Making lists is easier than getting down to it and doing, but writing the list is a good start. This list is broken down into six sections; Plan, Plant, Care, Water, Fertilize and Problem Solve. The author is Claire Splan and is from her An Alameda Garden blog in which she encourages us to “get busy and make this the best year yet”.

I always feel like January is like a reboot of the garden. Time to wipe away whatever didn’t work last year or what you may be tired of this year and start fresh. El Nino rains are helping to ease the effects of the drought but they may also be presenting challenges of their own. Let’s get busy planning, planting, pruning and more to make this our best garden year!


  • This it the time to think about what you want to accomplish in your garden this year. What problem do you want to solve? What new feature would you like to add? What new plant would you like to try growing? Then take stock of how your garden looks right now–winter is a great time to really see the bones of your garden–and make a plan for how you’re going to move closer to having the garden of your dreams.
  • If you’re going to be growing from seed, you should be reviewing seed catalogs and putting in your orders. But before you order, maybe you better sort through the stock of seeds you already have. Toss out the seed packs that are too old and test the viability of those that are of a questionable age.
  • If you still have a lawn, this is a good time to clean and tune-up your lawn mower.
  • Shop your local nurseries or mail-order nurseries for bare-root roses and trees.
  • Are you seeing areas of soil erosion? Make a note to address these spots by planting groundcovers or taking other action in the spring.

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