UC Master Gardeners of Butte County
University of California
UC Master Gardeners of Butte County

Garden Tips for January


  • Bare-root plants, including roses, are available now in local nurseries.
    This is a great time to plant artichokes, asparagus, horseradish, strawberries, and rhubarb.
  • Bare-root fruit trees are available in local nurseries. Consider adding apples, apricots, blueberries, cane berries, grapes, pears, or plums to your home orchard.
  • Order specialty seed from catalogs and check local nurseries and feed stores for seed.
  • Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower starts can be transplanted from mid-January through early February. Before transplanting, harden off seedlings by gradually increasing their time spent outdoors in the natural elements.
  • Direct-sow onions, leeks, peas, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and radishes.
  • Tomatoes and peppers can be started indoors or in a greenhouse. Use sterile pots and soil mixes in order to prevent diseases such as damping-off.


  • Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies, chrysanthemums, and other perennials.
    Start pruning roses, cane berries, deciduous trees, grapes, and wisteria.
  • Top dress asparagus and rhubarb beds with well-
    composted manure for maximum production later in the spring.
  • Selectively prune native shrubs and trees. Wait until summer to prune chaparral plants like manzanita and ceanothus.
  • This is the time to move dormant shrubs and trees to better locations in your yard.
  • Finish pruning fruit trees, removing 15% of older growth for plums, apples, and pears; 10% for cherries; and 50% for peaches and nectarines, saving new reddish-colored one-year-old shoots.

Pest and disease control

  • Apply a final dormant copper spray to deciduous fruit trees (especially on peaches and nectarines to prevent leaf curl and on apricots for shothole) no later than bud swell.
  • Clean up fruit mummies and debris to prevent disease.
  • Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale and mites.
  • Move living Christmas trees back outside. Put them in partial shade at first to harden them off, then move them into full sun in a week or two.


  • kiwis
  • citrus
  • brassicas
  • carrots
  • parsley
  • spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens


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