January Gardening Checklist For Austin

January To-Dos

January Gardening Checklist - Add Compost

Add compost

January weather can be quite unpredictable. It’s not unusual to get a sudden warm day that tricks plants into emerging from dormancy. Be assured that it’s still winter. The average last frost day for the Austin area is March 11 to March 20. Use this month to plan for the year, sharpen your tools, and catch up on weeding.

Your January Gardening Checklist


Send in separate soil samples (forms available here) for your lawn, ornamental beds, and vegetable garden.


Water everything well before a freeze, but avoid overwatering.


Plant bare root and container-grown roses, shrubs, fruit and nut trees, groundcovers and vines. Start warm season vegetables like tomatoes and peppers indoors. Plant spring-flowering bulbs if you have not already.


Add compost. Check winter mulch and replenish, if needed. Cut down the cover crop and turn them under or leave on top for mulch.


If lawn has a history of brown patch problems, treat with a labeled fungicide late in the month. Repeat treatment in three to four weeks, if needed.


Check for mealy bugs and scale on indoor plants or those being overwintered in the greenhouse or garage.


Cut back perennials and ornamental grasses that have died back from cold. Cut perennials two to four inches above the ground. For grasses, cut back to six to 10 inches. Clean and sharpen tools. Inspect garden hoses and replace as needed.


Onion transplants should start appearing in the garden centers later in the month. Patty recommends ‘Texas Legend,’ ‘Texas Early White,’ ‘1015Y Texas Super Sweet,’ ‘Yellow Granex’ and ‘Southern Belle Red.’ Plant seeds of turnips, radishes, carrots, arugula, beets, kohlrabi, and peas directly into garden beds. Water as needed to keep soil moist and protect from frost if needed. Plant transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, Asian greens and artichokes. Cut back yellowed asparagus foliage. See the full Vegetable Garden Planting Guide (en español) and Vegetable Varieties for Central Texas.

Daphne on CTGAs a contributor to Central Texas Gardener (CTG), Daphne Richards, County Extension Agent-Horticulture, answers questions and shares knowledge on new and tried & true plants for Central Texas.  Check out some of our favorites for January!


CTGPlant cold hardiness|Daphne Richards|Central Texas Gardener
CTGPrune winter plants|Daphne Richards|Central Texas Gardener
CTGWinter bluebonnet tips|Daphne Richards|Central Texas Gardener
CTGWhy plants freeze|Daphne Richards|Central Texas Gardener


Get Growing!

President Thomas Jefferson said “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” This handy reference will help you pursue your own cultural delight and serve as a guide for what things to do in the garden each month: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December


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