Those who grow vegetables know the importance of planning. January is a great month to grow vegetables here in Central Florida (Zone 9b). It’s a new year filled will new resolutions, goals, and dreams. If you’re looking to add gardening to your list, or just looking for a planting guide for your current garden, then keep on reading to learn what to plant in January in Central Florida – Zone 9b.
Florida Vegetables You Can Grow In January
Below are the vegetables and varieties that do well in Central Florida and when to plant them. In January you can plant both warm and cool-season plants here in Florida.
Warm Season: Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes *Please note, you should start these indoors this month
Cool Season: Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Endive, Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Bunching Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Turnips
Gardening Recommendations and Tips For January
To help you with your garden this month, I’ve collected a list of the top articles on this site that could be beneficial for you. Feel free to check out any topics you’d like to read more about.
While you can start growing warm-season plants now here in Florida, I would personally recommend starting them indoors for the first couple of months of the year. Eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes do well indoors with a grow light and can be transplanted easily (unlike cucumbers and beans which are much more sensitive). I typically start mine indoors for a month or two before transplanting outdoors. Check out How to Start Seeds Indoors to learn more. And I use biodegradable seed starter trays. The benefit of starting your warm-season plants earlier in the year is to prolong their growing season. It starts to get pretty hot mid-year.
One of my favorites to grow in January is Sugar Snap Peas. You can snap these right off the vine and pop them in your mouth. The cooler weather adds to their sweet, crisp flavor. These are great on a salad.
While January is a great time to plant in Florida, it’s also a good time to get a frost blanket if you don’t have one already. Check out the post Protect Your Plants from the Cold to learn more about keeping your plants warm. There are maybe a dozen times during the season where I pull mine out to cover my plants, typically during December through March.
If you’re just starting to plan your garden this month then I recommend checking out Using a Garden Planner. I use a garden planner every season and it has helped me a ton with keeping track of what works and what doesn’t and planning for the future. If you’re still designing your garden layout this month I also recommend checking out Companion Planting and Crop Rotation. These help to give your garden an organic advantage to preventing your soil from being depleted and decreasing the number of pests in your garden.
If you don’t already have a reliable seed source, I recommend Botanical Interests. The majority of the seeds I buy come from here. I find the company to be extremely reliable, and provide a wide variety of organic and heirloom seeds.
There are multiple varieties when it comes to vegetables that you can plant that are more tolerant of Florida’s heat and humidity. Picking the right varieties is important for your success. The varieties that work well in Florida are included in the chart below.
What to Plant in January in Central Florida Vegetable Guide
Below you’ll find the January Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida – Zone 9b. You can print this out and hopefully, it makes your planning a little bit easier. 🙂
Planting dates here are based on the University of Florida IFAS Extension, and you can find more information on that here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu
And if you’re not sure what zone you’re in, you can check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you go to their website you can type in your zip code for confirmation of your location. The picture below is from their site:
Because I have raised garden beds, I do my planting based on square feet. Square foot planting is included in the chart. For example – if you’re growing cabbage you only want to plant one seed per square foot. For carrots, you can plant 16 per square foot.
Days to harvest depend on the quality of your soil, so keep that in mind when waiting for your vegetables to ripen – they can take longer than the time stated above. Days to harvest are also based on when your seed germinates, and not when you plant your seed.
I hope this January Vegetable Planting Guide for Central Florida helps you with your garden!
Interested in getting a head start for next month? Check out the February Planting Guide.