Seeds to Start in January
Are there any seeds to start in January? It’s cold. Spring is months away. And in some places, the ground is frozen solid. This all may be true. And yet, there are some that would make the argument there are seeds to start in January. Living in Texas, the exceptionally long growing season can spoil one to the late winter freezes (if they even come) and early Spring thaws (if they’re even needed).
Further north, however, the ground is much more likely to not be ready for tilling for several months, let alone ready for temperature sensitive seeds to be sown. Generally, if you are in zones 7, 8, 9 or 10 (within the United States), there are some cold weather seeds to start in January.
These will mostly be cold weather vegetables, herbs and trees. Due to it being the depths of winter, these will almost all be started indoors in order to be ready to transplant, harden and spring into action once the time is right and the soil is ready! (Check out our Click and Grow Review for our favorite way to start seeds indoors!)
You can check which hardiness zone you live in using the map on this website.
If you are interested in growing any of these seeds, Just click on the picture or the name of the plant to order them from Renee’s Garden. We are very proud and honored to have them as a partner. They offer non GMO, certified organic, and pollinator friendly seeds!
Gardening Zones 3-5 (6)
Unfortunately, is you are in zones 3-5 (perhaps even 6), it will still be too early to consider starting seeds in January. No need to fret, however. Our next article on January Gardening Tasks will give you plenty to do in the mean time!
Gardening Zone 7
In zone 7 there are a handfuls of long-growing vegetables and herbs you can start indoors. These plants tend to take a long time to reach maturity, and getting an early start will help increase crop yields. (Depending on how mild the winter is, sometimes zone 6 can also start these indoors.) This list includes:
There are some other vegetables and a couple flowers and foliage plants that will do well with longer start times, but are best held until a little later in the month of January to be started. (The last week of January is recommended for these.)
Most flowers aren’t ready to be directly sown outdoors yet, but there is one that might do well this early in the year:
Gardening Zone 8
Zone 8 similarly allows for some early starts for long growers inside. With these seedlings started early on, a good amount of growth can be coaxed as to have a thriving plant primed for spring and ready to be transplanted, hardened, and off to the races, as it were. This list includes:
- Peppers (certain varieties or started mid-way through the month or a mild winter)
When the first couple weeks of January have passed, other cool season vegetables are able to be planted in the seed-trays and allowed to sprout for yield increases. Don’t forget that even when starting seeds in January indoors, you want to still use succession sowing (where you stagger plantings of crops in order to have a continual harvest later in the year).
In zone 8 there are a few crops and flowers that will do well-being sown outdoors as long as the ground isn’t frozen and is able to be worked. These are:
- Strawberries (as long as they are available in the local nurseries and garden centers)
- Fruit Trees (except citrus trees, wait until the weather is reliably warm)
Gardening Zone 9 & 10
In the mild winters, early and long growing season for zones 9 and 10, there are some plants that are often already in the ground and growing, including:
The longer time period allotted to zones 9 and 10 mean a different planting schedule than most other zones. Seedlings that were started in December should be going strong and ready to plant outdoors and be hardened off; including:
Indoors there are several seeds to start in January that will be ready to transplant when the weather really warms up. These are:
When it comes to outdoor direct sowing, there are a plethora of options for the zone 9/10 gardener that just can’t wait to get things growing. Don’t forget to make use of successive planting techniques. These include:
There ARE Some Seeds to Start in January!
Some plants are more sensitive to the cold and do not have the ability to withstand the winter. That is why to know which seeds to start in January is very important.
Due to the fact that much of the United States is not ready for planting outdoors this early in the year, knowing how to start seedlings indoors is very important if you want to have thriving seedlings ready to transplant as soon as the weather permits. One of the most popular ways to start seeds indoors is by utilizing a seed tray. These come in several sizes and shapes, some with lids, some individual planters that can be directly placed into the ground when it’s time to transplant.
Our favorite way to start seedlings indoors (the way we’ve got the best results) is by using our Smart Garden 9 from Click and Grow, and making use of their Experimental Seed Pods! For more information on the Click and Grow systems, check out our review by clicking here.
Seeds to Start in January Conclusion
In some places, the ground is frozen solid, which makes it difficult for plants to grow even if they do manage to withstand the cold. No one wants to waste time, effort or energy which is why I have made it easy to know what seeds to start in January based on where you live (within the United States.) For more information on your hardiness zones outside the United States, check out this website.
Do you have any recommendations or feedback to add to the discussion? Please feel free to comment below! I answer every comment. You can also email me at Randi@FairyCircleGarden.com.
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18 thoughts on “Seeds to Start in January”
My family and I have had a lot of fun gardening. However, we have always done it in March or April because Spring appears to be the best time to do it. However, I had no idea that things could begin to grow in January. It’s just too cold. Because I don’t have a way to grow plants indoors. So, would it be possible to plant even in the dead of winter? That, I believe, would prevent the foods from growing. If that isn’t the case, I’d like to start growing onions, basil, and leeks. Thank you for this informative article.
Thank you for your question and I am glad you and your family enjoy gardening. To properly answer your question I would have to know what zone you are in though. If you are looking for a great way to grow plants indoors I have a couple of ideas. One option is to use the Click and Grow Smart Garden system we reviewed here (https://fairycirclegarden.com/…). The other way is to use Indoor Seed Starting Supplies from our partners at Ferry Morse, we have not finished our article about them yet but here is a link if you would like to check them out! (https://www.kqzyfj.com/click-9…)
You are very luck in Texas, I am very envious of your climate and I read with great interest all the seeds you can plant so early in the year.
In the UK we can, assuming the ground isn’t frozen (it often is), plant bare root bushes and trees. Other than that I might start some lettuce or cabbage seeds off indoors. I’m more likely to wait till much closer to spring though, such is the UK climate.
I truly am very lucky to live in Texas, but I have always wanted to visit the UK so you are lucky too! Best of luck starting your lettuce and cabbage seeds! I am working on an article about growing tomatoes indoors right now, I will work on one about lettuce and cabbage as soon as I can!
I honestly never thought about starting to seed already in January, as in my country it is still freezing and snowing haha. But even for my zone, it is a good thing, as you said, to already start seeding indoors. Now that I think about it, sounds like a plan to get started on! I am thinking about celery and leeks, but there are nowhere to be found now in the stores, do you know of a place online that I can buy seeds? thanks!
I am glad the article inspired you! I should have made it clearer in the article, but if you click on the names of the plants it will take you to an awesome website where you can buy seeds! I will be editing the article as soon as possible to make this clearer thank you very much.
I am not much of a fan of gardening but I have a friend who loves gardening. I will be sure to share this article with her and I will let you know ow what she thinks. I actually have thought of starting a farm so I will come back to this article the day I become serious about it.
My husband used to feel the same way but he does love eating fresh food from the garden now! We want to have a farm someday as well. Please let me know if your friend liked the article!
Amazing site and great layout of content. there are so many crops i want to plant in my garden but i was not sure on what the best time to plant them is. this article has been really helpful, very educational. its also very nice to know how plants grow in different weather conditions. THANKS for such a great review.
Thank you so much and you are very welcome! I am very happy you found the article helpful and educational, that is why I do this. If you have any other gardening questions feel free to email me and I will be happy to help!
I am glad I live in Gardening zone 8 and I can set my vegetable seeds early enough to contemplate successive plantings. I will give cool-season vegetables such as carrots, peas, celery, and broccoli a try this year. I know that cool-season vegetables grow at temperatures 15 degrees F. cooler than warm-season vegetables.
I love living in zone 8 too! I wish you the best of luck with your cool season planting this year. I would love to see the results, if you want I will put them on our Facebook page!
Hi Randi, This article was particularly interesting to me because I live in SW Florida where the ground is never frozen. Nevertheless, for different reasons, I have had great troubles over the years with my herb garden. My husband built me a standing herb garden, but though I have planted it and tended it regularly, it is far too hot in summer for the herbs to survive, so I lose all of them (except chives). I’m trying something new this year. He bought me an Aerogarden for Christmas and I currently have basil, thai basil, dill, mint and curly parsley growing indoors. The thyme has not germinated so I have asked for a replacement. I’m really excited about it and hope that I will have a constant supply of fresh herbs from now on. I really enjoyed reading your article, thanks. Jenni.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the article! Your husband knows you well! 🙂 Sometimes there are hybrid varieties of different herbs and plants that will grow well in your local community. You might try asking around at your local nursery or co-op to see if any have tips or leads on herbs that will survive the Florida summer. Congratulations on having your husband buy you the Aerogarden! My husband purchased a similar product for me, the “Click and Grow Smart Garden”. I absolutely love it and did a review on it that you can read here. I would love to hear how you liked the Aerogarden! I hope to get one of those myself soon!
Hi Randi, thanks for the article – some very useful information here. I must confess to being too impatient in the past and have started seeds off indoors way to early for the cold and damp climate here in the UK. I had some great results getting seedlings going under lights indoors as early as February, but once they became bigger had to be moved outside and covered over. Unfortunately I lost most of them! I think perhaps even if you can keep the frost off them, then there’s just not enough natural light so early in the year. Any thoughts on how to manage early seedlings once they become too large to keep indoors? Thanks and best wishes.
I’m not as familiar with weather and temperature trends in the UK, but the first suggestion that comes to mind is to use reinforced floating row covers with lights on the inside of the cover. I can look into if there are any pre-made varieties available in the UK, but that would provide protection from the elements for the plants, allow for the hardening of them as well as provide the extra light needed when there is still a lack from the seasonal daylight or weather. I’d love to know what you decide to use and good luck gardening! Please keep me updated with an email to Randi@FairyCircleGarden.com
What I love about the field of gardening is that there are so many tricks in this hobby that can help you to have much success year-round in spite of the condition. Growing seeds indoors is a great way not only to get a jump start on the season but to garden year-round. No matter the weather we can always take our garden indoors and have much success. Thank you so much for sharing.
Where there is a will, there is a way. I think that goes double for gardening. 🙂 I may be biased though. 😉