It’s January, and we find ourselves right in the middle of the summer season. It’s in this month and the next that we experience the hottest daytime and night temperatures of the year.
With the weather so hot at this time, it’s important to keep up with the watering, especially for plants in containers.
The occasional heavy rains raise the humidity, and the warmth brings insects, so keep a lookout for any diseases or pests in the garden.
Cover fruit trees with bird-netting to protect the fruit, and support or prop up branches heavily laden with fruit if they look too heavy.
Not forgetting the vegetables, it’s now time to harvest early potatoes, garlic, shallots and globe artichokes.
Sow some winter brassicas such as swedes at this month, so they can be harvested in the winter season.
To ensure that indeterminate (tall growing/staking variety) tomatoes ripen their fruit this late in the season, pinch out the growing tips to stop further green growth and remove any side-shoots, so the plant’s vigour is directed towards the fruit.
Things to Do This Month:
- Continue tying growing vines and brambleberries such as blackberries and their hybrids back to supports or wires.
- Prune summer fruiting raspberries – after fruit is picked, cut out old canes and tie new canes (that have grown this year) to supports.
- Propagation of semi-hardwood (semi-ripe) cuttings is done in mid-late summer, use rooting hormone, and plant in moist commercial propagation mix, or make your own with one-part coarse propagating sand (washed river sand) and one part peat or coconut coir.
- Cut and dry herbs for winter use.
- Harvest seed from perennial plants.
- Last chance to sow vegetable seeds for harvesting in autumn.
- Keep an eye on water gardens and ponds, water levels can get low due to evaporation. Aquatic plants, including oxygenators, can become overgrown and require thinning at this time of year.
Vegetables and Herbs to Grow in January (Subtropical Climate)
|January Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant (Subtropical Climate Australia)||Sow/Plant||Harvest (weeks)|
|Beans (Dwarf, Bush)||dst||7-10|
|French Tarragon||t||30-40 days|
|Ginger||plant pieces of root||25|
|Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)||dst||7-12|
|Sweet Potato (Kumara)||plant shoots or cuttings (slips)||15-17|
|Zucchini (Courgette, Marrow)||dst||6-9|
d = sow seeds directly into ground
s = sow seeds into seed tray
ds = sow seeds directly into ground or seed tray
t = transplant seedlings (small plants) into larger pots or plant into ground
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Subtropical Climate) – January
To help improve these garden calendars, feedback and additional information from readers is greatly appreciated! Australia’s climate varies considerably, and local knowledge of when particular things need to be done in the garden are most helpful to others living in those area, so please feel free to share.