Perennials: Begin planning for next spring. Using garden notes, photographs and sketches, assess areas in need of renovation or new plants. Read up on current design trends that may use grasses, native plants and hardscaping to produce pleasing effects. Landscape designers create new designs in the same way as interior decorators and clothing designers. The fashions may not appeal, but sometimes new ideas emerge that are just right for your garden.
Flowers: Gather incoming seed catalogs and order new ones, or browse on-line. Begin planning and ordering. Keep in mind the size of your space and resist the urge to order too many seeds. Plan a seeding schedule. Check dahlia, canna and gladiola bulbs to make sure they are not rotting or drying out.
Vegetables and fruits: Begin planning orders for new fruit trees, shrubs or other plants. Consider a strawberry bed or a few raspberry canes, if there is a place for them in full sun. Blueberry bushes require highly acid soil.
Trees and shrubs: If there is a heavy snow, carefully remove snow from evergreen shrubs if they are weighted down. Prune away storm damaged branches promptly.
Lawns: If the lawn is still bare, avoid walking on it and keep the pets off, too. If there is snow, avoid using salt near lawn areas. Use sawdust or cat litter or even granulated fertilizer.
Houseplants: Keep the holiday plants cool, and they will last longer.
General: Make your annual New Year’s resolution to not buy more than you can plant, tend, harvest or water.
Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester