Monthly To Do List
January To Do List:
- Keep bird feeders filled.
- On mild days remove winter weeds.
- Start perennials indoors.
- Start cabbage, early lettuce, and broccoli.
- Cut back ornamental grasses.
- Prune rose bushes while they are dormant.
- Cut old stems off perennials. Be careful of new growth.
- Deadhead pansies.
- Buy seeds
- Create a garden plan
- Clean pots with mild detergent and hot water.
- Inspect indoor plants for insects and if necessary spray with an insecticidal soap.
- Mist indoor plants regularly and/or place them on trays of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity.
Its winter and it can be tough to get outside to play in the garden. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your garden fix! Indoor gardening is an excellent way to keep your green thumb going all year long.
There are many benefits to indoor gardening. House plants will add beauty to your home and can be placed in almost every room. Growing herbs and veggies indoors will provide you with fresh cooking ingredients all year long and one of the biggest advantages to indoor gardening is the health benefits.
House plants will help to give you a sense of calm and can lower stress levels. Research done in Dutch hospitals show lower stress levels of patients with indoor plants in their rooms, than those without. Another benefit is adding humidity to your house through a process called transpiration. Transpiration is water movement through the plant and it’s evaporation from the leaves, stem and flowers. House plants can also remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air. Peace Lilies, Spider Plants, Dracaenas, Pothos, and Snake Plants are some of the best choices for cleaner air.
Getting started with indoor gardening is easy. You don’t need a lot of space and you can choose a plant for any light conditions you may have in your home. After you find the “perfect” spot for your new house plant you will need to observe how much light is coming in the room. Typically a north facing window will provide low light. A south facing window will be sunny most of the day and east and west facing windows will be sunny for part of the day. You will need this information in choosing the correct plant for that location.
Most house plants are of a tropical origin and don’t like cold temperatures. Keep your house plants away from drafts like an air conditioning vent or a door that is often used. Because of their tropical nature, house plants also like humidity. Misting your plants (especially in the winter) and/or keeping them on a tray with pebbles filled with water will help to increase the humidity.
Over watering is often the cause of a house plant’s demise. When watering most house plants you should let the soil dry out between waterings. Keep in mind; you should always learn about your plants water requirements. Some plants will need to be kept moist and others will require much less water; and don’t forget to fertilize but only when house plants are actively growing. Always read the fertilizer label and follow the instructions.
Finally pay attention to your plants. Look them over for signs of duress, pests, or disease and treat accordingly. If you need help identifying a problem, ask your local garden center (Cooke’s Gardens for example). The local garden center is an excellent source of information and ideas for indoor and outdoor gardens.