Gardening in January? It may look different without a list of gardening chores to attend but there is so much you can do!
Gardening in January doesn’t always mean actual planting, unless you live in Phoenix where it is a great month for planting and harvesting! But you can use January to get you and your garden ready for the spring!
Right now I know many of you are covered in snow and/or ice right or both. Maybe winter time gardening is the last thing you’re thinking about; but you’d be surprised to know there so much you can do to prepare for the best spring garden ever!
Use my tips for gardening in January to get prepared for the best harvest you’ve ever had. Try them all or focus on 1 or 2 that you can do right away and come back to the rest. I know when I’m unable to be out in my little garden I miss it. I hope these ideas help you to feel more connected to your homestead and garden during the cold months. Happy Gardening my friends!
Greenhouse Gardening in January
Many of us do not have the space, or funds, to put up a full size greenhouse. But we can still get many of the same benefits from a smaller cold frame garden box.
A cold frame is a simple bottomless box with windows facing the sky. This mini greenhouse allows for some wintertime gardening without a lot of space or expense.
Cold frames are built about a foot or two from the ground and are set over a group of plants. A transparent window or roof is on its top to allow light to get to the plants.
Indoor Winter Gardening in January
Another option for cold winter gardening is to grow vegetables and herbs in your home. This is can be a wonderful option if you do not have a yard or building a cold frame is not currently possible.
Try your hand at indoor gardening. With the right window light and indoor temps you can actually be gardening in January in your home.
I know many people will say winter is NOT the time to start a compost. But there are some great ways to keep or start composting in January.
Consider starting your own vermicomposting “farm”. There are lots of great DIY tutorials for creating a vermicompost but you can also buy a ready-made kit reasonably.
Not ready for worms in the house? How about a kitchen composting system?
Prepare Your Garden Soil
January gardening can simply be making sure that your soil is ready for planting. This is a great time to test your soil!
With your beds or fields getting a planting / growing break, this is a great time to see how the soil is doing. Knowledge is power, and knowing your soil’s pH will help you decide how to amend your soil accordingly.
More on Vegetable Garden Soil
- Awesome Soil Amendments for Your Garden
- Improving Soil Without Compost Pile
- The Best DIY Soil Mix
- How to Use Orange Peels for a Better Garden
Did you add a layer of mulch to your garden beds?
Check and Maintain Your Gardening Tools
Gardening requires that our tools are ship shape and ready to go for spring. What better to evaluate your gardening tools than January?
- Do you need clippers?
- Or do the clippers need sharpening?
- Are new shovels or hoes in order?
- Do your beds need any repair?
Many of the big box stores will have sales on gardening supplies because they need to get the stuff moving in the winter. Also check out yard sales and Craigslist for awesome winter deals.
Get More Gardening Education
Plant a garden… in your mind in January. Wintertime gardening can happen through education or reading.
There is always something to learn about backyard gardening! Here are a few of my favorite gardening books to check out!
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible
- The All New Square Foot Gardening
- The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible
- Gardening for Geeks
Make Garden Goals and Get Your Calendar Ready
January is a great time to list your goals for your garden. Do you want to try new seeds or a new vegetable? Maybe you want to plant more for a bigger harvest.
Maybe this is your first garden or you just need to refresh your memory for your zone.
Plan out your planting calendar now so you are ahead of the game in the spring. Be sure you know your planting zone!
- What to Plant in March
- What to Plant in April
- What to Plant in May
- What to Plant in June
- What to Plant in July
- What to Plant in August
Map Out Some New Space
January gardening should definitely include re-evaluating your space.
Do you have it organized? Do you need to make some adjustments for light?
Order Your Seeds in January
Now that you’ve planned, educated, mapped out your garden in January – you are ready to order seeds!
You might be surprised how many great organic and non-gmo seeds you can find online! But I also love to browse seed catalogs.
Start Some Seeds Indoors
Get your spring vegetable garden off to an early start. Many vegetables will do great with transplanting from indoor starters to your boxes and beds.
Just make sure that you don’t do this with root veggies as they don’t take well to transplanting.
Gardening in January
Do you feel ready to dip into a little gardening in January? I hope my ideas and tips give you some ways you can start.
I love my garden in every season and the month of January is no exception. You can do so much to be spring-ready right now and extend your growing season.
Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below. And feel free to share your tips and ideas for January gardening.
Be sure to see How to Have An Amazing Backyard Garden for even more information!