It’s a new year and if you are a gardener you have probably started thinking about your next gardening adventure, even if it’s cold and snowy outside. Maybe with all the other resolutions you've made for the new year and a new start you've made some resolutions considering your garden. Here are some resolutions you may want to consider making if they aren't already on your list.
Decide to buy better quality tools. Nothing is more aggravating than a tool that doesn't work right or worse, breaks in the middle of a job. This year resolve to spend a little bit more on tools that are well made and that fit your hands well. Good tools are an investment and will save you money in the long run. Don’t forget to buy good gloves too. A pair of gloves that fit your hands and are comfortable to work in are a joy to own.
Keep records. This year you will write down varieties and where you planted things. Use your camera to snap shots of the garden every few weeks as a photo record. Next winter when you are sitting there with your stacks of catalogs pull out your pictures and see where things need improvement and how much space you really have for new plants.
Speaking of new plants, resolve to shop for plants with a list in hand of plants that suit your sun and soil conditions and that are hardy in your planting zone. Resolve to keep those impulse plant purchases based on a pretty color or wonderful price down to one per shopping trip. Most impulse plant buys require you to circle the yard looking for a spot to plunk them, even if it isn’t quite the spot the plant needs.
Resolve to read plant labels. (Or carefully read catalog descriptions.) Read them before you buy the plant, looking for any thing that might mean the plant isn't a good one for your garden. The label of a perennial typically gives you sun and moisture requirements, adult height of the plant and zone hardiness. Some plants have varieties that aren't hardy in some zones that other varieties of the same plant will grow in. For example some buddleias will grow in zone 5, but not all varieties of buddleias will thrive in zone 5. If you don’t stick labels by the plant at least save them in a file box somewhere. Then when someone asks what the beautiful plant is or what variety name it has you can tell them.
Get ahead of the game. Resolve to put up plant stakes or cages before the plants flop over. Put in some hose guides so that you don’t drag the hose over your beautiful plants. Put in that sprinkler or irrigation system when you plant or before it gets dry. Have the lawnmower tuned up or repaired and the blade sharpened before the grass is six inches long and the repair shop is running 6 weeks behind. Pull the weeds while they are small.
Resolve to try something new. Try a new type of tomato or a new combination or color of plants in your containers or borders. Plant an edible landscape plant with fruit you have never tried before. Put a stunning new piece of garden art in your yard or swap out your plain birdhouses for a few whimsically painted ones. Add a water feature or rain garden.
Resolve to take better care of your fruit and landscape trees. Read up on what type of pruning and spraying they need and get it done. Fertilize your trees. Trees are increasingly being impacted by our climate change and need all the help you can give them.
Finally resolve to share and enjoy your garden. Invite a neighbor in to look at your flowers or bring some fresh green beans to a friend. Show a child the butterflies visiting your garden or better yet let them help you in the garden. Resolve to spend more time on the garden bench instead of on your knees.
Here are some more garden articles you might want to read.
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