The Gardening Resolutions You Need to Make This Year
People with green thumbs have spring gardens on their mind year-round, especially when it seems like winter will never end. We've laid out some attainable goals to make your garden look its best come springtime.
New Year's Resolutions aren't just for you—they can be for your garden, too! Whether your garden needs help preventing pests or you want to carve out a little "me" space, these resolutions have got you covered. Commit to these five garden resolutions for a healthier and more beautiful garden you will love—and enjoy!
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. Whether you are looking to design your own garden plan or use a prepared plan is up to you (and 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. Whether small insects or deer are your problem, these pests aren't going anywhere unless you take action. The first step to controlling pests in your yard is to identify what bugs or animals are snacking on your plants, which weeds tend to harbor in your garden, or which diseases will likely 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. Certain plants attract more diseases than others. Don't fret! Just 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.
Picking the right mulch is the key to your garden success. Using mulch around your plantings conserves 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. The best type of mulch to use? Go for the organic route! Make your own compost and reap the benefits of a healthy, organic garden.
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 fun garden projects to conquer: building your own trellis (instead of running to the hardware store), start growing berries in containers, grow an organic vegetable garden, or build a broken brick patio. The possibilties are endless and completely up to you. If a project goes wrong, consider it a lesson learned and start a new one! There's a garden project out there for everyone.
Resolution 5: Enjoy the Space You Have!
The final, most important garden resolution to make this year is to fall in love with the outdoor space you have. If you have a bare space that needs attention, a seating area will make use of it—even adding in a couple container plants here and there will brighten and fill in the empty corners. Want an even more inviting space? Build a fire pit for your family and friends to enjoy. Tailor this outdoor space to your likes and interests and appreciate the hard work you put into it.