Winter Blooming Perennials - Helleborus, Primrose, Cyclamen, Pulmonaria angustifolia (this is a species of Pulmonaria and looks much better in winter than the varieties), Veronica 'Georgia Blue.
Cool Season Annuals - Sweet Pea seeds can still be planted this month. You may have better success though when you plant starts (small plants) of sweet peas.
Bulbs for color now - You may have missed planting your bulbs in ground last fall but the good news is that nurseries planted bulbs for you in 4 inch containers. You can create some amazingly colorful container plantings this month! Fill containers with: Ranunculus, Anemone and Narcissus. Buy them from the nursery when they are just starting to bloom instead of being in full bloom already.
Bareroot Roses, Blueberries, and Fruit Trees - You can encourage more rooting by planting your bareroot plants in a five gallon container (keep them watered throughout the year) and plant in ground next year. Remember, a bareroot fruit tree may not produce fruit for 3 to 5 years from planting. For best selection, shop early in the season. For better fruiting, plant more than one blueberry shrub in the same area to encourage cross pollination (they must bloom at the same time).
Veggies - Onion sets, Carrot and Radish seeds, Rhubarb, Spinach.
Flower Seeds - Now is the time to order, or buy locally, flower seeds for planting in a greenhouse setting in February or in ground in spring. Wildflower seeds can still be scattered this month (keep area damp and clear of weed competition).
Extras - Frost Cloth, Dormant Oil Spray.
Ranunculus' come in many colors - yellow, white, pink, and orange! (photo links to portfolio)
Tasks To Do
Prune - Shape Cotoneaster: Make mostly thinning cuts instead of heading cuts for a natural, arching, dramatic shape. Prune out dead, damaged, diseased and crossing stems. Most Fuchsias, once they lose their leaves, prune to six inches and hanging fuchsia to the rim of the basket. Watch How to Prune Fuchsia. Photinia can be shaped now. Roses: Watch The Gardening Tutor Videos How to Prune a Hybrid Tea Rose and How to Prune a Climbing Rose.
Not the time to prune - Lilac, Forsythia, Flowering Quince, Rhododendron, or any other early spring bloomers. These plants bloom on one year and older growth so if you prune them back now, you will be cutting off the blooms for this spring.
Pest Management - Dormant spray fruit trees, roses and other plants that had or are prone to infestations of insects (such as aphids) and fungus (such as black spot, rust, powdery mildew etc.) Remember to spray the soil area under and around the plant as well. Read directions on the bottle before spraying.
Fertilizing - Continue to fertilize winter annuals with all purpose fertilizer once a month (Mary uses Maxsea fertilizer).
Transplanting - Many frost hardy plants can be transplanted in winter. First dig the hole where you are moving the plant to and then dig up the plant you want to move. If you do this during a rain shower, the plant may not even know it's been moved! Remember to keep the plant watered if there is a long dry spell of no rain.
Weeding - Many annual weeds will germinate after being watered by rain; for best control, pull before they go to seed. Mulching thickly is one of the best ways to keep dormant weed seeds in the soil from sprouting.
Keep pruners sharp for best cuts. (Photo links to The Gardening Tutor YouTube Channel)