden Chores and Tip

Plant fruit trees!

What To Do in January

When frost is forecast, cover frost-tender plants with a sheet or some light covering (not plastic) by 8 p.m. and remove by 9 a.m. the next day. The covering should extend to the ground. Young trees should have trunks wrapped and foliage covered only if a hard freeze is expected. A mature citrus tree, older than 6 years, will survive with minimal damage.

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  • Fertilize once a month with Ironite for a dark green lawn and less mowing.
  • If you did not overseed the Bermuda grass, water the dormant Bermuda at least once a month.

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  • Move living Christmas Trees outside to a shaded, cool location. Transplant into permanent location as soon as soil temperatures warm.
  • Plant fruit and shade trees as early in January as you can. Plant bare-root trees before they leaf out. Plant potted deciduous trees.
  • Prune deciduous fruit trees and grapes.

enter site Flowers

  • Bedding plants can still be planted.
  • Planting flowers and veggies in pots and place on your patio, entry- way, or courtyard.
  • January is bare-root rose planting time.
  • In order of choice, plant roses on an east, south, or north exposure, west. Plant roses where they can have afternoon filtered shade.
  • Prune established roses for optimum blooming in April.
  • Cut canes back approximately one half. Remove all dead canes. Thin to remove weak or old canes. Strip off all leaves. Seal all cuts on canes with wood glue or a prepared sealer to prevent cane borers from boring into the cane.


  • Plant seeds: beets, bok choy, carrots, chard, collard greens, leeks, lettuce, mustard, green onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.
  • Plant transplants: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, lettuce
  • Prepare your soil for a spring/summer garden. Organic matter, mulch, manure or compost is very important.

Don’t Make These Garden Mistakes in January

  1. Wait to prune frost damage from plants or trees until the later part of February.
  2. Don’t fertilize dormant Bermuda grass until late April or May.
  3. Don’t plant roses with western exposure because of the afternoon summer heat.
  4. Don’t over-prune your palms. Palms with only the top three or four fronds remaining have been pruned excessively and improperly. Only the lower leaves, the ones that have turned brown or are yellowing should be removed.
  5. Too much fertilizer can cause salt burn and too little can cause nutrient deficiency problems. Water both the day before and immediately after applying granular fertilizers.
  6. Don’t water grass at night when the temperatures are coolest as this fosters the growth of fungal diseases.
  7. Don’t mow when grass is wet. This also may result in fungal disease.
  8. Don’t delay on weed control. Handle weeds while they are young, tender, and their roots are manageable, or before they sprout.

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