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5 Ways to be a Better Gardener in 2014

5 Ways to be a Better Gardener in 2014

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago, well, at least typical resolutions. I found that I never kept them and was continually disappointed in myself. However, I did find that when it came to my garden, I always seem to get inspired with the New Year by the arrival of all those gardening catalogs in my mail box and couldn’t wait to get back in the garden. So, I started to make gardening resolutions, and I find that they are much easier to keep. Here are a few to get you started.

Resolve to finally start a garden or learn to garden. I spent years resisting the urge to garden because I really believed I had a brown thumb. But, I never took the time to learn what it takes to grow a garden. What I discovered is that there are so many easy ways to improve your gardening success if you just take the time to learn them. Take a class, read a book, subscribe to a gardening magazine, or ask your friends that already garden. If you already garden, make a commitment to learn more, there is always something to learn.

Make a garden plan. Plan ahead and you will find that it actually saves you time. I am basically a lazy gardener, in my fantasy world, I would like to just plant and harvest, but the reality is your garden needs more care than that. So, what I have found is that by planning ahead prior to each season, I cut out all that unnecessary work that comes from having no clue where to start. While a formal garden plan is ideal, even just informally listing what you want to plant ahead of time and what needs to be done is a big help.

Reduce your debt to the environment. While many people resolve to get out of debt each New Year, gardeners can resolve to stop taking so much from the earth, and to put something back instead. Try to adopt at least one sustainable gardening practice, whether it’s installing a water saving drip system, or committing to using one new organic gardening method, like using companion planting, that first step will motivate you to go further.

See: Winter Container Gardening for Small Spaces

Plant more veggies. It really doesn’t matter if you have a yard — you don’t need one. Even if you have a tiny patio, you can grow almost anything in a container. What you do need is full sun for at least 6 hours a day. Start with easy to grow leaf lettuce and kale, even if you live in a cold climate (they can handle some frost), and you can make your own mini-greenhouses to protect them from hard frosts.

Dont forget to have fun. Remember why you wanted to garden in the first place; it’s supposed to be a hobby — an enjoyable hobby. We can find ourselves getting so caught up in the idea of perfection or what went “wrong” in the garden, that we forget to enjoy the things that make us garden in the first place: fresh veggies, flowers, and surrounding ourselves with greenery.

What are your gardening resolutions? I would love to hear what other people have planned, so please share them in the comments section.

Image credit: kthread via Flickr

Read more: Environment, Green, Holidays, Lawns & Gardens, Life, Nature, New Year, ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

91 comments

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8:49PM PST on Feb 7, 2014

After having tested my green thumb abilities about a month ago and witnessing the death of the following herbs: Sage, Rosemary and Oregano- I have decided to petition myself against any further competition with nature. I’ll just start tossing seeds in the backyard, eventually something will grow… maybe a beanstalk.

12:55AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Thank you :)

6:16PM PST on Jan 28, 2014

Thanks for the suggestions.

4:43AM PST on Jan 28, 2014

These are practical for any time

4:16PM PST on Jan 24, 2014

Thanks. Getting gardening is my new years resolution

11:11AM PST on Jan 16, 2014

thanks!

8:16PM PST on Jan 5, 2014

great post thank you

4:59PM PST on Jan 5, 2014

Lady bugs in your garden are good.

12:20PM PST on Jan 5, 2014

love gardening ! thank you for sharing

11:58AM PST on Jan 5, 2014

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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