Vegetables to Plant in January

A Zone by Zone Guide to January Gardening

Planting onion 'Ailsa Craig', close-up
Mark Winwood/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

There's not a whole lot going on in January for most of us, but it is definitely that time of year again when our thoughts loosely turn to gardening. Probably because most of us miss being out in the warmth with our hands in the dirt. There are certain vegetables to plant in January, which can tide you over until you can get outside more frequently and not be too cold.

In the first month of the year, you can still be active in gardening preparation even if you can't plant.

There are seeds and seed-starting supplies to purchase, and light setups to tweak. You can also replace any organic gardening equipment that needs it, or look into buying other gardening supplies you did not have before. All of that can be done without going outside into the cold air.

What You Can Plant in January

If you are really lucky and live in the right zone, though, you can start trying to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers from seeds. Not everything is ready to start planting in January though. Some plants will have to wait.

If you're in zones 1 through 5, you still have a bit of waiting to do before it's time to start vegetable seeds. However, if you're in zones 6 and above, these are some good vegetables to plant in January:

  • Zone 6 Indoors: Onions (from seed)
  • Zone 7 Indoors: Onions (from seed)
  • Zone 8 Indoors: Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli
  • Zone 9 Indoors: Leaf lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Outdoors: Peas, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, beets, potatoes, broccoli, and lettuce.
  • Zone 10 Indoors: Leaf lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Outdoors: Peas, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, beets, potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, and chard.

The best tomatoes to plant include Heirloom Blend, Roma, Purple, Cherokee Purple, and Brandywine. Pepper plant suggestions include Early Jalapeno, Sweet Banana, Super Chili, and California Wonder.

Sweet White Walla Walla, Yellow Sweet Spanish, Candy Hybrid, and Nebuka Evergreen are ideal onions to begin planting in January.

Other Plants to Plant in January

In addition to vegetables, there are several good herbs you can plant in January. Basil, oregano, chives, thyme, and parsley typically grow well at the start of a new year.

January is also ideal if you want to germinate spring flowers that will bloom in the spring. Annuals and perennials have various grow times, so be sure to read extensively about them depending on which varieties you want to grow. Pay attention to the grow times of each plant so that your flowers are ready to be planted after the final frost of the season--and successful at blooming in the spring. Marigolds, zinnias, daisies, geraniums, rudbeckias, and coneflowers, and poppies are ideal flowers that you can start growing in January.