Gardening in January

Plan now for a successful harvest

Blackberries waiting patiently during winter before blooming and going to fruit to provide nature’s goodness (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – While January may feel like a good month to be as dormant as our gardens appear, this is the month that lays the foundation of the upcoming season’s bounty. From seed starting to drawing up plans for this year’s garden, tasks performed in January often hold the key to a successful harvest. 


  • Give your indoor plants a thorough cleaning since dusty houseplants cannot absorb light or exchange moisture. If humidity is low, give them a good spritzing after their dusting. 
  • While cleaning, examine the houseplants closely for insects and treat them accordingly. 

Planning for planting 

  • Draw up plans for your spring planting. Graph paper is a wonderful tool to use to get accurate dimensions.  
  • Remember to rotate your crops from the past season to discourage pests and encourage soil integrity. 
  • Review notes from last year’s planting and start a list of successful varieties to use again and a list of unsuccessful varieties to avoid. 

Prepare for seed starting 

  • Locate or purchase seed starting necessities, which can include seed starting soil, trays and/or pots, lights and heat mats. 
  • Sterilize trays, containers and pots. 

Start seeds 

  • Seeds for the first planting of onions, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and head lettuce can be started now. 
  • Perennial flowers can be started at the end of the month. 
  • Herbs and flowers with long germinations, such as rosemary and begonias, can be started. 


  • Begin projects such as trellises and cold frames. 
  • Clean out existing cold frames. 
  • At the end of the month, mow cover crops 

Copyright 2023 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.