What to Plant in January-Zones 1-10

What to Plant in January

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I know what you are thinking; who the heck plants things in January?! January isn’t thought of as a prime planting and gardening month, but gardeners in frost-free zones know that this is the perfect time for cool-season vegetables. Knowing what to plant in January is the key. In case you missed this post, What Flowers to Plant in January

If you live in an area that does get frost, you can always plant indoors and then move your stuff outdoors as the season warms up. I highly recommend these for seedlings: CowPots and Organic Seedling Soil, this way you plant your seeds and place the CowPots in your garden when the temperatures are right. Where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow

It’s been harder to determine the time to plant outside the last few years because the weather has changed, unlike any time in history. I believe regular planting zone times are going to have to be changed very soon due to the uncertainty of the weather.

What to Plant in January

What to Plant in January

When it comes to gardening, it is important to know what zone you live in. Check here to find your zone. All you need to do to find your zone is type in your zip code. Below, you will see what you can plant in your zone in January!

How I store my garden seeds: 

Plastic Photo Container and Label Maker

Garden Seed Container

What to Plant in January in Zones 1-5

Planting Peas In The Garden

If you live in zones 1-5, it’s cold outside in January. This means that you must stick to growing things indoors.

There are vegetables called microgreens that can be planted indoors and harvested when they are young. In addition to microgreens, here are some other plants you can try:

  • Arugula
  • Beet greens
  • Mizuna
  • Pea shoots

Zone 6

Growing Celery In The Garden

In zone 6, you can start your plants inside because, in 8-10  more weeks, you can transplant them outside. You have a few more options in this zone than you do in zones 1-5. Some seeds you can start inside to transplant later include:

Zone 7

Freshly Picked Leeks From The Garden

You know how tricky the weather is to predict if you live in Zone 7. However, in this zone, you can plant things inside and then transplant them outside when the weather warms up. Some things that do well inside Zone 7 include:

Start these at the end of the month:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
Read More of My Articles  7 Crops To Grow For Food Storage

What to Plant in January in Zone 8

Growing Parsley In the Garden

If you live in Zone 8, you are in luck because you can plant things both indoors and outdoors. Many indoor seeds can be transplanted in 8-10 weeks. Here is what you can plant both indoors and outdoors in Zone 8:


Plants you can start indoors in January include:

These will need extra time to grow indoors before being transplanted outside. Start them early in the month. 


Getting ready to plant strawberry plants

Before planting outdoors, you want to check your soil and make sure it can be worked. If it is, then you can plant the following outside in January:

If the ground is not still saturated from winter, you can also plant the following:

  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Peas

Zone 9-10

Growing Kale In The Garden

If you want to know what to plant in January in Zones 9-10, keep in mind that gardening is in full swing for Zones 9-10.

The cool growing season is ideal for many herbs and vegetables both indoors and outdoors. If you live in these zones, you have a lot of possibilities. 


Planting a small basil seedling

In January, you can start seeds of vegetables and herbs inside to transplant them outside later. Here is what you can start:

  • Eggplants
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil

As the weather heats up, these seedlings can be transplanted outside. 


Broccoli seedlings ready to plant

In Zones 9-10, you have quite a few options for what to plant outdoors as well. Here’s what you can transplant outdoors:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage, cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Asian Greens

Here is what you can direct sow outside during January:

  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale 
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

How to Start Seeds Indoors

Because most zones in January are still cold, this means you may have to start many of your plants indoors.

Some plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers require much longer growing seasons than what your zone may offer. To ensure healthy growth, many gardeners will start their plants off inside.

If you are new to gardening, you may not know the best way to do this. Follow the instructions below to learn how to start your seeds indoors!

Buy Your Seeds

Before you begin, the first thing you have to do is to buy your seeds. You don’t want to buy any old seeds, however.

You want your seeds to be provided by a trusted source. Fresher, higher-quality seeds have a higher germination rate.

In simple terms, this means you will have more seeds sprout giving you a head start in growing deliciously nutritious veggies.

Pot Seeds with Seed-Starting Mix

The seed-starting mix isn’t soil. However, it provides near-perfect conditions for sprouting seeds. It does this by providing a good balance of drainage and water-holding capacity while minimizing disease.

Most garden soil is not good for starting seeds because it doesn’t drain well and may contain plant disease spores. 

Use Pots with Drainage Holes

You can pretty much plant your seeds in whatever you want as long as you poke some holes in the container to allow water drainage. Without water drainage, you can drown your plants or cause the roots to become diseased. Here are some pot ideas you can try:

Read More of My Articles  7 Tips for Sustainable Gardening

Plant Your Seeds Deep Enough

One thing that many tend to do is plant their seeds too deep. If you plant them too deeply, they won’t sprout. The rule of thumb is to plant your seeds 2-3 times as deep as the seed is wide. For example, a bean would be sewn about an inch deep.

Place Seeds in a Warm Location

After you sow your seeds, you will want to place the pots in a warm location. Some good ideas would be on top of the refrigerator or near a radiator. 

Keep Seed Starting Mix Moist

Your seedlings will need both air and water. Therefore, you should strive to keep the mix moist, but not completely saturated. To do this, think of a damp sponge that contains both air and water. 

Place Sprouts in a Bright Spot

As soon as your seedlings begin to sprout, you will want to move them to a bright or sunny location. You can place them in a sunny window.

However, if you aren’t getting a lot of sunshine, adding consistent light from supplemental fluorescent lights does the trick. Be sure to suspend the lights an inch or two over the plants. 

Fertilize Weekly

Once your seedlings have sprouted one or two sets of leaves, it is time to start fertilizing. Use a half-strength fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are the best choice because they provide nutrients and micronutrients that your plants need to thrive. 

Make Sure You Only Have 1 Seedling per Pot

You may notice two or more seedlings popping up. You only want 1 seedling per pot. Then, choose the healthiest and strongest-looking seedlings to keep. Cut the other seedlings off in the soil and discard them. 

Planting and growing your seedlings is a fun and rewarding way to kick off the gardening season. 

How To Hand Pollinate If You Need Too

Hand Pollinate Flowers

All you need is a paintbrush or cotton swab (see above). If you need to hand pollinate because you are not seeing any fruit develop, here is something you may want to try. You do this by removing the male blossom (male blossoms do not have fruit behind them).

They produce pollen leaving the center covered in the pollen to collect with the brush or swab. Use a brush or swab to apply the pollen you collected to the center of the female flower. This works for squash, melons, and cucumbers every time.

Please Check Out What To Plant Each Month:

Garden Gloves

These are my favorite garden gloves: DIGZ Garden Gloves They come in different sizes, and that’s what I love the most. These are the best rose bush gloves: DIGZ Rose Bush Garden Gloves I have to get a large size for my hands. These are awesome!

Final Word

As you can see, what to plant in January depends on what zone you live in. If you live in zones 9-10, you have quite a few more options for planting in January than those who live in zones 1-5. Check out our other posts to find out what to plant each month of the year! May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Lettuce Deposit photos_229581018_s-2019

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  1. Linda, Thanks for the reminder. It’s time for me to do a succession planting of cool weather crops and start my tomato seeds indoors. My hoop houses make my Zone 8b area more like Zone 9b, so I can grow cool weather crops all winter long. Some of my Bok Choi plants are starting to bolt and I will allow the best to grow and bolt so I can save the seed. By this time next month I’ll be eating fresh asparagus, along with the other cool weather crops I’m currently harvesting. My snow peas have been producing like crazy since last October and will continue through April barring a disaster.

    1. Hi Ray, this is so awesome about your garden!! I forgot I was going to get some BokChoy seeds! I want to grow that so badly! It feels sogood going outside to pick fresh veggies year-round. I LOVE hearing this! Linda

  2. Linda,

    Here is is 2024 and I just harvested what will probably be the last of my tomatoes, bell and banana peppers, and chard (since we are supposed to get a hard freeze tonight and I haven’t covered anything yet). My summer plants have hung around and been productive for so long I haven’t even started my winter stuff–except for bok choi (which is bolting), peas, (which the quail and other birds got because I didn’t put up the bird netting), lettuce (which is doing nicely), and carrots (most of which were also eaten by the quail). My own fault for not getting the netting put up in time. But sometimes life interferes.

    I will cover the bok choi so it can finish off and give me fresh seeds for replanting.

    I will be planting more peas, cabbage, carrots, broccoli and other cool weather crops in a few days. Also, I’ll be starting my tomatoes and squash (inside) next week. Since my Mortgage Lifter and Gardener’s Delight tomatoes did so well I’ll plant them again from saved seeds. Same with my banana peppers, Hopi Gray Squash and Black Beauty Zucchini.

    My asparagus is already coming up so I’m getting a very early crop this year–hope it lasts.

    My apple trees have already broken bud and leafed out (not good if we get a serious freeze).

    Oh, and the chickens are all still laying despite temps down in the 30’s at night so I think the mash and crimped oats supplement to their feed is working.

    1. Hi Ray, oh my gosh, you know I love hearing about your garden! In Southern Utah we would not have tomatoes right now, you are rocking! Great tip on the supplement feed for the chickens, that’s so awesome! I can almost take the the vegetables you talk about! Man, I miss gardening! Hopefully this year!! Linda

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