January is a time for dreaming, planning, and for what British garden writers call hard gardening. They mean building a wall, arbor, or fence that will be a permanent feature in the garden. Winter is a great time for construction in a garden. When the growing season arrives, time can be spent tending to plants.
Walls and fences can protect gardens from wind and animals. They can also be an attractive landscaping feature.
Arbors can support plantings for flavor or beauty. They also can provide a pleasant shady spot to sit and relax. If your January dream is of sipping a great beverage you’ve created yourself, consider an arbor. A hops vine could flavor your own home brew and climb an arbor in one year. A grape vine could provide fruit for a wine of your favorite style in a few years. Planning and building now will get a structure in place so that when spring planting time arrives, your site is ready.
Terraces are another structure that many sloping Chattanooga area yards could benefit from. The look of a terraced Tuscan vineyard is stunning.
Which variety of grape to grow is a serious consideration. Picking out whatever is available at a big box store is rarely a good option. Many popular grape varieties do not thrive in this area’s soil and climate. But there are varieties that will thrive and please your palate as well. The right choice of a grape could lead to a planting that outlives even a young person.
If a backyard vineyard intrigues you, I’d be happy to assist in getting started.
Other January garden tasks:
- Prune fruit trees, grapes, and ornamentals
- Select seeds and order
- Gather/purchase seed starting trays and materials
- Construct a raised bed