Resolution 1: Draw a Garden Plan
For some, a new year means a brand new garden. For others, a new year may just mean a few changes to your current garden. No matter the case, it is crucial to begin mapping out your garden as the new calendar year rolls around so that you're fully prepared for springtime. The easiest way to prepare your future garden is to have a garden plan. The choice of whether to design your own garden plan or use a prepared plan is up to you and what's best for your yard.
Resolution 2: Take Preventive Measures Against Pests
Pest invasion is inevitable in a garden, no matter what region of the country you live in. The first step to controlling pests is to identify what bugs or animals are snacking on your plants, which weeds tend to harbor in your garden, or which diseases tend to infect your plants. Identification of pests will prepare you to keep problems at bay come springtime.
There are many preventive measures that can be taken against weed and pest invasion. Building a mechanical barrier like a fence or netting is sure to keep larger animals, such as deer and cats, out of your garden. As for bugs and diseases, be conscious about the plants you plan to grow in your garden. Do your research -- there are plenty of species that are resistant to certain animals, bugs, and diseases. Consider incorporating these plants into your garden plan.
Resolution 3: Improve Water Conservation
Although this resolution is especially crucial to drought-prone areas, every region can participate in water conservation to help the environment. Xeriscaping, or perfecting a water-wise landscape, has become a popular way to conserve water in dry regions in the Southwest and Mountain West. One key component to maintaining a xeriscape is to think about using plants native to your region in your garden plan -- that way, you won't need to use more water than expected to preserve them.
Using mulch around your plantings also helps conserve water by locking in soil moisture. Choose a mulch that filters water quickly -- this will keep the mulch from rotting and allow it to last longer.
If you live in a region lucky enough where "April showers bring May flowers," try saving rain water to feed your thirsty plants when the dry summer months approach. There are several ways to collect rain water -- a barrel to collect runoff water is the easiest way.
Resolution 4: Take on a Challenging Project
Part of the fun of gardening is challenging yourself with something you've never done before. Some examples of projects to conquer: build your own trellis (instead of running to the hardware store), rid your garden bed of weeds, or start growing berries. The possibilties are endless -- and up to you. If something goes wrong, consider it a lesson learned!
Resolution 5: Enjoy the Space You Have!
The final, most important garden resolution to make this year is to love the outdoor space you have. Tailor this space to your likes and interests and appreciate the hard work you put into it.