Oregon State University Extension Service

January Garden Calendar

Timely advice on garden chores, fertilizing, pest control, and more from OSU Extension. These tips are not necessarily applicable to all areas of Oregon. For more information, contact your local Extension office (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/find-us).

The Oregon State University Extension Service encourages sustainable gardening practices.

Practice preventive pest management rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Conserve biological control agents such as predators and the parasitoids that feed on insect pests.


Maintenance and cleanup

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

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

  • Reapply or redistribute mulch (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1629) 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

    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, and use them judiciously. Some examples include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and organic and synthetic pesticides.

    Houseplants and indoor gardening

    • Monitor houseplants (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/head-houseplant-pests-vigilance-cleanliness) 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 such as coleus, impatiens and seedling geraniums inside as houseplants.

    • Western Oregon: Gather branches of quince, forsythia and flowering cherries and bring them 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.

    Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/techniques/january-garden-calendar