January 2010 Newsletter

January is a Busy Month For Your Garden by Suzi Fields

January may seem like a sleepy little month for gardeners from afar but we really have a lot of important things to do this month.  First of all you have to think about your garden last year before you can start planning this year.  Are there vegetables that you really liked that you ran out of that you need to plant more of.  Most gardeners always need to plant more carrots.  Remember that they keep along time in the fridge, and they are so much better form your own garden.  Or did you end of with boatloads of hot peppers and have to give them to the food bank?  Maybe you want to leave a spot open in your garden dedicated to grow just for the food bank.  Next think about new varieties that you want to try.  Also think about things that did not do well and then determine if you just planted them at the wrong time or maybe they are not suited for our climate.  I tried Jicama this year and the plant was lovely but the fruit was a bust.  I will try it one more time just for the novelty.  Spacing can also be an issue you may have tried new varieties that took up more space than you expected.  I tried a new variety of squash that gave me a wheelbarrow full but because we have such a long season it consumed my garden.  It is the best squash ever, so I will give it more space.

Plan Your Garden

Now that you are thinking about what vegetables you want in your garden  and the spacing that you need it is time to plan your garden.  If you didn’t keep a journal last year you can still probably remember where things were in the garden so that you can write it down.  It is important to rotate your crops so that you do not have the same pests plague your crops all over again. Draw out a new diagram for this year, it should be a little easier starting with a clean slate and remembering how things went last year.

Order Seeds

We have a great list of organic seed resources on our website, to help you out. EdibleSanMarcos.wordpress.com it is important that you start out with good organic seeds, so that you have healthy strong plants. Don’t forget about seed swaps, they are a great way to exchange seeds with out spending money.  We will be having a seed swap on January 21 from 7-8:30 PM at the San Marcos Public Library in the large meeting room.  It is the first room on the left when you walk in the doors.

Clean Up Garden Debris

If you haven’t had a chance to clean up your garden, do it now.  Debris in the garden harbors insects.  They love to hide under leaves, rocks, twigs, straw, weeds and any other protection they can get under.  So get out there on one of these beautiful days rake out your garden pull up the dead plants and compost it.

Start Tomatoes and Peppers

That is right, it is time to start your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants inside if you are starting them from seed.  Use a good seed starting mix and put them under grow light or a sunny window.

Prune Fruit Trees, Grapes, and Bushes

This needs to be done while the plant is dormant and the sap is running slow.  If you just planted them this year do not prune them though.

Spray Fruit Trees With Dormant Oil This is part of keeping them healthy and keeping scale and other insects off of them.

Plant Fruit Trees, Grapes, Strawberries and Pecan Trees

It is still time to get your fruit in the ground so get it planted to enjoy the fruit that you love so much.

Fertilize Asparagus and Strawberries

It is the time of year that they need food to get ready to produce a great crop for you to enjoy!

Plant Some Winter Crops

We actually have a lot of vegetables that we can plant as of the 15th of this month.  I urge you to try to get a few in the ground.  Fresh vegetables are so welcome.  Especially when it is so cold outside it is nice to eat something fresh from your garden.

Well, you thought you had a month off, but there is much to be done.  Don’t forget to clean and sharpen your garden tools. And plant some flowers.


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