Ridgefield Gardening Expert: Its Time To Start Planning For Spring – Patch
RIDGEFIELD, CT — It’s cold, and the ground is frozen, but that doesn’t excuse Ridgefield homeowners from performing some important garden maintenance this month, according to one local expert.
Lisa Chuma, a member of The Ridgefield Garden Club, says gardeners should take the month of January to reflect upon Gardens Past and act accordingly.
“Just think about what worked, what you liked, what you didn’t like, or what you saw in someone else’s garden that you liked, and plan to make changes to your own garden,” Chuma said.
Once you have a firm vision of your spring and summer landscapes in mind, it’s time to break out the seed catalogs and start placing orders.
“That’s pretty low-key and probably the most fun and exciting part about gardening,” Chuma said.
Less entertaining but just as necessary among the January garden maintenance chores is clearing away dead branches. The Farmers’ Almanac is calling for a good-sized snowstorm in the third week of the month, and Chuma recommends that gardeners prune or cut off anything that might fall in a snowstorm and take down other branches below it.
The Ridgefield gardener’s newly joined journey toward spring next takes a turn into the shed.
“Clean and sharpen your garden tools,” Chuma said. “Get them oiled and ready to go.”
Popular Mechanics suggests that about a half-dozen long, even strokes from a a 10- or 12-inch “bastard cut” mill file will get your shears and trowels back into shape. First brush away any rust using steel wool or a wire brush. Once the tool is sharp again, s[ray it down with WD-40 or a comparable lubricant. Wipe away the excess oil and metal shavings with a cloth.
“And then aside from that, I’d say recycle your Christmas tree and keep your poinsettias in a sunny window,” Chuma said. “Give them a little bit of water when the soil feels dry, to keep some color in your house and something to get you through until those warmer spring days.”