January in the Garden

The catalogs have arrived and we all have grand visions of our new, improved gardens. But right now about all most of us can do is get things pruned and ready for new growth. If you live in a warmer climate, I hope you're taking advantage of the cool, wet months of winter to indulge in sweet peas and salad greens.


Whether you're staying warm indoors and gardening vicariously or you're outside getting things in order, here are a few more regional gardening tips to help you get through winter.


  • Order from catalogs

  • Rework your garden design

  • Review last year's journal and start a new one for this year by recording your seed/plant orders

  • Check your stored bulbs and veggies

  • Check plants for heaving

  • Recycle your Christmas tree as garden mulch or a bird feeder

  • Feed the birds and provide them with some unfrozen water

  • Take a gardening class

  • Sharpen your tools

Cold Climates

  • Start cool season seeds like cauliflower, leeks and geranium seeds

  • Zones 7+ can start seeds of slow growing annuals like ageratum, nicotiana petunias, portulaca, snapdragons and verbena and direct seed plants that need a period of cold (stratification).

  • Check outdoor plants for animal damage

  • Check indoor plants for pests

No. CA & NW

  • Check mulch. Add more to paths for weed suppression

  • Protect tender plants when cold nights are predicted

  • Plant bareroot roses & fruit trees

  • Start asparagus, and artichokes.

  • Finish pruning trees, perennials and roses

So. CA

  • Prune fruit trees & Try and organic dormant spray

  • Plant trees, perennials, bareroot roses and cool season crops

  • Start pruning roses


  • Sow cool season crops like Broccoli, cabbage, greens, onions, peas, and turnips to transplant next month

  • Plant asparagus

  • Direct sow carrots, greens & peas at the end of the month

  • Prune grapes

  • Set out transplants of cool season flowers like pansies, petunia, snapdragon, sweet pea, and violets

  • Start pruning roses

  • Keep watering evergreens


  • Take advantage of the cold spell with some quick growing peas, radishes & spinach

  • Seed slow grower like eggplant and peppers

  • Prune raspberries canes to ground, once they finish fruiting.


By Marie Iannotti, About.com Guide
Regional Gardening Guide for January