Winter Gardening in the Bay Area

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 4:07 PM Lydia Fookes

Winter Gardening Tips For The Bay Area

Even though the warm, summer days are long past us, you can still maintain a lush winter garden in Northern California. Consider the following gardening and landscaping tips, which are best completed during the months of January and February:

Plant Bare Root Plants

Bare root plants are typically dug up in the fall and then kept dormant in a cool space until they are ready for January planting. They are stored without being potted and without soil around their roots, hence the term “bare root planting” Bare root plants are a great option because they adjust quickly to new soil conditions. Additionally, due to the face that they are compact and easy to maneuver because they don’t have any soil, they can be transported efficiently. This means that they are typically cheaper than plants that come potted in soil.

January is the ideal time for bare root planting so that the plants are in their new soil while they are still dormant for the winter. Some popular choices for bare root plants that do well in Alameda County include fruit and shade trees, roses, shrubs, vines. Artichokes, asparagus, blackberries, grapes, raspberries, rhubarb, and strawberries are also all great options.

Plant Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, and chard, as well as other varieties of leafy green vegetables are all cold-tolerant and can handle frost and winter climates well. Plant these in late fall and they will provide fresh greens throughout the winter, or start seeds indoors in January to plant in a few weeks once they are established.



Plant Crops From the Brassica Family and Root Vegetables

The brassica family of vegetables contains a wide selection of plants including broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower, which thrive in cooler temperatures. Root veggies like carrots, beets, and turnips are also suitable for February-March planting.

Prune Dormant Plants

Dormant pruning is important for the longevity of your mature plants, trees, and shrubs. By cutting back weak and dead branches during the winter months, your plants will be better protected against diseases, damage in harsh weather, and will come back healthier and fuller in the spring!

Be sure to check out our wide selection of pruning tools and loppers to assist in your pruning project!

Prepare for your Summer Garden

Summer will be here before we know it, and it is never too early to begin preparing! January and February are the perfect months to plan your summer garden and begin buying seeds.  February is also the perfect time for indoor planting of seeds needing 4-8 weeks of growth prior to being planted outside. Be sure to check out the Alameda County Master Gardeners recommended planting schedule for aid in planning your local garden!


By putting care and intention to your winter garden, you can enjoy a bountiful winter crop now, as well as set your yard up for success when the summer returns.