The garden’s winter season may not be as active as the warmer months, but without the distraction of garden chores, it’s the best time for reflection and setting goals. Now that the calendar has flipped over to January, take time to evaluate last year’s garden and make plans for the new year.
Here are some thoughts on New Year’s resolutions for gardeners to add to your list.
Be an inspired gardener. Try something new! Plant a tree, start a rose garden, add window boxes, install raised beds, put pots of geraniums on your front porch. Do some research on what works in your location and jump in.
If you have young children, grow easy vegetables like radishes; the tiny seeds quickly turn into sweet, crunchy veggies.
Miracle-Gro’s seed pods make easy work of tomatoes, cucumbers and basil. Just pop the pods into a garden bed or soil-filled container, water and watch them grow.
Be a frugal gardener. Gardeners are thrifty consumers, always looking for a DIY shortcut or homemade hack. With experience, gardeners learn what products yield a greater reward and which do not. A great place to start is with good quality soil or potting mix.
Packaged potting mix and garden soil are formulated for proper drainage and nutrients and are worth the investment. If you use a lot of potting mix, it’s easy enough to mix your own formula based on the needs of your garden.
The Home Depot sells both potting mixes and the individual ingredients — soil, perlite and sphagnum peat moss.
Shop the sales and stock up on potting mix. Track your purchases from previous years, and use this information to estimate what you will need in the coming year.
Be a smart gardener. Do your eyes glaze over when you hear about soil tests? Make this the year that you get your soil tested and follow through with proper amendments.
This will help all aspects of your gardening, from landscape plants such as shrubs and trees, to vegetables and flowers.
Be an organized gardener. Do you have a work area for gardening? Just like cooks need organized kitchens, having all your tools and materials in a central location makes you more efficient.
A potting bench, either made of found materials or purchased, can be the catch-all for your gardening materials. Take that tumble of rusty and dirty trowels, clean and store them in a storage caddy made from terra cotta pots. Store bags of soil, moss and perlite in labeled containers.
Be a seed-loving gardener. Growing flowers, and especially vegetables, from seed gives you control over the process, allowing you to start your garden earlier. With successive plantings, you can have multiple harvests of greens and other vegetables.
Learn to harvest seed from plants. Ever tasted the sweetest melon of the season and thought about saving the seeds and trying to grow them next year? You can.
Seed-saving is a straight-forward process: Remove the seeds, soak them in water to remove any vegetable matter, then let dry. Place in labeled envelopes and store in a cool, dry place such as a mason jar.
Be a drought-savvy gardener. The long-term drought in Western states shows no signs of easing. This could be your year to craft a drought-resistant landscape.
Using xeriscape principles and the bounty of native plants, it’s possible to create a vibrant landscape that survives on minimal amounts of water. Learn more here.
To become the best gardener you can, sign up for The Home Depot’s Garden Club. Just enter your email address and ZIP code and you will receive weekly emails with Simple Tips gardening stories targeted to what is going on in your location. From seed to harvest, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, you will receive coupons for the Garden Center. In fact, over a year, you could save up to $300 by joining the Garden Club.
Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!