What to plant in January

watermelons in season
Photo: iStockphoto

In cool temperate zones the switch is starting from summer crops to, believe it or not, winter plantings. Long season brassicas such as purple sprouting broccoli and heading cabbage can be started from seed now, along with root vegies such as beetroot, parsnips and carrots. The latter two will germinate strongly in sun-warmed soil.

In warm temperate areas, there’s still time to get in a late crop of corn, tomatoes and mini cucurbits such as 'Golden Midget' watermelon, Lemon cucumber and zucchini. Later in the month start sowing brassicas and roots.

Arid/semi-arid zones are baking hot in January. Focus on keeping existing plants well hydrated, and perhaps sow a late crop of heat-loving capsicums and eggplants.

In the subtropics the wet season should be well underway and monsoonal rains can be expected. Plant crops adapted to humid conditions such as basil, amaranth, malabar spinach, kang kong and okra.

The same applies to gardeners in the tropics – it’s wet and humid. Stick to genuine tropical plants such as galangal, snake bean, winged bean, Thai basil, West Indian arrowroot and taro.

Enjoy your summer gardening fellow garden lovers, and stay cool!

By: Justin Russell

First published: December 2016

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