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What to do in your garden in January. (northern california - checklist).


* ANTIQUE APPLES. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Following are a few favorite apple varieties of Carolyn Harrison, owner of Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery; all offer great flavor (use them for cider, cooking, or eating out of hand): 'Ashmead's Kernel' (a russet with sweet, dense flesh), 'Belle de Boskoop' (crisp, tangy), 'Northern Spy' (classic old-fashioned apple taste), 'Sierra Beauty' (sweet-tart, good keeper), and 'Spitzenburg' (spicy, sweet-tart). To order, call (707) 433-6420 or go to

* BARE-ROOT. Zones 7-9, 14-17: This is the prime month to buy and plant dormant roses, shrubs, fruit and shade trees, and vines. Bare-root plants cost less and adapt more quickly than container plants.

* BERRIES. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all available bare-root this month. For a treat, try 'Olallie' blackberry. The huge 1 1/2 inch-long berries are sweet and succulent, and the plant is well adapted to Northern California. Or plant a row of flavorful 'Sequoia' strawberries.

* ORNAMENTAL VEGETABLES. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Ornamental vegetables add a colorful new dimension to flower beds. Some cool-season choices include cabbage, kale, red and green lettuces, and Swiss chard. Mix them with calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies, stock, and violas.

* SUMMER-BLOOMING BULBS. Now's the time to order special varieties of begonias, dahlias, gladiolus, lilies, and other summer-blooming bulbs by mail. Try Dutch Gardens (800/818-3861 or or McClure & Zimmerman (800/883-6998 or

* VEGETABLE SEEDS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Sow seeds of cool-season vegetables for planting out in February. Try rainbow chard (All-America Selections winner 'Bright Lights' is a tasty one from Renee's Garden; or lettuce (Alan Chadwick's Rodan' and 'Bronze Arrow' are two favorites available from Bountiful Gardens; 707/459-6410 or


* FEED PLANTS. Zones 7-9, 14- 17: Apply fertilizer to annuals, vegetables, and cool-season lawns (bluegrass, fescue).

* PRUNE. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Dormant deciduous plants, such as flowering vines, fruit and shade trees, grapes, and roses should be pruned now Use pruning shears for small cuts up to 3/4 inch in diameter and loppers for cuts 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. A pruning saw is best for branches larger than 1 inch in diameter. Wait to prune spring-flowering plants such as lilacs and Japanese snowball until after they bloom.

* TUNE UP HOUSEPLANTS. Wash the leaves periodically to help prevent spider mite and other insect infestations. If plants are movable, transport them to the shower and give them a thorough rinse. Remove yellowing or dead leaves. Using sharp pruning shears or scissors, trim brown edges from leaf tips (follow the leaf shape as you cut). Apply fertilizer at half strength.


Protect tender plants. Bananas and other tropicals are popular landscape plants. To keep them alive through winter in milder climates (lows in the mid-20s to low 30s), drape burlap or a blanket over plants (support on stakes so covers don't touch leaves). For added protection, set a lighted bulb or string of lights inside. In colder climates, transplant specimens into containers to move indoors.

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Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Previous Article:Roses for charity. (Clippings).
Next Article:Head-start gardening: Having a colorful garden in all seasons takes planning. Now is the time to start.

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