In the cold winter months we have time for a little reflection, and as a result January is often the time for resolutions to become our best selves. I would like to suggest that you consider gardening as it is one of the activities because it offers multiple dividends. It provides exercise for better health and increases the attractiveness of your home and thus its value, adding to your wealth. As an extra benefit well-tended neighborhoods are a proven deterrent to crime, adding to your safety.
If you like the sound of this but don’t have a green thumb or an idea where to start, the solution can be found at “Bartlett Gardening University” a six-part series of garden talks that are free and open to the public and are hosted by the Bartlett City Beautiful Commission. All presentations will be provided by Master Gardeners and held at the Bartlett Library at 2:30 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays beginning Jan. 6. No registration is required. The library is at 5884 Stage Road in Bartlett.
Topics and presenters include:
- Jan. 6: Master Gardener David Fuchs will present “Creating a Landscape Plan.” This is a how-to for drawing a master landscape plan, as well as a very basic introduction to design using repetition and rhythm, simplicity, unity, scale and balance.
- Jan. 13: Master Gardener Linda Lanier will present “What Hydrangea Where,” also called “Hydrangeas for Sun and Shade.” This presentation discusses which hydrangea species does best in what type of location, how to prune it and the varieties available. The talk includes many photos of hydrangeas in the speaker’s garden and from garden tours.
- Jan. 20: Master Gardener Jim Volgas will present “Soil and Composting.” This covers the questions of “What is healthy soil?” “How do we obtain it?” and “How does composting relate to soil building?”
- Jan. 27: Master Gardener Jean Ward-Jones will present “Nine Rules for a Mixed and Blended Garden.” Check these nine rules for a mixed and blended garden and compare them against your garden to get some great ideas for improving the overall look, dressing up a particular area, using your own unique creative style and pulling it all together.
- Feb. 3: Master Gardener Bill Cummings will present “Introduction to Pruning.” Reduce your fear of pruning by learning why, when and how proper pruning will keep your plants attractive and vigorous, adding years to their usefulness.
- Feb. 10: Master Gardener John Peterson will present “ABCs of Herb Gardening.” Are you planting herbs in your garden or planning an herb garden? This presentation provides some thoughts about growing herbs and some ways to use and preserve your harvest.
No class materials are needed for these presentations other than a pad and pencil to take notes. However, if you are interested in companion information, consider purchasing a Master Gardener Calendar, which has public horticulture-related events already entered on the correct dates as well as handy plant guides for vegetable gardening and landscaping plantings customized for gardening in Shelby County. Another excellent resource is the Mid-South Garden Guide put out by the Memphis Garden Club. Both of these can be purchased at local garden centers like Urban Earth, Dan West, Dabney Nursery, Wild Birds Unlimited, the Botanic Garden and Novel bookstores.
January To-Do List
To get started, here is a list of garden activities for January.
- Planting: Order seeds. Start seeds for cool weather vegetables. Plant and move trees and shrubs.
- Soil: Obtain soil test, kits are available at the Shelby County Extension Office, located at the Agricenter.
- Lawn care: Apply lime if soil test indicates it is needed. Spot spray winter weeds.
- Fertilize: Trees, winter annuals.
- Prune: Broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Deadhead winter annuals.
- Pest Control: Spray dormant oil on broadleaf evergreens and roses.
TOM RIEMAN of Keep Bartlett Beautiful provided this article.