If you’re looking to keep yourself busy in January, one of the tasks you can do is to divide some of your spreading perennials . Wait until you have a day in the 50’s when the soil isn’t frozen and dig up some of your spreading perennials. I usually put them in a bucket with some water to keep them moist and then wait a day for them to warm up a bit.
Then you can use whatever implement you choose – hands, knife, bypass pruner etc. to divide the plants and put the cuttings into individual cells. I add Osmocote to my ProMix potting soil. Make sure you have some roots attached to each division.
You can do this process with just about any perennials which are spreading and needs to be divided. The plants above are allium. From one plant, I got sixty divisions.
While there are lots of options when it comes to starting seeds, here is the method that works well for me.
I start with BX ProMix. It can be hard to find, so be persistent. Sometimes Walmart and Menards have a similar version. The main thing is that it has Mycorrhizae fungi.
I put this in a wide covered container, 9″ x 14″ x 5″ = 630 cu. inches, just to make it easy to work with. If it is dried out, you may need to add water to make it better when planting. ProMix does not have any nutrients. Keep the lid on when you are done.
I then add Osmocote Plus to the mix – follow the directions on the container.
I finally add extra Mycorrhizae to the soil – 1 cup per full container.
If you’re starting to think about starting seeds for spring planting, you will need some sort of tray to hold the plants and contain the water. The most common trays are called 1020 trays because that’s their general size – 10″ x 20″.
While you can buy these at the Big Box Stores or Amazon, the quality of the trays is not that good and they generally don’t last many years.
My supplier of choice these days is GreenhouseMegastore.com Currently they are offering free shipping on orders over $99.00. While that may be more than what you want to spend, you could go together with a friend and split the order. Remember that the good trays will last for years.
Heavy duty – looks just like their other models, but much heavier. These are a good compromise between quality and cost.
Standard duty – still heavier than almost all other sources. You may need two trays to lift the entire flat of plants. These are good basic trays, but will not last as long as the heavier weight trays.
If you’re interested in starting a No-Dig garden in the spring time, early winter might be a better time using Charles Dowding’s methods. In the video below he starts a garden using just compost. The problem I have is that the compost I buy from St. Louis Composting is still quite hot when I get it and 8 to 12 inches of it would burn and probably kill new plants.
The trick is to buy it now and let it sit all winter so that it will be ready for planting in spring. Here’s is Charle’s method in the video below.
One of the bonuses I get every year are lantana plants which just popup in some of my gardens from seed that they dropped the year before. I thought I’d encourage this behavior by saving this year’s seeds and testing it in some of my flower test beds.
Here is what the seed looks like. I’m pulling off the black seeds and putting them in paper bags to dry. In a couple of weeks I’ll plant them in the beds and test a couple of ideas. 1. Put the seeds on top of the soil. This is how my other seeds would have germinated. 2. Cover the seeds lightly with 1/4 inch of soil.
One of the impossible conditions that people list online when they are looking for plants is, “Perennial which blooms all summer.”
One of the few perennials which fulfills these conditions is Calamintha nepeta – Montrose White. I’ve only grown this for a couple of years, but it is a pollinator favorite which blooms all season long.
Mine grows about 36″ wide and 24″ tall. I’d put it in front of the garden and let it cover an area with blooms. It would nice make a nice border or edging plant.
I found my locally at Greenscape Nursery In St. Louis.