I hope everyone is having a great and healthy start to the New Year! Even with January’s short days and colder weather, there are plenty of fun things that can and should be done in the garden. There is always something to be done in the garden in Texas — it is truly a 12-month activity. I am going to briefly go over a few gardening tips things that should be done during the month of January as well as which fruits and vegetables thrive the best when planted this time of year. Here goes!
Gardening in January:
Plant onions at the end of the month – Don’t be in a rush to do this. It is best to wait until the last few days of January but this is the best time to start planting onions. This time of year you will want to plant onion slips which are small baby onion plants. If you want to plant onions from seed that needs to be done in the fall. For most people, however, planting from slips in late January is the best way to go. You can plant both bulb-type onions and green or bunching-type onions during this time frame. Green onions are the kind that you eat the top portion and do not produce a large bulb. They are sometimes called Scallions. For bulb type, I recommend 1015 Y, Texas Legend, Grano, Granex for white and yellow onions, and Red Creole and Red River for a red type. For green onions try Crystal Wax, Bermuda, or Evergreen Bunching. These are just a few standards that have done well for me but there are also many new varieties that are worth trying out.
Plant Leeks – Leeks are like giant green onions. They have a really good flavor when cooked down and they do well when planted this time of year. Lancelot is a great variety but there are others that would do just fine also.
Plant fruit trees – I love growing fruit trees so this time of year is always really exciting for me. Seeing the nurseries fill up with all the new and standard varieties is exciting, so be sure to make a trip to your favorite local garden center. Whether you are planting container-grown fruit trees or bare root trees, this is the best time of year to start. I have written several blogs in years past and I highly recommend checking them out if you are interested in this subject. You can read them here.
Get seeds started indoors – If you like to start your own warm weather transplants from seeds like tomatoes and peppers, this is the time to get them going. Just remember they need to be indoors during the cold weather. There are many seed starting kits available as well as grow lights that can help make this task more successful. Look online or at your favorite garden center for seed starting supplies.
Plant pansies for ornamental color – Pansies flowers are the unsung hero of the garden. I have seen them sit with ice on them for several days then start right back blooming as soon as the ice melted off. They have no equal as far as winter flowers go. If planted now they will continue to look great into the late spring. Pansies come in all different colors and the flowers are edible too!
Plan for spring – This is also a great time to read through seed catalogs and start deciding what you want to plant for the year ahead. Review last season and think about what did well and what did not. Think about anything new you would like to try. January is the best month to get a garden plan together for the year ahead.
I love this time of year as it is a great time to contemplate the year ahead and realize the promises your garden can hold! I hope these tips and ideas will inspire you for the gardening year ahead. Until next time, happy gardening!