What should I be planting in January ? | Allotment Gardening for Beginners

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:21 pm

Planting in January largely depends on your local climate and growing zone. In many regions, January is a cold, winter month, and outdoor planting opportunities may be limited. However, there are still some gardening tasks you can undertake, especially if you have a greenhouse or live in a milder climate. Here are some suggestions for what you can plant in January, considering various scenarios:

1. In Mild Climates (Zone 9 and Above):

  • In regions with mild winters, you can plant cool-season vegetables like kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach. These plants are more cold-tolerant and can thrive in the winter months.

What should I be planting in January ? | Allotment Gardening for Beginners

2. In a Greenhouse:

  • If you have a greenhouse or a protected area, you can start sowing seeds for warm-season crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Starting them indoors now will give them a head start for transplanting once the weather warms up.

3. Indoor Seed Starting:

  • For areas with harsh winter conditions, starting seeds indoors is an excellent option. You can begin sowing seeds for vegetables and herbs like tomatoes, peppers, basil, and parsley. Use grow lights or a sunny windowsill to provide sufficient light for seedlings.

4. Bare-Root Fruit Trees and Shrubs:

  • Many fruit trees and shrubs are available as bare-root plants in January. You can plant these in your allotment, provided the ground isn’t frozen. Choose suitable varieties for your region and make sure to follow planting instructions.

5. Onions and Shallots:

  • Plant onion sets or shallot bulbs in January if the ground is workable. Onions and shallots are hardy and can be grown in cool temperatures.
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6. Perennial Herbs:

  • Plant perennial herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage, either in containers or in the ground if your climate allows. These herbs can withstand cooler temperatures and will establish themselves for future harvests.

7. Cover Crops:

  • Consider sowing cover crops like winter rye or crimson clover to protect and enrich the soil during the winter months. These can be turned into the soil in the spring to improve soil health.

8. Indoor Flowers:

  • If you enjoy growing flowers, you can start annual flower seeds indoors in January. Flowers like petunias, marigolds, and zinnias can be sown for early spring planting.

9. Garden Planning:

  • January is an excellent time to plan your allotment garden for the upcoming growing season. Take this time to create a garden layout, order seeds and supplies, and organize your gardening tools.

Remember that local climate conditions and your specific growing zone will influence what can be planted in January. Be sure to check with local gardening resources or consult with experienced gardeners in your area for more precise guidance on what to plant at this time of year.

Sowing and planting A few sowings of onions, lettuce, peas, broad beans, radish and early carrots can be made under protection towards the end of the month. The January sun can push temperatures quite high so give a little air to the transplanted lettuce plants on warm days closing down early in the afternoon.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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