12 Jan JANUARY GARDEN CHECKLIST
We’re off to a great start this year, and your garden is no exception! Although the pace is slower and the demands are fewer, January is a pivotal month for planning and preparing for the garden to come. It’s full of possibilities, and isn’t that the most exciting part of gardening?
1. Plan. January is seed catalogue month! Pour over new catalogues that arrive in the mail, make a list of new seeds, and place your order. Inventory your existing seeds, and compost any that are too old to sow. Make a master plan of your garden. Plan for your new garden spaces. Observe the changing light patterns that winter brings.
2. Prepare/Maintain. Take stock of all your garden tools — make necessary repairs, sharpen blades, and oil moving parts. Clean and organize your seed starting supplies, and be sure you have enough seed-starter mix on hand for when your seeds arrive. Use a lightweight row cover to protects crops, and be at the ready to cover tender garden plants in case of freeze. Zones 5-6 can knock heavy snow from their plants and outdoor structures to avoid damage. Zones 7-10 can clean up winter weeds, transplant trees, shrubs, and roses, and top-dress garden beds with compost. Zones 9-10 can prune roses and fruit trees.
3. Sow/Plant – Indoors. All zones can enjoy indoor houseplant gardening. Zones 4-6 can plant microgreens on their kitchen countertop to enjoy in winter salads. Zones 5-6 may start seeds of cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, and onions. Zones 7-8 can start cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and lettuce seeds. Zones 9-10 can start seeds for peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant as well as melons, cucumbers, and squash.
4. Sow/Plant – Outdoors. While colder zones may not be able to actively plant outdoors during January, milder climates still have the go-ahead. Zones 7-10 can plant asparagus crowns and strawberry transplants, and set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, dill, parsley, cilantro, and chervil. Direct sow seeds of arugula, beets, bok choy, carrots, fennel, radishes, turnips, and peas. Zones 9-10 can purchase seed potatoes and pre-sprout them for spring planting.
5. Harvest. Zones 4-6 can dig parsnips left in the ground over winter. Zones 7-10 can harvest loads of greens and veggies including broccoli, arugula, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, fennel, spinach, Swiss chard, radishes, leeks, kale, green onions, and mustard.
See Also: January Garden Happenings