Gardening in January – What to do and where to start

Contrary to popular belief, gardening in January doesn’t have to be something that you steer away from and avoid until the weather picks up. January offers a fresh start and the foundations for a winter garden in full bloom come the spring.

We know that January is often branded as the coldest month but get wrapped up and get outside to sew the seeds of Spring. Be aware that a new year often requires some new gardening equipment such as new compost to make sure your seedlings are getting all of the nutrients that they need to flourish.  

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Sowing seeds in January is a great way to ensure that you’re going to get blooms in the warmer months – some seeds thrive after being planted in the cooler months so it is worth knowing which! You can also begin to cut down the flowering perennials back down to ground level.

  • Chillies

Make sure you sow your seeds thinly, using around 2-3 seeds per pot. Make sure your pots aren’t too big and that you use seed compost. It should take 3-10 days for germination.

  • Aubergines

Make sure you sow aubergine seeds thinly, using around 2-3 seeds per pot. Make sure your pots aren’t too big and that you use seed compost. It should take 3-10 days for germination.

  • Basil

Make sure that you sow your seeds thinly covering them with seed compost. You will be able to harvest your basil between May to October. 

  • Sweet Peas

Sweet peas will flower between June and August. Make sure you sow your seeds around 6cm deep in a 7cm pot and use seed compost. The seeds will take around 10-14 days to germinate and should be placed in an unheated greenhouse.

  • Dahlias

Dahlias will flower between July and October and should be sown in small pots with seed compost. Germination takes approximately 5-20 days.


If you own a greenhouse, allotment or even just a small vegetable patch in your garden then January is when you can begin to prepare your veg! So what can you do to kick start your veg in January? In this list, there are the vegetable seeds we recommend planting at the start of the year.

  • Broadbeans

If you live in a mild area, sow your broad beans in pots during January and leave them in an unheated greenhouse.

  • Carrots

Sow your carrot seeds under cloches if you’re going to be planting them in January to keep them protected.

  • Cabbages and cauliflowers

Sow any cabbage or cauliflower seeds indoors for early crops. This way you will make sure they will be ready by harvest time.

  • Potatoes

Seed potatoes can be stored in trays in preparation for planting in March. Make sure that they’re stored in a frost-free and cool area.

In general, January can sometimes see the aftermath of a neglected garden due to the coldness and often wetness that the winter months bring. But you don’t have to get in the garden and start planting, there is more that you can do to make life easier when it comes to a busy garden schedule come springtime.

General tidy-ups and making sure the wildlife in your garden is okay following the difficulties of winter can be a rewarding and helpful endeavour.

  1. Garden leaves
    There are more things to do in the garden other than planting seeds in the cold! Instead, you can get your garden prepared for the upcoming months by cleaning up the winter leaves. Be careful of hibernating hedgehogs, you may want to sweep your leaves into one pile to encourage hedgehogs to find refuge in your garden.
  2. Defrost your birdbaths
    Don’t forget to defrost your birdbaths because we often neglect our garden birds during the winter but they still need looking after. Cold weather can be particularly difficult for birds to find unfrozen water and food so make sure you put your birdfeed out like you would in the summer.
  3. Fertilise
    Dig over empty areas of ground, turning them over with a fork in preparation for planting, emptying in some manure to fertilise the ground.
  4. Used Christmas tree
    Take your used Christmas tree and shred it, using it as mulch.
  5. Tidy up
    Delve into your greenhouse and get it prepared for the upcoming months, clean out old pots and do a general tidy so that you’re ready to hit the ground running come spring.
  6. Start forcing rhubarb
    Using a pot, cover your rhubarb and tape all holes to ensure there is no light getting, this will help the stems grow faster.

We hope that this blog has given you some encouragement to get into the garden this upcoming January and that it isn’t a wasted venture. Whether you’re tidying up the ground and flower beds in preparation for the upcoming growth, or you’re thinking ahead to sowing your veg January is a great time to get yourself up and into the garden after Christmas. 

Why not check out our gardening range here at Gardeners Dream to make sure you’ve got everything to begin your journey?

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