It's January! I'm waiting for it to get really cold, like negative numbers cold. Yes, I love winter and I'm one of the crazy people that actually enjoys shoveling snow. However, I'm watching the thermometer because it makes a big impact on the garden.
In January and February of 2009 we had a number of nights dip into the negative digits. As a result, we experienced lower populations of some damaging insects. The cool wet spring made fungus flourish. Yet, we saw dramatic decreases in the populations of bagworms, for example. I haven't spotted them on trees that last year were covered in little bundles of brown needles about as big as your thumb. There was also a decrease in Japanese beetles. Maybe not quite so dramatic as the bagworms, but there were less of them around than the year before. I only plucked a handful or two off the roses.
So, bundle up! Dig out that alpaca sweater your mother brought you from Bolivia and the wool socks. A little shivering now can pay big dividends this spring.