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.