California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

January Garden Calendar

Winter is here and it feels like it. The good side of all of this cold weather is that it is coming at the right time of year. January is when the plants expect cold weather. They will go dormant, and stay dormant for a while because of this. Thankfully it has not been so cold as to damage plants in my garden. I have planted lettuce, chard, collards and other greens. These are all cool season growers and quickly bolt when the weather warms in Spring. I have been collecting hard neck garlics and heirloom varieties too. These and other onion relatives do well growing slowly in the cool weather. Fava beans are growing well. I have been planting strawberries. I like the alpine varieties and native species for our area. My milkweed collection keeps growing. California has a wide range of species. The most common coastal species is the Narrow Leaf Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis. These are far better selections for the Monarch Butterflies than the tropical milkweeds.

December Garden Calendar

Plant native milkweeds for Monarch Butterflies The natives are mostly dormant now and will easily be transplanted. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

December Garden Calendar

Winter blooming Grevillea King's Rainbow keep the hummingbirds sipping nectar through the season. Anna's and sometimes Allen's Hummingbirds will often overwinter in our garden. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

January rains will keep the hills green. And in my garden every weed will have its dream of a full and fruitful life begining now. Seeds sprout like mad. A timely layer of mulch will make this weeding chore so much more manageable later in the season. Rose pruning is important to break the fungus cycle on the plants. Cleanup and mulching below the plants keeps the fungal spores from splashing back up and reinfecting the plants. I have been struggling with boring beetles. I think they are the shot hole borer. This is requiring that I not only prune the trees buck that I check back to see if I pruned low enough to get them all. The trees will naturally defend themselves by pouring sap into the galleries made by the beetles to the parts of the plants that are strong enough. I watch for the bark to shrink. And then prune off the damaged wood. It is bare root season. I am planting fruit trees, berries and roses. . . strawberries and rhubarb too. Asparagus shoots will be up soon. A number of native plants start blooming early including Manzanita and Ceanothus. Australian and South African plants are showing off including Banksia's, Grevilleas and Kniphofias.