The beginning of every New Year is the best time to reflect on the past year and to make resolutions for changes whether in health, personal habits, or in this case gardening. Here are a few of my gardening resolutions for this coming year that may give you ideas for your own.
As has been my tradition for years, I present a list of resolutions for New Years. Also, as has been my tradition, these resolutions are for you. I don’t make resolutions for myself, but I have no qualms about making them for others! So:
–I resolve when buying plants, to be realistic and only buy what I can plant, and more importantly can maintain during the season! My Dad always joked that the sign of a true gardener was dirt in their car and the fact that they had brought home at least a hundred plants they had no room for or any idea where they would plant!
–When sowing vegetables in the garden, I’ll make successive plantings so all my lettuce and carrots don’t all come ripe at once. I’ll mark the calendar now to set them out 10 days apart, early, mid, and late May. Yes, I’m the crazy plant lady who shows up at barbeques with bags of squash and handfuls of radishes and you will tell me many times that you have plenty of your own at home and I will still insist you try my new variety of patty pan squash or white beets. Trust me, it’s easier just to take the produce because I am not going home with it!
–Here is another great resolution I have to add, even if I have enough produce, I will visit the town farmers’ market regularly to get what I don’t grow, and other food and fun goods. I love visiting farmers markets and try to find them in every city or town I’m lucky enough to travel too. You just never know what you will find or who you will meet!
–I will be more diligent in making good compost, turning my pile more often. Compost piles shouldn’t smell foul or so my Dad points out every time he walks by mine
–On the topic of compost, early in the season I will either buy a bulk load or pallet of compost to spread on my beds before the perennials get too tall. With compost being used up yearly in my perennials gardens it needs to be added each year and I often don’t produce enough on my own to do the job right.
–The weeds got ahead of me last year in my perennial beds, This year I’ll make it a priority to get the beds cleaned early and I will keep up with the weeds all year.
–Thinking about my health, I’ll resolve to use garden tools properly, to lift heavy loads with my legs and not my back (or better yet to get help), to stretch and loosen muscles before gardening, to drink plenty of water, to take breaks (especially when hot), and do avoid long stretches of repetitive tasks (alternate among tasks every 10 to 20 minutes).
–I feel embarrassed when guests visit and ask the name of a variety of catmint or even petunia that I’ve planted and I can’t find a label. If you’re not a plant collector, or if you just plant perennials and annuals for their beauty and design, it is impossible to remember all the cultivars we’ve accumulated! I resolve to keep a garden book with notes on what I planted where.
–For the wildlife, I’ll resolve to keep my bird baths cleaned and filled regularly and to keep bird feeders stocked and also cleaned periodically of old and rotting seeds. I’ll also keep my hummingbird feeders filled and cleaned every few days beginning the first of May. While on vacation a few years ago I asked my Mom to keep my birdfeeders full. She was diligent about the task, but one day she locked herself out of the house while she was on my kitchen deck. She managed to toss a pile of patio furniture over the deck and shimmied down my second floor deck safely. Now all the feeders are ground level. Real story, ask her!
-I resolve to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides around my home and garden. Fortunately for all of us, there are more and more organic, natural and environmentally friendly control products coming onto the market every year. I’m a big fan of the new biological controls that have now become more readily available. When problems arise this coming season stop in and talk to Alec and I about what we’ve been trying at home. We are happy to show you what worked and what sorta worked.
–Above all I resolve to enjoy my yard more. I plant it and maintain it for my enjoyment yet often find I spend more time working it than enjoying it!
I’m sure I could think of many more resolutions, but these are probably enough to keep me busy and to get you started on your own. But don’t forget, perhaps most importantly, resolve to take time to smell the flowers, to savor the vegetables, and to just enjoy your efforts. My Dad says you should also avoid people who make resolutions for you but he hardly ever reads my blogs anyway!
From our Lakeview Family to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy 2020!
Michelle and Team Lakeview!