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California Gardener's January Checklist
Camellia japonica 'Guilio Nuccio' flower.
Photo by Bill Marken
Photo by Bill Marken
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Bill Marken added this to California Gardener's January Checklist
What else to do in January in your California garden. There are plenty of things to do if the weather alllows, including traditional midwinter pruning, cleanup and even some planting.Care for camellias. Freely cut early-blooming camellia blooms (such as 'Guilio Nuccio', shown) to bring indoors. Make cuts above new leaf buds to encourage bushy growth. Pick up fallen blossoms to stop the spread of the disease called petal blight.Move living Christmas trees outside. Make sure the root ball of a container-grown tree hasn’t dried out (test by probing it with your fingers); give it a soaking to be sure. Don’t plant the tree in the ground yet if the soil is too soggy.Keep gift plants blooming. Give them a spot in a sunny window.Brighten your garden. Set out cool-season annuals now available blooming in small pots: calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies, snapdragons, stock, violas and others. Plant them in sunny garden beds or containers.Start vegetable seeds indoors. Seedlings should be ready to go into the ground in six to eight weeks. Here are easy crops to try: Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.Plant summer bulbs. These work especially well in warmer climates like Southern California's: flashy begonias, reliable cannas and flamboyant tigridias.Prune roses. This is the optimum time, even though some roses may still be blooming. As a general guideline, cut plants back by about a third and leave three to five canes sprouting from the base. Remember that pruning varies by type of rose.Get bare-root plants in the ground. If the soil is dry enough, put in bare-root plants, such as fruit trees, berries, shade trees, roses and many other plants. Get preplanting advice from a nursery or garden center on how much to cut back roots and other care.Prune deciduous fruit trees and shade trees. The best time is when trees are dormant and leafless. Make sure your shears are sharp. Wait until spring-flowering shrubs and trees (such as lilacs) have finished blooming before pruning them.More guides to California gardening on Houzz