January isn't just a month reserved for snow and shoveling. This time of year can also be perfect for gardening - regardless of climate.

However, in order to achieve a perfect garden and yard year round, homeowners have to take the time to perform a few simple steps. From planting new things to taking care of existing shrubs, gardening in January requires some extra attention along the way.

With a great garden, increasing curb appeal or selling a property will be easy. If homeowners have any additional questions about their houses, a home inspection professional can be called in to take a look. These experts will be able to clarify any number of concerns a person may have.

Protecting plants is crucial

The key to successful January gardening is protection, according to MSN Real Estate. This includes mild climates to colder ones, and regardless of weather there are still plenty of opportunities to be had.

For starters, homeowners in slightly warmer regions during January have the option to plant trees, the news source noted. Fruit, shade and flowering trees will all grow during this time. If the temperature drops below freezing, evergreens, rose bushes and deciduous shrubs can be planted. If there is snow on these new additions, the branches should be cleaned off regularly to keep them from breaking. Anything that does snap should be trimmed back quickly. 

Eventually, the weather will take a turn for the worse, MSN Real Estate explained. If this is the case, homeowners have to take steps to protect their plants and trees. All flora left outside should be shielded from the wind and sun. Old branches from other trees can perform this job at a low cost. On the inside, homeowners have to be careful about how they treat these plants. Watering should be kept to a minimum, and plants should be rotated so they constantly receive an even balance of sunlight. 

Be careful during routine maintenance

The winter can be a tough time for any house, with serious weather and frequent maintenance. This level of upkeep can also pose problems for the lawn and garden, and it may be worth some extra time to keep everything looking great. If there are any problems with a house, a property inspection professional can be brought in to take a look around. 

Regular tasks during the winter can damage trees and shrubs, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For example, spreading salt to melt ice can hurt nearby shrubs. Instead of a chemical option, homeowners may want to use sand or sawdust. These variants can get the job done while minimizing collateral damage. Heavy snow and ice accumulation on trees and shrubs can also be a problem, so everything should be cleaned off following a major winter storm. Once a lawn goes dormant, it is also a good idea to limit the amount of traffic on it. Constant walking or driving over grass can hurt it and prevent it from coming back looking great in the spring. 

In order to pull off great winter gardening, homeowners should learn from their past mistakes or successes, the news source noted. For instance, last year's planting, fertilizing and spraying records can say a lot about a yard. If anything worked great, it can be tried again, or vice versa. A New Year's resolution for gardening can be made, with lists of exciting plants or new tactics that are worth the effort.

Overall, January can be a great time for gardening. Just because the temperature dropped doesn't mean all the hard work is over, and there are still a number of options available to those with a green thumb. When it comes to the security of any residence, a home inspection can provide answers.