What to Plant in January

by on December 30, 2011

UrbanFig: Onion Bed

Onions are just one of several urban garden favorites that can be planted in January.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that you can plant some urban garden favorites in the middle of winter, even in January. Depending on the climate where you live, it is easy to get a jump on your spring garden now and getting your hands in the soil will go a long way toward warding off the winter blues that many gardeners face.

The biggest obstacle to starting seeds and garden plants in the winter is temperature. If the temperature is too low, garden seeds will not germinate. Believe it or not though, there are some garden plants that are perfectly well-suited to January starts, though you aren’t going to see much happen for a few more weeks.

Plants such as lettuce, onions, parsnips and spinach will all have a good germination rate when started at temperatures as low as 32 degrees, with seedlings beginning to emerge in as few as 45-50 days. Raise the temperature just ten degrees and you can start beets, cabbage, carrots, celery and peas to your winter sowing.

At 50 degrees you can successfully start turnips, parsley and my beloved tomatoes. When the temperatures are steadily at 60 degrees you can reliably start most all of your urban garden vegetables and herbs with a high rate of success.

Got questions about specific plants where you live? Leave a comment or email me at and we’ll get you growing in no time!

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