Do you want a short list of ideas for things you can do in January to put a little "GREEN" in what is usually such a bleak-feeling month? Words like "landscaping" and "green" and "January" just don't seem to make sense in the same sentence. Rest assured: there are lots of ways to stay active in your yard NOW. Here is a quick, 10-item punch list of things you may have done or may want to do this January before the month is gone. (Click the link at the bottom after the 'Read More' link for a FREE printable-friendly checklist.)
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.

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.

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.

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.
SB Turf, Inc. and SB Mulch, Inc. hardscape example.
SB Turf, Inc. and SB Mulch, Inc. think a hardscape project is a great way to incorporate sod and rock together.
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!

Your yard is alive and well, even in the months of December, January, and February. Although these are typically the coldest months of the year for our climate zones 7 and 8, there are ways to stay connected with your yard during December, Januray, and February. Many of us want to know what to do to care for our lawn during the winter months. Now that the new year (2013) is here, we have a lot of things on our "to-do" lists (or "honey-do" lists). There are so many resolutions to fulfill! If your yard, lawn, or landscape is a priority for you in 2013, there are a lot of things you can do starting now (*yes, even in January!) to help your efforts later on in the year when the growing season is more active here in the Columbia, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach areas of South Carolina, and coastal areas of North Carolina.

The first thing you can do for your yard now that it is 2013 is to PLAN. That's right. Planning is a good thing if you are the most organized person on the planet or if you are the least organized person on the planet. In other words, planning never hurt anyone.  And your plan for your landscape in 2013 can be elaborate or very simple. I suggest you take small steps. Your plan could be something as simple as jotting down one thing you would like to do each week in your yard or for your landscape from now until the last Saturday of February. Seriously, GET OUT A CALENDAR AND WRITE IT DOWN. Take out your smartphone and set up a recurring alert every Saturday for something involving the outside space that is your lawn. There is just something about March... when the month of March arrives, we all get spring fever. So plan NOW to be ready when your spring fever hits.
  • This Saturday, you could order that great book on landscape plants of the Southeast.
  • Next Saturday, go to the planting section of the library and peruse the shelves.
  • The Saturday after that, take a trip to the local hardware store, get a can of landscape paint & "create" some new planting beds.... you know, the beautiful landscape beds you have pictured in your mind. Use that spray!
  • The Saturday after that, look into the idea of planting some bulbs to give yourself some early spring color. 

You get the idea... with those few simple ideas from above, we already have a landscaping plan for the whole month of January!