Just because it’s January doesn’t mean you have to forget about gardening for the year. In fact, if you live in the deep South of the USA (Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee and Louisiana) there are plenty of ways that you can perk up your winter gardens. If you’re looking to increase the aesthetic value of your yard, look into flowers and ornamental plants that flourish in cooler weather (think 40s and 50s in the evenings). On the other hand, if you enjoy gardening for fresh fruits and vegetables, plant some in your winter garden.

Regardless of what you decide to plant, once you realize that you can continue to garden throughout the winter, you can perk up your garden quite easily. Keep these things in mind as you plant different items in your garden:

1. Flowers
When you’re looking to add some color and beauty to your garden, you don’t need to look any further than annuals and perennials. In fact, many of these flowers grow better in cooler temperatures. Flowers like the sweet alyssum, honeywort, pansies, violets, crocuses, and winter jasmine are all known for thriving in the winter months. Care for these flowers is relatively straightforward. Plant them in loose, well-drained soil and fertilize them sparingly. Most perennials and winter flowers don’t need much fertilizer to grow. Make sure the soil stays fairly moist, but pay attention to freezing temperatures. To protect winter flowers from freezing, try covering them with mulch or compost. Don’t bury them, but add a light layer to give them a little protection.

2. Ornamental plants

Ornamental plants are popular for the winter months because their colors go well with winter flowers and they thrive in colder temperatures. There are plenty to choose from, even if you’re stuck in a climate that’s likely to see the snow this winter. Look for a Christmas fern, evergreen vine or even holly tree. Plants like these can be great ways to feature fresh foliage around your house and garden.

3. Veggies
There are more than enough vegetables that you can grow throughout the winter. Choose between onions, garlic, spinach, asparagus and carrots, for starters. Veggies like these are sure to survive the colder weather in your outdoor winter garden. If you’re worried about frost, add a protective layer to your young plants. Think of it as giving them a coat for the colder winter months. You can simply put a layer of fleece directly over the plants in your garden. As long as they’re protected from the extreme colds, they’ll survive until the warmer months.

Check out USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map,  and The Old Farmers Almanac they are the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location.

 

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map