16 Jan JANUARY GARDEN HAPPENINGS
I’m fortunate and I know it. I live and garden in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, which means that I get to garden year-round while other people are hibernating indoors until spring. We’ve had an unusually cold winter so far in my area, with several killing freezes, but there’s still lots to plant and harvest even in January. But whatever your zone, take heart — there is always a garden activity to keep you inspired! As always, consult your local experts for the best planting times for your area and follow those recommendations.
Zones 3-5: While admittedly you have a few less gardening options when you live in a chillier climate, don’t let that stop you. Get out those seed catalogues and put your orders in, and start growing some things indoors. Microgreens and sprouts are a great way to experiment — look for seed mixes of different lettuce varities, or go with sunflower sprouts for your salads. And don’t forget houseplants! Amp up your indoor plant displays with new pots, decorative hangers, or innovative wall planters.
Zone 6: If you love starting seeds, you’re in luck! Seeds of pansies, snapdragons, dusty miller, begonias, and delphiniums can be started indoors, and if you wait til the end of the month, you can start onions, celery, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. These seeds will do best under grow lights. And guess what? If you forgot to plant your tulip or daffodil bulbs last fall, there’s still time to get them in the ground if you pinky-pact to do it quickly.
Zone 7: Now’s the time to get your onion and cabbage transplants at the garden center — you can plant them out in the garden, but have a row cover handy in case you get a sudden cold snap. Start onion, leeks, celery, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and slow-growing annuals (coleus and geraniums) under lights indoors. Harvest cool season greens that you planted last fall.
Zone 8: Early in the month, start seeds of onions, dill, parsley, leeks, and celery. You can also direct sow seeds outdoors if you like beets, carrots, garden peas, bok choy, kale, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, and radishes. If you have root crops still in the ground, cover them with mulch to keep them protected. Look for bare-root asparagus and strawberry plants at the garden center and plant them along with your fruit trees.
Zones 9-11: If you have seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and greens, you can go ahead and transplant them outdoors. Start warm season seeds like melon, peppers, squash, tomatoes, eggplants, and greens, and direct sow seeds of carrots, arugula, kale, onions, spinach, radishes, peas, pumpkins. Plant cold hardy fruit trees, and prune off flowers on your tropical fruit and immature citrus trees to give them more energy to grow. Flower seeds like zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers can all be started indoors as well.
By: Jenny Peterson