January is usually the coldest month in Phoenix. Freeze warnings often occur several nights, so either protect your frost sensitive plants or just decide to let them go. Freezes are important because they kill some insects and plant diseases that would otherwise linger into the next season. They also help our deciduous fruit trees bear fruit as long as they haven’t begun to bloom.
Just remember that if the nice weather entices you to plant tender seedlings, you may have to protect them for several nights. Our traditional last frost date is February 15 after all. It’s been a lot warmer the last couple years, so we get used to planting earlier. You never know when the weather will change, however, so always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
Vegetables and Herbs to Plant Now
Bareroot asparagus, strawberries, and fruit trees. Also cabbage, carrots, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli raab, cilantro, collards, dill, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, mizuna, mustard, onion bulbs, parsley, peas, peppers, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, tomato transplants (keep protected), thyme and mint transplants.
Flowers to Plant Now (don’t forget the pollinators!)
African daisies, Ageratum, Alyssum, Bachelor Button, Calendula, California Poppy, Candytuft, Carnation, Clarkia, Delphinium, Everlastings, Gaillardia, Globe Amaranth, Godetia, Gypsophila, Helichrysum, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupines, Nicotiana, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Pinks, Poppy, Salpiglossis, Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Sweet Peas, Sweet Sultan, Sweet William, Verbena, Viola, Nasturtium, and Wildflower mixes.
What You Can Harvest Now (if you planted it, of course)
Jerusalem artichokes, arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli raab, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, collards, dill, endive, fennel, kale, lettuce, mint, mizuna, mustard greens, onions, oregano, marjoram, parsley, peas, radishes, rosemary, spinach, thyme, turnips, spinach, sage, swiss chard, citrus, chile pequins, and chiltepins.
Don’t worry if your garden isn’t ready in January.
You may want to save your energy for next month when timing does matter. For now, you can be piling on the compost and letting the worms do their thing. If you don’t have compost, simply dig a hole in your garden and put your kitchen scraps in it and cover. Keep doing this all around your beds and you’ll have amazing soil in no time.