Ten Gardening Resolutions for the New Year

If you are like most people, as the New Year approaches you might be thinking about ways to become healthier and more fit. So, why not consider doing the same for your garden?

To be healthy, your garden needs basic care just like you do. This includes getting nutrients and a healthy diet in the form of nicely amended soil and a well-balanced fertilizer, a good dose of sunshine, fresh air, and it needs to be kept hydrated.

The simplest way to provide all of this is to start with a simple plan of action and then stick with it throughout the year. With that in mind, here are ten gardening resolutions that will help you build a healthier, happier garden.

  • Resolve to create a garden plan so that you will know ahead of time what needs to be done and when. Take advantage of the colder winter months to decide which changes you want to make to your garden once spring arrives. Use the time to look over all the gardening and nursery catalogs that arrive in the mail during winter.
  • Resolve to take the time to draw or write up this plan so that when you go to buy plants, you will know exactly what you need to buy, no more or no less. If you aren’t sure of the growing requirements for different plants consult a good gardening book like the Sunset National Garden Book.
  • One way to create a garden plan is via a gardening journal. However, it doesn’t have to be in book or journal form, it can be a calendar, a spiral notebook, a notebook with pockets, an accordion file, a scrapbook, a photo album, an organizer, it all depends on what you want to use your journal for.
  • Resolve to always plant the right plant in the right location! If you select the wrong plant for a particular location you could end up with a constant maintenance problem. Always remember: different plants have different requirements. Some prefer more sun, some more shade, some can tolerate wind and some cannot.
  • Resolve to never, ever forget about the soil since soil is the number one key to a healthy garden. Learn what needs to be done to amend your soil so your plants get a healthy start.
  • Resolve to focus on conserving water by grouping plants with similar moisture needs together, watering in the early morning when it’s cooler to avoid evaporation and mildew and rot on plants, and incorporating water-wise and native plants.
  • Resolve to always bring the healthiest plants into your garden by purchasing and planting only the healthiest seedlings or plants or start your own plants from seed. Whenever possible, plant disease- and pest-resistant varieties.
  • Resolve to mulch regularly since it conserves water, inhibits weeds and provides an attractive ground cover in your flowerbeds or vegetable garden.
  • Resolve to use integrated pest management, meaning try to take preventive measures and think beyond your garden since whatever chemical you use in your garden might end up in the groundwater. Consider alternatives.
  • Finally, resolve to never forget why you chose to garden in the first place: to have fun and enjoy your landscape. Remember nature is beautiful, relaxing and it replenishes us. So, walk around, smell your roses, and just enjoy the things you are growing.

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Connie Wargo
Connie W.1 years ago

Great tips , thanks !

Nils Anders Lunde


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Great article! Thanks!

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski4 years ago

My Welsh grandmother had a second story apt. when she got out of her larger home. She had only a back ledge with a small spot to walk out on. She used to send me out there with water to tend to her roses in pots. Never let it be said there is no place to garden. Chain a pot to someplace unusual and place a little faith in your new acquisition.

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski4 years ago

Ok. Good ideas. Personally? I can't plan what I don't know is going to happen after a NY winter. Also, if you put plants like nepeta in front of or around roses (nepeta takes little water) you cut down on the earth drying out around the roses. I have a tall nepeta that shades the english roses very well on the earth and up the plant. It is wonderful. The lilacs and the wisteria and the roses all together look smashing. I'm glad I have a volunteer birch to hold up the wisteria. Couldn't have planned that at all. I wish I could upload my pictures but for some sad reason, I can't. They are absolutely stunningly amazing. Too bad I cannot share them....darn. The moonflowers, nicotiana sylvestris, morning glory and sweatpea are all hiding in their seedcoats. I look forward to what the will command me to do next!

Chelsea M.
Chelsea M.4 years ago

I don't think people should wait til' New Years to make resolutions. We should be making them whenever we encounter a problem so that we can fix it. I really appreciate the part on putting plants of similar water intake together. It is simple and ingenious advice! I definitely need to work on planning ahead on what type of plant should have what dedicated spot so that they can flourish! Thanks!

I love the garden in the picture. Not quite my style but it uses the space amazingly well and it is very unique and inspiring!

Philippa P.
Philippa P.5 years ago

Thanks. Love gardening articles.

gail d.
gail dair5 years ago


Ashley F.
Ashley F.5 years ago

Thank you. I only have my parents yard at the moment because I live in an apartment. I am planning on moving out soon though, and will keep this in mind.

Michael Cozens
Michael Cozens5 years ago

One could also look into creating a "drip" watering system, as it delivers the water directly to roots of the plants, improving the plant's health while drastically reducing water use.