Moving from California, where I could garden year round, I found myself aching to do some gardening this January. Looking out at the snow-filled landscape, I closed my blinds and resigned myself to my winter hot chocolate and warm sweaters. I sat brooding on my couch and thought, “Is gardening possible in January in Utah?” After sitting for a minute, I realized that while there is not a lot that can be done outdoors in January, a great garden starts indoors! Here is a list of my top garden tips for joyful gardening in January in Utah County.
Gardening in January Tip #1 – Make a Garden Plan
The first thing I realized I needed to do was to make a backyard garden and patio design plan. I used sketchboard.me to draw up my designs. While labor intensive, this free tool made designing things and moving things around quite simple. It is a public board, so if you want to keep it private you will need to pay for an upgrade.
In my backyard garden design, I was able to see exactly where I need to move my grape plants to, how many raised beds I would have to work with, as well as plan which fruit trees I really wanted to plant. Leaving a full CA orchard was hard, but there is still plenty that can be done in a small backyard garden. I have planned for a berry patch, a secret garden retreat, 8 fruit trees, and 7 raised beds. In addition to this, I want to build a full patio with fire pit for entertaining and joyful eating of our garden produce. Dreaming and planning is a great way to get you through the winter blues.
Gardening in January Tip #2 – Decide on what you want to grow
The next tip is to decide on what you want to grow. After planning out my garden design, I sat down and made a list of all the fruits and vegetables that I wanted to grow this year. I got some great advice from a fellow gardener. She said, “Don’t plant what you don’t eat.” While it sounds simple, I have planted SO many different things in the past only to have them go to waste because I never used them. One example is egg plant. I like it in maybe two dishes, and I had eggplant coming out of my ears. So…I’ll buy egg plant if I ever want to make those dishes and save the garden space for something I love like corn or green beans.
Another good resource for deciding on what to plant is to ask you family. Involving the kids allows them to take ownership in the garden and will encourage them to eat the fruits and vegetables later on in the year.
Gardening in January Tip #3 – Order Your Seeds
The last tip is to go ahead and order your seeds. After you have decided on what you want to grow, get a jump start on the season and order the seeds you want. That way, you will be ready to start seeds indoors when the time comes. There are countless of seed companies out there. This year I got plants and seeds from www.groworganic.com and www.gurneys.com. I love having variety in my garden. Here is a list of the garden seeds that I ordered this year:
- Organic Charentais Melon (cantaloupe)
- Asparagus – Jersey Knight
- Asparagus – Mary Washington
- Blueberry – South Moon
- Blueberry – Ka-bluey
- Strawberry – Charlotte
- Strawberry – Gurney’s Whopper
- Potato – Yukon Gold
- Potato – Red Pontiac
- Watermelon – Sangria
- Watermelon – Gurney’s Delight
- Lettuce Leaf Salad Bowl
- Sweet Pepper Gurney’s Giant II
- Tomato Gurney Girl’s Best
- Bush Bean Jade II
- Summer Bounty Squash
- Sweet Burpless Cucumber
- Tendersweet Carrot
- Candy Onion
- All American Parsnip
- Red Mist Leaf Lettuce
- Broccoli Blue Ribbon
- Sugar Ann Snap Pea
- Evergreen White Bunching Onion
- Blue Lake Pole Beans
- Mega Gold Sweet Pepper
- Nantes Carrot
- Sungold Cherry Tomato
- Titus Celery
- Buttercrunch Lettuce
- Simply Irresistible Sweet Corn
I own other seeds as well but several are no longer viable. Having a large variety of seeds brings me great joy and allows me to try new fruits and vegetables.
As you can see, gardening in January in Utah County IS possible, you just need to be creative! Stay tuned until next month where I show you how I set up my seed starting and began gardening indoors in February! Thanks for reading and for sharing my joyful journey with me!
Finding Joy in Everyday Living!
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