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Seed Planting Guide Part 1: What Seeds to Plant in January

Wondering what seeds to plant in January? Get a jump start on your spring garden with our seed planting series so you can plant in the winter and transplant outdoors when the weather warms up.


  • Egg carton or small pots

  • Marker or pen

  • Tag to identify seeds

  • Seed starting mix (different than regular potting soil)

  • Seeds

Planting seeds is an inexpensive way to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables without breaking the bank. Plus it's nice to get a jump start on your planting when you don't want to wait until spring! There's also something nice and soothing about nurturing a seedling into a sprout and then watching it flourish.

Step 1: Decide When To Plant Seeds

We are located in South Carolina--Zone 8--- which doesn't experience snow very often but tempertures can still drop pretty low and frosts are not uncommon. Normally the last cold snap will happen some time in March and then all the flowers pop overnight and suddenly it's spring. The best rule of thumb for planting seeds is to do so about 8 weeks before you plant to transplant them to your garden or larger pot outdoors.

Since we planted these mid-January, mid-March should be a perfect timeframe to transplant when they're ready to spread their roots in our raised bed garden. If you're at the 8 weeks mark and not sure if you should move them outside--it's best to wait about 2 weeks until after the last frost of the season.

Step 2: Pick Your Seeds

This can be the tricky part because there are so many delicious options! We chose to go with some heartier lettuces and vegetables since this will be in the early spring and temperatures can still drop. To help you decide what to plant, determine what zone you're in and what plants do best in your climate.

Seeds Planted: (reminder, we are in the Southeast)

  • Sweet Pepper

  • Kale

  • Arugula

  • Onion

  • Lettuce

  • Cilantro

Step 3: Plant Your Seeds

Next up, you can plant your seeds in smaller separate containers or use a compostable egg carton like we did to get them started. It's important to buy soil that is specifically designed for starting seeds since it has just the right composition needed to help seeds sprout quickly. We actually ended up having 1/2 a bag of seeds after planting 2 per row so we are going to get another carton and fill it up.

Make sure to plant your seeds about half way down into the soil so they aren't too deep or too shallow. Then, lightly water them and put them in a sunny window in your house where they will stay warm and soak up all the sunshine. If you don't live in a humid environment like here in South Carolina, you can also put a plastic bag over the seeds to create some moisture.

It's important to water them every couple of days but be careful to not overwater them. We actually saw some arugula sprout just 2 days after planting! So they will pop really quickly.

We will post some updated photos soon as you follow along on our seedling adventure! We plant to transplant these when the time is right into our raised bed garden and keep it covered with chicken wire to keep the squirrels and rabbits out! Make sure to post your gardens on Instagram and tag us at #makerscorners!


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