January Monthly Garden Checklist

January Monthly Garden Checklist

I don’t think there is a more optimistic human being than the vegetable gardener with a pile of new seed catalogs, pouring through them in the dark depths of winter. All futures are verdant, bright, and perfect. Sigh.

January is all about preparation, planning and dreaming; let’s get cracking.

Garden Planning

  • A good first step is to order a few seed catalogs for suppliers who specialize in your area. If you are a return customer, you will likely already have received them by early January.
  • You’ll need to create your annual garden plan. I’ll soon have a link to my Excel Spreadsheet and an article explaining how to use it. It will help you build a master list, and auto-calculate how many plants you’ll want.
  • Make a list of your desired plants & varietals, indicating seeds you’ll buy now or plants you’ll buy later at the nursery
  • Order seeds, onion sets, and seed potatoes (if starting plants from seed)
  • Order fruit trees, cane fruit & vines

Garden Preparation

  • Clean out any remaining dead leaves or debris in your garden beds
  • If weather permits, get an early start on weeding and add mulch to paths
  • Cut and turn in any cover crops
  • Add compost or fertilizer to your planting beds
  • Prune your fruit trees
  • Apply dormant oil to fruit trees
  • Organize & sterilize seed starting supplies, and make a list of any needed seed starting equipment
  • Check your winter storage crops (potatoes, apples, etc.) for rot
  • Check your fall-planted garlic bulbs – you should see green shoots

Sow & Plant

Sow indoors your early seeds starts:

  • Peas
  • Fava Beans
  • Spinach
  • Onions & Shallots (from seed)


Continue to harvest any over-wintered veggies:

  • Brassicas
  • Root Vegetables
  • Leeks
  • Greens


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