Gardener’s January To-Do List: Zone 3-6
Your USDA hardiness zone is determined by the average annual minimum temperature.
ZONE 3 (-30F to -40F)
* For an early taste of spring, grow some sprouts. Mung bean, radish, and buckwheat sprouts grow well in vented jars. Just put the seeds inside, cover them with water overnight, drain, then rinse twice a day.
* Explore seed catalogs, then send in your orders.
* Start snapdragon and pansy seedlings.
ZONE 4 (-20F to -30F)
* Check the viability of old seeds by sprouting a few of each kind in damp paper towels enclosed in plastic bags.
* Set up your seed-starting system.
* Start a flat of hardy perennials or alpine strawberries
* Rearrange houseplants so that all get their share of bright light. Later in the month, give them a light feeding.
ZONE 5 (-10F to -20F)
* Gather your seed-starting equipment, then start seeds of pansies, snapdragons, and hardy perennials.
* Toward the end of the month, start onion seeds.
* Order seeds of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, and peas.
* Dig up a frozen chunk of chives and force them into early growth indoors.
* When the snow cover is thin, check shrubs and perennials. If the roots heaved up too close to the surface, press them back into place.
* Late this month, begin pruning apples.
* If rabbits are ravaging fruit trees and shrubs, lure them to a distant spot with corn or hay.
ZONE 6 (0F to -10F)
* Start hardy flowers under lights.
* In midmonth, start cabbage and onion seeds indoors.
* Order seeds for other cool-weather crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, celery, lettuce, and peas.
* Get your coldframe ready. Mound a 4-inch layer of leaves or soil around the outside to help it hold heat.
* Check winter mulches and replenish those that have thinned.
* Wrap wire mesh around tree trunks that have been damaged by rodents.
Adapted from Seed-Starting Primer & Almanac, by Organic Gardening readers. Copyright (c) 2002 by Rodale Inc. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Inc.
Adapted from Seed-Starting Primer & Almanac, by Organic Gardening readers.