2023 January Vegetable Gardening Tips

By January 24, 2023Garden Tips

Ira Wallace Southern Exposure Seed Exchange & Author of the The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast &Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia 


The steadily growing stack of new seed catalogs are a reminder that January is a good time to review your last year’s garden and plan for the coming season. This is also a good time to think about and order the tools you will need as well as the seeds you want for the coming season. Planning your garden has just gotten easier with the profusion of new online garden planners that help plan your plantings, keep track of crop rotations and even sends your twice monthly reminders of what needs to be planted for your garden plan. You can try the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Garden Planner free for 7 days to see how it works for you.

Pay special attention to which weeds grew in different areas. They are good indicators of the condition of your soil. Dock and morning glory indicate low calcium and phosphorus levels. Trumpet vine, dock, poke weed and other deep-rooted weeds indicate a compacted subsoil. If you’d like to learn more about garden weeds, Charles Walter’s book, “Weeds: Control Without Poison” contains a wealth of information about what weeds can tell you about your soil, and how to control them naturally.

By late-January under cover :sow onions, (WallaWalla, New York Early, Deep Purple, Evergreen Hardy White), lettuce,( Austrian Yellow, Salad Bowl, Black Seeded Simpson, Wild Garden Mix) cabbage(Early Jersey Wakefield, Early Flat Dutch, Red Acre,), spinach, early broccoli(Calabrese, Green Goliath), oriental greens(Tatsoi, Tokyo Bekana, Pak Choi. I also like to sow a small flat of quick maturing  tomatoes and  peppers for  my earliest transplants to the Garden and  spring cold frame.

If you need more cold frames for early plantings, Gardenway’s “Building and Using Cold Frames” has a number of simple, easy-to-build plans just right to fill a cold December day with thoughts of spring. Don’t forget to place your seed orders early to avoid disappointment, and to add something new and fun to your garden.