What To Plant In January
The garden may lay dormant in cold, crisp January, but there is so much more to be done! How about starting early in the growing season?
You might wonder if it’s a good idea to grow anything in the garden in the middle of winter, but you’d be surprised how many plants will thrive despite the dropping temps! If you’re running out of ideas, here are just some of the many plants you can grow in January:
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Crops to Grow in January
Chili Peppers: As long as there is ample protection from the cold, chili peppers will thrive in cold weather like January. Try sowing two to three seeds per pot, then add organic compost. Cover to its own depth with vermiculite to finish up. If you have a heated propagator, use it to speed up the germination. The seedlings should sprout within a week or so.
Eggplants: Eggplants are some of the easiest vegetables to grow during the cold months. It typically thrives during sunny days because it’s a slow starter that requires constant sunshine, but with patience, these are quite possible to grow in January too. Find a bright spot indoors or in your heated greenhouse, as seedlings must be kept away from frost. Plant several seeds per pot and enrich the soil with organic fertilizer. Keep the temperature at 21-27°C (70-80°F), and the seeds will germinate within a week or more. Great varieties to grow are long purple, Kaberi, and Black Beauty.
Basil: One of the most popular herbs is also the easiest to grow. Basil thrives in a sunny spot, but it will also grow in January with proper care. This herb thrives in temperatures between 15C to 25°C. At the ideal temperature, the seeds will germinate between 14 to 21 days. Because basil doesn’t grow too big, you can grow it in a pot. Once matured, regularly prune to maintain the flavor of the herb.
Peas: Many varieties of peas do well in January, particularly snow peas, snap peas, and English peas. Peas are incredibly hardy and can withstand cold temperatures. You can grow peas outdoors or indoors in a pot of well-drained soil. Peas boost nitrogen in the soil, so it’s a great vegetable to grow first before or together with crops like sweet corn after the winter season. Peas are also ideal for companion planting with celery, cucumber, potatoes, and spinach.
Rhubarb: A warm windowsill may provide enough heat to germinate rhubarb seeds. Plant in a pot of well-draining soil and give it about 20 to 30 days to germinate. Rhubarb will take its sweet time germinating, but once it has sprouted, it will be ready for harvest within a few weeks. We suggest growing the Glaskin’s Perpetual variety from seed in January.
Potatoes: Potatoes and other root crops can be surprisingly forgiving of cold weather. That said, it’s best to grow this crop in a potato bag to avoid freezing from the ground. Many potato varieties will grow well during the winter, but the Charlotte variety is one of the most resilient.
Onions: Onions and other bulbs are a cinch to grow indoors, even in January. Because these grow slowly, you want to give the bulbs as much time as needed to grow bigger. Sow the seeds in a growing tray and set them in a warm, sunny spot. Once the seedlings have grown, you can transfer the bulbs to a cooler site as long as the risk of frost has passed.
Fruits to Grow in January
Raspberry: We think of growing crops in the spring season so that the garden will burst with fruits by the summer season, but winter can be a great time to grow summer berries like raspberries. TAs long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged; you can plant this berry during the cold season, between November and March. This strategy is best for container gardening. Choose a sunny spot and grow raspberries in a pot of well-draining soil.
Blueberry: Alternatives to raspberries are blueberries. This berry can be grown in a pot during winter as long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Like raspberries, grow blueberries in a pot of slightly acidic soil between November and March. If you have a greenhouse, these should be set in a warm, bright spot. You can grow blueberries alongside different crops to extend the growing season, like thyme, cranberries, and plants that thrive in slightly acidic soils.
Grapes: Grapes are best-grown bare-root during the dormant season between January and February. What’s important is to install a trellis so the grapevines have something to climb onto. Grapevines can grow quickly and heavily, so the trellis should be durable. Prune the plant regularly, trimming excess roots or removing broken or browning branches or leaves. To increase your chances of success, we suggest growing American varieties because they are more resistant to mildew and root louse.
Strawberries: While strawberries are best grown during the spring season, it thrives in mild weather and can withstand freezing temperatures too! This plant is also ideal for container gardens because it doesn’t grow too big. Strawberries, like most berries, will thrive when pruned regularly. There’s no need to water periodically; do it when needed to avoid root disease.
Sweet Cherries: Cherry trees can withstand extreme temps except perhaps for the intense heat of the desert. Sweet cherry will thrive in cool temps and love bright lights, so plant the tree in a spot that gets some direct sunlight in the mornings and shade in the afternoons. Some birds will actively search for fruiting cherry trees, so we suggest installing netting as protection.
Flowering Plants to Grow in January
Amaryllis: Add a nice pop of color to your winter garden with the beautiful Amaryllis. This flowering bulb thrives in good potting soil and bright, indirect light. It doesn’t require much watering and will begin to bloom six to eight weeks after planting.
Hellebore: Hellebore is a great flowering plant to grow in January. As long as the ground is not frozen, you can plant Hellebore in-ground. Otherwise, this plant will grow in a pot. Hellebore will thrive in a semi-shady place, which gets bright light, but the heat isn’t as intense. Use moist, rich, well-draining soil. Hellebore has many varieties, so plant different colors for a lush, colorful winter garden.
Geraniums: Geranium is super easy to grow, even in winter, but there is a process to follow. Because of its hearty genetics, you have to store the plant in its dormant state. Place the plant in a brown paper bag or a cardboard box and check every four weeks until the stems shrivel. Soak the root ball in a bucket of water for at least an hour and allow it to dry before returning it to the container. A few weeks later, you can plant it outdoors.
Sweet Pea: This annual flowering plant comes in various colors, including magenta, purple, and white. To grow sweet peas successfully, sow early in the season. Sweet pea is a hardy plant that can be sown in late winter. It will grow as long as the soil is dry, not frozen or waterlogged. Use well-rotted manure or compost to amend the soil because sweet peas love rich, moist, well-draining soils.
Growing Plants in January with ECOgardener
As you can see, various plants will thrive even in January. Get started on your winter garden today; begin by investing in high-quality gardening tools. By early spring, your garden will be teeming with life!