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Vegetables to Plant in January: New Year, New Garden.

by Jack Bussey 06 Jan 2024

Winter Vegetables in the UK

January may bring chilly weather to the United Kingdom, but it also marks the beginning of a new gardening season. Despite the winter chill, there are several vegetables you can plant in January to kickstart your garden and enjoy a bountiful harvest later in the year. In this blog, we'll explore some UK-friendly vegetables that are perfect for planting in the early days of the year.

1. Broad Beans (Vicia faba)

Broad beans are a hardy winter vegetable that thrives in UK gardens. Sow broad bean seeds in well-draining soil in January, and they will establish strong roots during the winter months. Varieties like 'Aquadulce Claudia' are known for their cold tolerance and can provide an early crop.

2. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is another excellent choice for planting in January. Separate garlic bulbs into individual cloves and plant them about 2-4 inches deep, with the pointed end facing upward. Garlic prefers well-drained soil and can be left to grow throughout the winter, ready for a summer harvest.

3. Onions (Allium cepa)

Onions are versatile vegetables that can be sown from sets or seeds in January. Choose onion varieties suited for winter planting, such as 'Japanese Senshyu' or 'Sturon.' Plant them in well-prepared soil, ensuring good drainage.


4. Peas (Pisum sativum)

While early planting of peas can be challenging due to frost, you can start them indoors in January to get a head start. Once the seedlings are established, transplant them into the garden in late winter or early spring. Varieties like 'Early Onward' and 'Meteor' are well-suited for early sowing.

5. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Spinach is a leafy green that can withstand cold temperatures. Sow spinach seeds directly in the garden or in containers in January. With proper protection and care, you can enjoy fresh spinach leaves in early spring.

Spinach Leaves

6. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala)

Kale is a robust vegetable that can handle the UK's winter conditions. Plant kale seeds in January for a continuous harvest throughout the year. Varieties like 'Winterbor' and 'Red Russian' are known for their cold hardiness.

7. Winter Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Opt for winter lettuce varieties like 'Arctic King' or 'Winter Density' and sow seeds indoors in January. Transplant seedlings into well-prepared garden beds or containers in late winter. These lettuces can thrive in cool weather and provide fresh greens for salads.

Remember to protect your early plantings from harsh winter conditions by using cloches, row covers, or fleece to provide insulation. Additionally, ensure your chosen vegetables have proper drainage and receive adequate sunlight.

By planting these hardy vegetables in January, you'll set the stage for a productive and delicious gardening season ahead. Embrace the opportunity to grow your own fresh produce, even in the midst of winter, and reap the rewards of your early efforts when the warmer months arrive. Happy gardening!

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