Order Seeds Soon
Now is the time to place seed orders if you're shopping via the mail. Suppliers will often run out of the new and popular varieties. Order early for spring planting and beat the rush.
Sterilize Old Containers
Before you start seeds indoors, take time to wash and scrub old pots and containers with a mild mixture of liquid bleach and water (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). This will help sterilize the containers to prevent seedling diseases. Replace old, caked potting soil or mixes with fresh potting mixtures.
Delay Pruning Chores
Hold back the urge to prune trees and shrubs. Our unpredictable weather can bring severe cold snaps, and new, succulent growth is vulnerable to frost damage. Wait to prune until near the end of the dormant season but before growth unfurls.
Start Weed Patrol Early
Be on the watch for winter annual weeds as they pop up throughout the yard and garden. Hand pull, hoe, or treat with appropriate, low-toxicity herbicide. If you choose to spray, do so on a calm, dry day. Do not allow any spray drift to come in contact with desirable plants.
Keep Watch for Indoor Pests
Monitor indoor plants for insect pests, including aphids whose telltale signs are the sticky honeydew drippings on the leaves. Spray these pests off the foliage with a lukewarm water and soap mixture: use a few drops of antibacterial hand soap in an 8-ounce spray bottle filled with water. Spray this periodically and you can win the battle against the aphid invasion.