January is generally a time to plan, it’s a time to look back at the successes of the past season and plan forward for the coming season, it’s a time where you should start planning what vegetable and fruit varieties should be grown in your garden and most importantly it’s a time to place orders to purchase those seeds that will partner with your garden through the planting season. Moreover, if you’ve had a bad season the past year, this is the beginning of a splendid new start for your gardening goals and plans.
In some regions, gardening in January is a no-brainer because of the cool rainy season during this period, while in others, particularly regions with snowy climates, it can mean no relevant outdoor gardening.
In these areas pruning for new growth may be the only outdoor activity worth taking a not of. Despite these diverse climate conditions, whether you are indoors or outdoors, there are certain boxes you should check and cross of your gardening list this period. These activities are exactly what should take the better part of your gardening schedule for January.
What to Plant in January
Every gardener should have their homegrown spices, this choice will work in any region as these spices can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Some examples include; ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cumin, saffron, and bay leaves spice.
Herbs are another great choice if the climate is snowy wherever you are as they can be grown indoors throughout winter. Some varieties include basil, parsley, thyme, chives and lastly oregano. These are some of the most popular herbs that are used in almost every kitchen.
If you love annuals and perennials, then now is the time to start planning and planting. There are a variety of options to choose from, so for any species, take note of the growth period so you can start planting immediately after winter. some varieties worth considering include; geraniums, daisies, poppies, coneflowers, and marigolds.
If you don’t have tomatoes in tour planting schedule you are missing out on a very bright garden red. Tomatoes are one of the most common plants grown in gardens. They can be used for so many different types of recipes, cooked or eaten fresh. They are best planted indoors in seed starter soil or outdoors in raised beds.
Onions can be planted from seeds, or through onion bulbs. They are plentiful in variety so depending on your particular preference, pick the species you need for your intended results. For onions, it is best to begin planting indoors in all climes during this period and then transplant to the garden after the sprouts are almost as thick as a pen.
Peppers are a delight to most palates. They can be sweet on one end and hot on the other, but whichever species you decide to plant, it will find a place in your garden. Peppers are best grown in warmer climes and with a long growing season, you should start indoors in colder climes and then transplant it to your garden after the last frost date.
There is no way to exhaust the list of vegetables to plant, but these are some more vegetables to consider; Broccoli, lettuce, celery, carrots, and potatoes among others.
Get Your Seeds
Part of your plan this January should be to place orders for your seedlings and confirm if you have any leftovers. Once you have decided on what to plant prep the ones you have left and get your orders ready. Consider visiting the local garden shop near you to discover new species and varieties for yourself, activities like this will give you new and fresh ideas for your garden this season.
Garden Checklist for January
- Aerate the soil and add fertilizer
It’s the beginning of a new season, so this is when newly planted seeds will normally grow slower due to depletion of nutrients from the previous season, especially during January and February.
- Prune your garden
During the last season, there will be overgrown branches, stems and dead parts that will still hang around, this is the period to prune and cut back. Prune your fruit trees and flowers. Focus on removing dead foliage and branches, take care, not to over prune. In colder climes, this is one of the best outdoor activities to engage in before the last frost falls over.
- Mulch raised beds
Apply mulch over your topsoil to conserve and improve the fertility of the soil for enhanced growth. Lay mulch around the root of your herbs and vegetables. Mulching now will protect the root and for vegetables, it would help stop the growth of weeds around each batch of vegetables.
- Feed the birds
January is a time when birds, rodents and pests alike are searching for food, it is best you feed the birds in creative ways to keep them from behaving like pests and ruining all your hard work. Erect nest boxes and feeders at safe spots. Fill up feeders with varieties of bird food from your local supplier and keep the birdbath flowing always. The birds would help you with aerating the soil, keeping pests at bay, providing manure and pollination.
- Pull weeds out
Winter is a good time for preparing your garden in the best possible way to be in time for spring. Search your garden and pull out weeds that were once hidden by vegetables and growth all through the last planting season. Take them out, roots and all and your garden would be one more step closer to becoming perfect this January.
- Purchase new garden tools
Get new gardening gloves, scarecrows, forks and any other tool that needs an upgrade. Many new tools make gardening easier, do yourself a favor and go shopping, in so doing you will reduce the stress and strain of your normal garden routine.