You might not be thinking about your yard in the middle of winter, but January is a great time to design your landscape! Take some time to draw out your existing flower beds, trees, and shrubs. Then decide what you would like to change or add. K-State Research and Extension has some great resource to help with the planning process.
Winter weather is not only hard on people but can be a life and death struggle for birds. Though birds also require water and shelter, food is often the resource most lacking during cold weather. Many different bird food mixes are available because various species often prefer different grains. However, there is one seed that has more universal appeal than any other: black oil sunflower. If you are new to the bird-feeding game, make sure there is a high percentage of this seed in your mix. White proso millet is second in popularity and is the favorite of dark-eyed juncos and other sparrows as well as the red-winged blackbird.
You may have heard the Chinese Proverb “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” Trees offer shade and beauty in our landscapes as well as reducing utility costs and providing food sources and habitat for wildlife, and the fall season is an excellent time to plant trees. In the spring, soils are cold and may be so wet that there isn’t enough oxygen for adequate root growth. Fall soils are warm and moist which encourages growth. When planted in fall, the tree becomes established well before a spring planted tree and is able to withstand summer stresses.