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Arizona Garden in January

Welcome to this Arizona garden in January guide. Navigating winter garden maintenance might seem daunting. This post shares practical tips for keeping your garden vibrant in the cooler months, with a focus on growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit in the low desert of Arizona.

Low desert includes elevations below 3500 ft in the Southwest, such as the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Jump to the printable download of “January Garden Checklist

Mustard Greens in Arizona Garden in January

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.


Nasturtiums in Arizona Garden in January
Nasturtium leaves

“Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year. For gardening begins in January with the dream.”

– Josephine Nuese

Low Desert Arizona Garden in January​


January is often the coldest time in the low desert Arizona garden. Although colder, it doesn’t mean you should stay inside this month. There are important garden tasks that need to be done this month, such as pruning roses and fruit trees (see a list of garden tasks for January below). Harvests from fall plantings continue throughout the month as you plan for your spring and summer garden

Keep reading for garden inspiration, a January garden checklist, and a list of vegetables, herbs, and flowers to plant in your Arizona garden in January.


Lacinato kale in Arizona Garden in January

Vegetables growing in the low desert Arizona garden in January


rizona-Garden-in-Januarygardening-garden-arizonagarden-Januarygarden-gardeninginarizona-desertgarden The low desert of Arizona includes cities in and around Phoenix, including Glendale, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Peoria, Apache Junction, Buckeye, Fountain Hills, Tolleson, Surprise, Sun City, Queen Creek, and Goodyear.

Kale is a superstar in the Arizona garden in January. Keep harvesting for a continuous supply. Frosty nights will sweeten the taste of kale. Grow several varieties of kale in your garden. 


Arizona Garden in January#gardening #garden #arizonagarden #Januarygarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Broccoli harvests begin in earnest this month. Hopefully, you succession planted to have a continuous harvest all month. Plant transplants through the end of January. 


Arizona Garden in January#gardening #garden #arizonagarden #Januarygarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Carrots planted in September and October are ready to harvest. Plant carrots through the end of March. Be sure to thin carrots for large, delicious carrots. 


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If you aren’t growing asparagus, consider dedicating a 4-foot by 4-foot raised bed. January is a great time to plant asparagus. 

If you are growing asparagus, January is the time to cut back the dormant fronds and amend the bed with a 5-inch layer of compost. 

Fava Beans in Arizona Garden in January
Fava beans
Curly Kale in Arizona Garden in January
Curly kale


What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Tips for growing flowers in the low desert Arizona garden in January


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Cool-season annual flowers and wildflowers planted from September through December are beginning to bloom this month and should continue blooming through March. Thin seedlings if they emerge in clumps. Water cool-season annuals 4 to 6 inches deep about once a week. 


Arizona Garden in January#gardening #garden #arizonagarden #Januarygarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Want better blooms on your seed-grown annuals? Thin them to where each plant’s leaves are touching one another when the plant is 3-4 inches tall.

Read this article to learn how to grow Alyssum


Snapdragons in Arizona Garden in January
Snapdragons

Most annuals will do well in our cooler winter and spring seasons when chosen carefully. As temperatures heat up, these cool season annuals will die. Keep a garden journal of what worked in the past and what didn’t.


Perpetual Flower Planting Calendar for Zone 9B

Flowers to Plant Outside & Seeds to Start Indoors Each Month in the Low Desert of Arizona.
PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists annual flowers and bulbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
BLOOMING GUIDE: Photos show what may be in bloom that month.


What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Fruit trees in the low desert Arizona garden in January​


  • Plant bare-root fruit trees this month. Look for trees that have low chill hours (less than 400), mature early, and self-pollinate. 
  • Deciduous fruit trees should be pruned before bud break this month. 
Arizona Fruit Planting Guide_ A Visual Planting Guide for Low Desert Fruit

This Fruit Planting Guide lists several fruit trees that do well in the low desert of Arizona.


Arizona Garden in January#gardening #garden #arizonagarden #Januarygarden #gardeninginarizona #desertgarden

Blood oranges and grapefruit citrus are ripening this month. Best way to test for sweetness? Pick one and try it! Water established citrus once every 3-4 weeks in January. 

Trying to decide which variety to plant next month? This article will help you decide. 


What to Grow and Plant Arizona Garden #arizonagarden #arizona #garden #garden

Herbs in the low desert Arizona garden in January ​


Arizona Herb Planting Guide_ A Visual Planting Guide for Low Desert Herbs

Garlic chives are a reliable perennial herb in Arizona. Consider finding a spot to tuck them in and around your garden this month. If you have garlic chives in your garden, January is a good time to cut back and divide the overgrown clumps. 

Read this article for more information about how to grow garlic chives

Celery and greens in Arizona Garden in January

Low desert Arizona garden in January to-do list:​

Swiss Chard in Arizona Garden in January
January Garden Checklist
January Garden Checklist
  • If you didn’t start seeds indoors for tomatoeseggplant, melons and peppers in December, get them started this month. The seedlings will be ready to be planted by February or March. 
  • Continue planning for February and March plantings. This is seed catalog season; get ideas you would like to try and order seeds. My favorite seed companies with great catalogs are Baker Creek Seeds, Botanical Interests, and Seed Saver Exchange. Look at your garden and plan where you will plant everything. Research different varieties to see which do well in Arizona. A good rule of thumb is to look for short-season crops. Be sure to rotate where you plant each year. 
How to Start Seeds Indoors: 10 Steps for Success

Read this post for more information about how to start seeds indoors.

Here is a link to my favorite seed-starting supplies.

  • Are you going to grow sweet potatoes this year? Start your own sweet potato slips so they will be ready to plant in March. This article explains how to start sweet potato slips
  • Buy organic turmeric and ginger for planting out in March. Learn how to pre-sprout ginger and turmeric in this blog post.
  • Plant spring flowering annuals this month. (See list below)
  • Plant pre-chilled (at least 6 weeks in the fridge) tulip and hyacinth bulbs this month.
  • Plant cold-tolerant trees, bushes, and perennials and protect new plants from freezing temperatures. 
  • January in Arizona is a good time to plant deciduous fruit trees. Look for varieties that require less than 400 chill hours, have early maturing fruit, and are self-pollinating.
  • Bare-root roses are in stock at local nurseries – it’s a great time to plant roses. Learn how to grow roses in this blog post.
  • This is the last month to plant strawberries. Space strawberries 12 inches apart. Plant strawberries with crown of plant above soil line. Mulch and water strawberries well.  
  • January in the low desert of Arizona is a good month to propagate succulents so they establish roots before summer heat. 
  • Wait until mid-to-late February to plant frost-sensitive plants such as lantana and hibiscus.
  • Begin planting blackberries at the end of the month. 

Watering:

  • If we get heavy rain, trees and shrubs may not need supplemental watering. If not, water shrubs and trees no more than once every 14-28 days.  Wateruseitwisely.com is a helpful resource for landscape watering guidelines.
  • Do not over-water annual plants this month. Water to a depth of about 6 inches, and allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering again. 
  • Check containers with a moisture meter or ensure the top inch or so of soil has dried out before watering. 
  • Water established citrus trees once every 3-4 weeks. 
  • Water established fruit trees once every 10-14 days.
Carrot Seedlings in Arizona Garden in January

Pruning:

  • Frost-tender plants such as hibiscus and lantana should not be pruned this month. 
  • Prune established roses this month. Clean up all fallen leaves and debris around roses to discourage disease and insects.  
  • Prune dead branches out of cold-hardy trees and shrubs.  
  • If deciduous fruit trees have been slow to drop leaves, remove any remaining leaves to encourage dormancy. 
  • Deciduous fruit trees should be pruned before bud break this month. Prune dead, diseased, broken and crossing branches and water sprouts (branches shooting straight up from limbs of trees). Consider treating fruit trees with horticultural oil before bud break as well. 
  • Do not prune citrus trees in January.

Fertilizing:

  • Fertilize deciduous fruit trees at the end of this month. Water well before and after fertilizing. 
  • Fertilize established fig trees in January.  Aged manure is a wonderful way to feed figs.

Protect from freezing temperatures (below 32° F):

  • Have burlap or frost cloth on hand to protect newly planted citrus, small lemon and lime trees, and other frost-sensitive plants from frost.
  • Plants in containers are more susceptible to freezing temperatures than ground ones.  
  • If freezing temperatures are expected, water citrus trees deeply to help protect them from frost. 

Yard clean-up:

  • Clean-up around fruit trees. Decayed fruit is inviting for pests.  
  • Consider leaving the leaves in place. If you do rake up the leaves, then save them. Bag leaves and let them decompose; then spread them on plants as leaf mulch in spring. If you compost, they are a great addition to the compost pile. 



What to plant in the Arizona garden in January:​

January Planting Guides

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit to plant in the low desert in January


(Click the link to read “How to Grow” articles on my website.)

SEED, TRANSPLANT, OR BOTH? S = Seed T= Transplant


Perpetual Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Planting Calendar Zone 9b
  • PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists vegetables, fruit & herbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
  • HARVEST GUIDE: Photos show what may be ready to harvest that month.
  • Planting dates are for the low desert of Arizona (zone 9b).

Vegetable, herb, and fruit seeds to start indoors during January

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit to plant in the low desert in January

Flowers to plant in the low desert in January

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit to plant in the low desert in January

(Click the link to read “How to Grow” articles on my website.)

  • Alyssum (ST)
  • Carnation (T)
  • Chamomile (T)
  • Dianthus (T)
  • English Daisy (T)
  • Feverfew (T)
  • Gaillardia (ST)
  • Geranium (T)
  • Gladiolus (corm)
  • Hyacinth (bulb)
  • Hybrid Tulip (bulb)
  • Larkspur (S)
  • Lisianthus (T)
  • Nasturtium (S)

Flower seeds to start indoors in the low desert in January

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit to plant in the low desert in January

Vegetable, Herb, and Fruit Planting Guide for the Low Desert of Arizona

Low Desert Vegetable Herb & Fruit Planting Guide

The ultimate resource for gardeners in arid regions with hot summers and mild winters—designed specifically for the low desert of Arizona.
It features information on how and when to start seeds indoors and when to transplant them outside for nearly 100 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs.


How to grow a vegetable garden in Arizona #arizonagardening #arizonagarden #desertgardening #hotweathergarden #howtogarden

Want more information about gardening in Arizona? This blog post shares 7 tips for  how to grow a vegetable garden in Arizona


If you found this post about Arizona gardening in January helpful, please share it:


Bob

Thursday 11th of January 2024

What variety(s) of blackberry or raspberry would you recommend?

Bonnie

Friday 5th of January 2024

Hi Angela, do you have plans to make a flower planting guide, like the one you made for vegetables, herbs and fruit? It is really great and is constantly in my hands.

Bonnie

Saturday 13th of January 2024

@Angela Judd, thank you! Can't wait!

Angela Judd

Friday 5th of January 2024

Yes, it's in the works! I'm so glad you like the veggie guide.

Jack

Thursday 28th of December 2023

Hello Angela,I live in the low desert zone 9a.At least 3/4 of my garden is in the shade this time of year.What can I grow in the shade?

Angela Judd

Monday 1st of January 2024

Try these crops: https://growinginthegarden.com/vegetables-herbs-flowers-that-grow-in-shade-5-tips-for-shade-gardening/

Jossie

Sunday 15th of January 2023

By far the best growing guide for desert planting! I live right on the state line of AZ and NV and it’s usually difficult to find such a detailed guide for our zone. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! I’m resetting my garden this season with greenhouses and am excited to use your guides in helping me keep a year round harvest!

Angela Judd

Monday 16th of January 2023

Thank you! Best of luck to you this year.

Sandra

Friday 6th of January 2023

Nothing can be grown outdoors at the 7,000 foot level in Eagar, Arizona near the White Mountains. A greenhouse might work if it can withstand the strong winds here. Coming from the Northwest (Oregon) I find that little grows in this area, so Arizona areas below the 3,500 foot level would surely grow very nice produce and fruit. Still hard to beat the climate and soils for great produce and fruit tree growing in the great Northwest . . .