Gutters are one of the most important features of landscaping beds. Huh? Can you repeat that please? Yes, I said GUTTERS are one of the most important landscaping features you can have in the Pee Dee and Coastal areas of South Carolina. Why? Because of the heavy rain storms we get around these areas. Have you ever mulched a landscape bed around your home, and had one of those long afternoon rain showers hit? You have either learned the hard way or you can picture in your mind what would happen if you don't have gutters: all your money and hard work literally washed out of the bed into a big puddle/pile in the side of your yard. Bummer. Now do you see what I mean about the gutter being a very important part of your landscape? I am going to assume you have gutters in place around already. Just make sure they are good and cleaned out. January is the perfect time of year to do this. If a bird has made its nest in your gutters or if a bunch of leaves are blocking a bunch of leaves are blocking a bunch of the area of your gutters, your gutters may as well not even be there.
2. PICK UP STORM DEBRIS
Think its ok to just leave that multitude of sticks and twigs and, well, crap, that blew into your yard from your neighbor's yard? Well, it isn't. Chances are, that some of the worst winter storms are done when January is over, and it is time to walk over your yard and pick up the more obvious debris and remove it from your outdoor area.
3. PLAN A SPRING GARDEN
There is a reason that the first 4 letters of the word "plant" are P-L-A-N. Your spring garden in the Myrtle Beach area may be different from someone's garden in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina. Someone who lives near the North Carolina coast will have a spring garden that isn't like someone who lives in Wilmington NC. Wherever you live in the Carolinas, you have a wonderful opportunity to try out having your own spring garden. Robert Brault says it best, "If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden." January is a great month to envision what you want your spring garden to be.
4. MOVE FORWARD WITH THAT HARDSCAPE PROJECT
A "hardscape" is just a fancy word for a seating wall, a retaining wall, a paver-area, or masonry section in your outdoor space. If you have a sloping lawn that leads down to a body of water, a nice seating wall could be a hardscape project you want to try. A very big trend for landscaping now is outdoor cooking areas or outdoor fire pits. A lot of Americans are putting money back into their homes / landscapes instead of spending it on things like travel or clothing. Make an outdoor getaway to escape from the daily norm of your house.
Your sod isn't the only thing that still needs water in January. Birds need water too! Make sure those birds you have attracted with those lovely bird feeders have plenty of water during the winter months. It is nice to supplement them with extra bird seed now too. Also, clean your bird feeders out during January. Be sure you don't get pecked!