What to sow and grow in January

Antirrhinum majus 'Double Madame Butterfly Mixed' F1 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan

Start antirrhinum seeds off in January
Image: Antirrhinum majus 'Double Madame Butterfly Mixed' F1 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan

January might feel like a dormant month as far as growing is concerned, but there are a fair few flower seeds, fruit plants and vegetable seeds that can be started under glass. Here are the main plants to sow and grow now, for rich pickings come springtime, and for more information about other gardening jobs to start in January, read our companion guide today.

Flowers to sow and grow

Sweet pea 'Top to Bottom' from Thompson & Morgan

Start sweet peas off in gentle heat now
Image: Sweet pea 'Top to Bottom' from Thompson & Morgan

In the greenhouse/indoors

Vegetables and herbs to sow and grow

chitted potatoes sitting in egg cartons

January is the time to start chitting your seed potatoes
Image: Swell Photography/Shutterstock

In the greenhouse/indoors

  • Start chitting (sprouting) first early potatoes as they arrive. Stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place.
  • Grow potatoes in containers under cover in potato bags for a very early crop (Charlotte potatoes are a good variety for this). 
  • Sow celeriac and celery in a heated propagator.
  • Grow your favourite herb seeds on your windowsill to bring colour and fragrance into your kitchen and provide fresh greens early in the year.
  • Give exhibition onion seeds, like onion ‘Ailsa Craig’ and ‘Globo’, a head start. Sow these now to give the bulbs time to grow as big as possible. Sow seeds in modular trays in a warm place. Grow the seedlings on in cooler conditions after germination until all risk of frost has passed, then transfer them outdoors.
  • Start salad seeds, cauliflowers, spring onions and spinach on a bright windowsill indoors for tasty early greens.
  • Sow broad bean ‘The Sutton’ in pots now. Keep the pots in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.

Fruit to sow and grow

Raspberry 'Heritage' from Thompson & Morgan

Start planting raspberry canes on sunny sites
Image: Raspberry 'Heritage' from Thompson & Morgan

In the greenhouse/indoors

In the cold frame/under cloches

Strawberry 'Mara des bois' from Thompson & Morgan

Plant strawberries under cover in January to get an early summer crop
Image: Strawberry 'Mara des bois' from Thompson & Morgan

  • Plant strawberry runners and bare root plants under cloches to get an earlier crop of fruit this summer. 

Plant outdoors

  • Plant raspberry canes providing the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Choose sunny sites with free-draining soil. Grow a few varieties with different cropping times to extend the season.
  • Plant blueberries this month in acidic soil. If you're looking for something a bit different, try planting the nutritious Blueberry ‘Pink Sapphire’ for unusual pink super sweet fruit.
  • Plant bare-root fruit trees in January providing the ground isn’t frozen.

Keep one step ahead — what to order this month:

Dahlia 'Creme de Cassis' from Thompson & Morgan

Start thinking about your summer borders in January
Image: Dahlia 'Creme de Cassis' from Thompson & Morgan

  • Order first early potatoes for planting next month. Start thinking about which second early potato varieties you want to grow too.
  • Think about ordering summer-flowering bulbs over the next few months for planting when frosts are over. Choose gladioli for statuesque spires of colour and dahlia tubers for huge blooms.
  • Order asparagus plants now. Prepare beds for planting before you order so you can put your crowns straight into the ground when they arrive.
  • Make a note of any winter-flowering annuals that are currently in bloom in your garden for re-ordering next autumn.

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