Do you like winter gardening? If yes, then stay tuned. Today we will discuss Plants and Vegetables to Grow in January. You may choose one for your garden. The month of January is the peak winter month in the entire northern hemisphere. Most of northern America is still dealing with heavy snow. Although winter in January is not the same for every place. Even the temperature and growing conditions vary within each zone. So for an overall thought, you can think of January as a preparation month for gardening.
Snow and the risk of frost are still present yet you have plenty of options to start growing. Gardening especially Indoor gardening or greenhouse gardening is easily possible in January. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled greenhouse then you should better decide on gardening plans according to your local Agricultural hardiness Zones.
Check out my previous post: How to Overwinter Perennial Plants?
Can you start a garden in January?
Yes, Absolutely you can start a garden in January. The only thing to worry about is frequent temperature change. Sometimes the day and night temperatures in January can differ a lot. Sudden temperature change is not good for any vegetable or flower plant. Though the freezing and thawing can help some seeds to germinate still can kill small delicate seedlings.
Moreover, you must choose those plants that are compatible with low winter temperatures. Else, the cold can easily kill the plant. Either the seed will not germinate in the worst case or the germinated seedling will not have good health. Overall if you are not careful then January is not the month to start gardening. Otherwise, you can start gardening in January according to your Hardiness zone. Do check your local store before buying any live plants or seeds in January.
Also read: Garden Works to do in Winter? Lawn Winter Care.
Can You Grow any Flower or Vegetables in January?
You can grow several Flowers or vegetables in January. January is not the ideal month for gardening still you will have plenty of options to choose from. It is better to start with vegetable seeds in January.
Microgreens, kale, cauliflower, radish, okra, and most of the sprouts are the best option for indoor gardening in January.
The seed will germinate within a couple of weeks. The germinated seeds or sprouts are healthy to use in salads if you wish. Else It will take another 20 to 35 days to develop into a proper seedling. You can separate these seedlings and transplant them into intermediate containers. It is a good idea to do multiple transplants in different-sized pots before the final plantation. You must wait for the outside temperature to rise above 45 to 50 Fahrenheit before moving the plants outside. This temperature is sufficient for most cool weather, spring vegetables, and flower plants.
Plants to Grow in January in Your Agriculture Zone
Zone charts available online only denotes the upper and lower limits of temperature recorded in a particular area. It doesn’t state the true demographic situation. The truth can vary a lot in reality. I think most of you agree with the fact that temperatures here in the North of states don’t like to follow the zone charts anymore. Even it can vary from place to place within a single USDA hardiness zone.
Therefore the best gardening option is to look out the specifics of your locality. It would help more than any consultant or online blog. One thing that I learn and believe after such a long gardening carrier is that only trust your experience. Your experience will always differ from others. So learn from your failures in gardening and try to leave the success behind for new ones.
Gardening in January: Zone 1 to 5
If you live in the far north i.e. in USDA Zones 1 through 5 then January is not your gardening time. Most probably you are still facing heavy snowfall and frequent frosts. The outside temperature is below zero degrees at night. It is the worst condition for any outdoor plant. Every plant in your garden is fighting for its survival.
Indoor temperature is also not very comfortable for the plants. Therefore, have some patience and wait one more month to start your seedlings.
It is possible to start seedlings now in January. Although at such low outside temperature the seedlings will either die or mature early before you can transplant them outside. Seedlings grown at this early stage will never adapt to their usual spring climate. They may bolt or die. Either way, you will lose both money and time. Therefore just wait and plan. You can grow some microgreens and sprouts for kitchen use in the meantime.
Gardening in Zone 6 & 7
The climatic condition in Zone 6 and 7 is still very unpredictable in January. The day may seem warm and frost-free but you can’t say the same for the night. Sudden snowfall can also surprise you sometimes. So outdoor gardening in Januruar especially in Zone 6 and 7 is a gamble. You can try but the chances of success are 50-50.
Although you can start seedlings indoors successfully. Lots of vegetables and flower seeds are available to buy in this zone. January can be a beautiful start to your winter gardening in zone 6and 7.
You can start with seeds of Broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, kale, onions, parsley, and some flowers like poppy, pansy, and geranium. These are just a few plants that I can remember, you can look out for more such winter plants in your local nursery or garden store. All of these should be germinated and developed inside in January. Keep in mind your seedlings are not strong enough to sustain outdoor temperature which is still below 10 degrees.
January Plants for Zone 8
The outside temperature in Zone 8 is still very dry and cold. Probably the snow is over the risk of frost is not over yet. So you must decide what is best suited for your specific garden. You can start with Microgreens or sprout.
Although there is plenty of outdoor option available for you. Choose any cool-weather plants like grape, broccoli, parsley, pansy, tulips, asters, dahlias, and many more. Start indoors and once the seedling or plantlets are strong and frost is over then only move the plant in your garden. Transplantation should be done after composting to give a head start to your flower and vegetable garden.
January winter Plants for Zone 9, 10, or even hotter regions
The temperature is moderate and your garden is ready for a green start. There is still time for seed germination if you haven’t done this in November or December. Start with preparing your garden beds for vegetables.
Flowering plants are also eager to get their part. So choose your favorites like okra, hibiscus, marigolds, calendula, lavender, grapes, any leafy vegetable, cauliflower, onions, garlic, parsley, month thyme, and many more. This is the start of spring in southern zones. Lots of gardening opportunity is waiting for you. Study your local varieties and start with the ones that you like most. After all, the gardening should result in your delight, not for me or anyone else. Therefore, get ready and give your garden a boom in January especially if you live in Zone 9 or 10. Grow anything that requires a cool spring climate.
What vegetables can be planted in January?
There is no one correct answer for this question. Yes, It is fact coz January is not the same for every state or country. In the far north, everything is still covered in heavy snow while spring has arrived near the equator.
Northern States here in the US, Canada, and most of Europe are still frost-prone. So you have to wait till next month for the start.
You can Grow-
- Eggplant or Brinjal
- Bottle Gourd
- Ridge Gourd
- Bitter Gourd
- Groundnut, Peanuts
- Cabbage, Spinach, Parsley, Coriander, and many more herbs and veggies.
If you live around the equator like India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, SouthAfrica, Thailand, Australia, or near the Southern parts of the United States then go for these veggies in January. Keep in mind you can grow the seedlings out in your garden in these areas. The temperature in these areas is around 15 to 18 degrees celsius. So the garden must be free from frost.
Other Plants and Vegetables to Grow in January
- Fava Beans, green beans, and Peas can be grown throughout January
- Grow Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale and, Kohlrabi seeds and transplants from mid to late January
- Mustard (seeds or transplants) – end of January
- Spinach, Swiss chard, Lettuce, Collards
- Garlic, Leeks, and Onions
- Artichoke crowns and transplants in late January
- Asparagus crowns
- Potato in zone 6, 7, 8 and 9
There are still 100 more plants to choose from for your January Winter Garden. All you need is to learn and understand your local climate. Don’t hurry, too much of anything is bad, sometimes waiting is better for a good yield. So take your time, know your garden and the plants you choose to grow. After all, plants especially vegetables in January are not very easy to grow. Sometimes being picky about the time and variety of the plant is the right option for the gardener.