Produced by OSU Extension, each month provides reminders of key garden chores, such as fertilizing, pest control, planting, and maintenance.

Recommendations in this calendar are not necessarily applicable to all areas of Oregon. For more information, contact your local Extension office.


Sustainable gardening

The Oregon State University Extension Service encourages sustainable gardening practices.

Preventive pest management is emphasized over reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting and opt for the least toxic approach that will remedy the problem. The conservation of biological control agents (predators, parasitoids) should be favored over chemical controls.

Use chemical controls only when necessary and only after thoroughly reading the pesticide label. First consider cultural, then physical and biological controls. Choose the least-toxic options (insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and organic and synthetic pesticides — when used judiciously).


  • Plan to replace varieties of ornamental plants that are susceptible to disease with resistant cultivars in February.

  • Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous ornamental shrubs and trees for propagation.

  • Have your soil tested in your garden plot to determine its nutrient needs. Contact your local Extension office for a list of laboratories or view EM 8677 online.

  • Begin planning this year’s vegetable garden. Check with local retail garden or nursery stores for seeds and seed catalogs.

  • Keep a garden journal. Consult your journal in the winter, so you can better plan for the growing season.

Maintenance and Clean Up

  • Central/Eastern Oregon: To prevent winter damage from drying, water plants deeply every 6 to 8 weeks, when the temperatures are above freezing.

  • Place windbreaks to protect sensitive landscape evergreens against cold, drying winds.

  • Reapply or redistribute mulch that has blown or washed away during winter.

  • Clean pruners and other small garden tools with rubbing alcohol.

  • Western Oregon: Water landscape plants underneath wide eaves and in other sites shielded from rain.

    • Western Oregon: Do not walk on lawns until frost has melted.

    Pest Monitoring and Management

    • Scout cherry trees for signs and symptoms of bacterial canker. Remove infected branches with a clean pruner or saw. Sterilize tools before each new cut. Burn or send to landfill before bloom. See Managing Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards (PDF - EC 631).

    • Watch for field mice damage on lower trunks of trees and shrubs. Eliminate hiding places by removing weeds. Use traps and approved baits as necessary.

    • Use dormant sprays of lime sulfur or copper fungicide on roses for general disease control, or plan to replace susceptible varieties with resistant cultivars in February.

    • Western Oregon: Moss in lawn may mean too much shade or poor drainage. Modify site conditions if moss is bothersome.

    • Mid-January: Spray peach trees with approved fungicides to combat peach leaf curl and shothole. Or plant curl-resistant cultivars such as Frost, Q1-8 or Creswell.

    • Monitor landscape plants for problems. Don't treat unless a problem is identified.

    Houseplants and Indoor Gardening

    • Monitor houseplants for correct water and fertilizer; guard against insect infestations; clean dust from leaves.

    • Protect sensitive plants such as weeping figs from cold drafts in the house.

    • Propagate split-leaf philodendrons and other leggy indoor plants by air-layering or vegetative cuttings.

    • Plant dwarf annual flowers inside for houseplants, including coleus, impatiens, and seedling geraniums.

    • Western Oregon: Gather branches of quince, forsythia, and flowering cherries and bring indoors to force an early bloom.


    Trade-name products and services are mentioned as illustrations only. This does not mean that the Oregon State University Extension Service endorses these products and services or intends to discriminate against products and services not mentioned.

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