Living in the blessed South it is 76 degrees here in Georgia as I write this blog... and it has me anxious to get outside and start planting my vegetables but be warned, it is just a false Spring! Real Spring is still a few short weeks away. We can still get outside and satisfy our NEED TO SEED!
I love reading Walter Reeve's Georgia Gardener advice - he is a wealth of information as are our Extension Agents! Here is a link to Walter Reeve's site: http://www.walterreeves.com/seasonal-gardening-calendar/january/
I highly encourage you to try raised bed gardening, especially if you are gardening first time! We have 4 raised beds which make it easy to put complimentary sister plants together and make weeding manageable. A raised bed does not have to be fancy, just functional.... you can make one from cinder blocks, old tires, lumber scraps or any combination of items. It just needs to be able to hold dirt and allow drainage of excess water.
In January, go ahead and start planning WHAT you want to grow - with so many choices it is easy to become over zealous and choose too many things - a salsa garden is a great way to start. Selecting out seeds and seedlings of plants that you would put together in a salsa recipe!
If you have at least a foot of soil, you can grow potatoes from just a few seed potatoes you will feel your family all year! If you have two feet of soil, you can grow wonderful sweet corn with climbing bean plants since the corn and bean compliment each other by providing micronutrients to each other.
After deciding what seeds you would like to grow - gather your materials for your raised bed. Make them small enough you can lean over and weed the middle easy enough while long enough to fill a decent row of seeds. One small packet of seeds is often enough for me to share with my neighbor!
You can start your seeds by recycling beverage cups, especially those made from recycled materials since they can go directly into your garden for more recycling! If you use wax paper or foam cups, they work great just remember to transplant your seedling around March. I've even started seeds in egg cartons and old plastic shopping bags filled with a shovel full of dirt. Remember, it doesn't have to be fancy, just functional.
Look around to see what you can recycle and in January - choose your seeds and build your raised beds - we will talk soil & composting next!