Things to do in the garden in January

  1. Start your tomato seeds. Remember that tomatoes started from seed need at least six weeks before they are ready to put in the ground. If you start them now, they should be prepared by the end of February or early March to transplant.
  2. Plant fruit trees now.  The ground never freezes along the Gulf Coast, so January is a perfect time to put in fruit trees. Check area nurseries for healthy fruit trees. Or you may want to look around for other sales. Some master gardener organizations have fruit and nut tree sales o in January, as do arboretums and other gardening groups.
  3. It’s been a very mild winter, but keep an eye open for cold snaps. A few years ago, after an unusually warm winter, I planted my tomato seedlings on February 27, thinking (logically, I assumed) that winter was over. Two days later, an unexpected freeze came barreling down from the north. Although I covered them, I guess you know what happened to my babies. And you know what they say about “assuming.”
  4. You can also start peppers and eggplant from seed now.
  5. You could plant cool weather annuals now, but we’ve only got a month and a half left of possible cold weather.
  6. This is also a great time to have your soil tested.
  7. If you’ve got St. Augustine grass on your lawn, there’s no need to irrigate during January and February. In fact, St. Augustine goes dormant of most of the winter, and we get enough rain along the coast to provide for adequate moisture.
  8. You are probably already receiving seed catalogs. Use this time to plan out your garden and order seeds.