January is a frigid month in the Midwest. Not much is growing at this time of year and it’s too early to start seeds indoors. That doesn’t necessarily mean that my gardening to-do list is completely empty though. The bulk of planning for this year’s garden happens in January.
I am sharing monthly garden to-do lists here on the blog for two reasons: for my future self to refer back to and for fellow gardeners to see the types of things I’m doing each month to stay on top of the garden.
Here’s what I’m planning to do for the garden this month:
- Plan which crops I want to grow this year.
- Take inventory of which seeds I still have from last year.
- Order my seeds.
- Begin gathering needed supplies for starting seeds indoors.
I’d like to share the tasks on my garden to-do list for January. Though it may seem like nothing can be done for the garden during these bleak winter days, so much planning takes place now! Curious what other gardeners do during the winter in preparation for the new gardening season? Continue reading and I’ll share my list with you. I also plan to share a list like this one for each month of the year, so come back for more all year round!
Planning The Crops for This Year
This is where the dreaming takes place. I let my mind go wild with thoughts of rows of popcorn, creeping arches of beans, hundred of blushing tomatoes, and so on.
After the dreaming takes place, it’s time to take a step back and think through logistics.
- How large of a garden can I actually manage?
- What does my family eat?
- How much do I want of each crop?
- How much space with these crops need in order to thrive?
- Can I properly preserve the excess food?
Those are just some examples of how I take my dream garden and properly scale it according to my current phase of life.
Taking Inventory of Seeds
Oh, how many times, in my giddiness for spring, have I purchased new seeds only to realize that I already have many of them from the previous year. This month I will pull out my old seeds, determine which are probably still good, and then decide which purchases I need to make this year.
I’ve found that this intentional step in the garden planning process can save you quite a bit of money long term!
I have always ordered my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, but there are so many great resources out there! I so enjoy flipping through the seed catalogue before hopping online to place my order!
Here are some other amiable seed companies that I’ve heard recommended:
Gathering Needed Supplies for Indoor Seed Starts
This means taking inventory of the supplies I have from previous gardening years.
Do I have everything I need for starting seeds indoors?
- Grow lights
- Heating mats
- Seed starting trays
- An adequate place to start and keep them inside for 2-3 months
- Something to label the trays
I know that we have most of this supplies already, but I will also check that everything I have still works and doesn’t need to be replaced.
Tasks such as the ones mentioned above, though they seem small and mundane, are what kick-start my excitement for the coming garden. Dreaming as I flip through seed catalogues, preparing my supplies for future plants, and anticipating what this year will hold for my garden. Spring will be here before we know it!
More on Gardening
- My Gardening Schedule
- Food That Tells a Story
- A Tour Through my Summer Garden
- How to Plant Tomato Starts
- Using a Grow Light | Seedlings
- The Basics to Starting Seeds Indoors