Starting to feel like winter will never end? Setting these goals will help you jump-start the spring growing season.

By Nicole Bradley
Updated December 31, 2020

New year, new beginnings! While you're busy making your list of 2021 resolutions (you know, eat healthier, get more exercise, maybe even start a daily meditation session), remember the other areas in your life that bring you joy, like your yard. In fact, gardening can help you to achieve all three of those previously mentioned goals, so it can really pay off to carefully plan for the upcoming growing season. Why not make a few resolutions that will inspire you create an even more gorgeous, fruitful, and satisfying garden in the new year? Here are five to get you started.

organized garage items
Credit: David Patterson

Resolution 1: Keep Your Tools Organized

You obviously need the right tools to accomplish just about any garden task, and while it's easy to toss your favorite gardening gloves or best set of pruners in a random bucket in the back corner of the garage, you'll curse yourself next time you need them and can't find them. Instead of wasting time hunting, resolve to get your tools organized and keep them that way. When your tools are always at the ready, you'll be better able to take care of your yard.

Japanese beetle
Credit: Denny Schrock

Resolution 2: Prepare for Pests

No matter what region of the country you live in, you'll deal with unwelcome visitors to your garden, such as deer, rabbits, insect pests, and weeds. But don't let that discourage you! Instead, resolve to be ready. Regularly scout for weeds that can pop up whenever the ground thaws, and remove them ASAP. If an area like your veggie garden usually attracts pesky bunnies, fence it off before you sow seeds. Certain species of plants have more pest issues than others (for example, ash trees inevitably will attract emerald ash borers that will kill them) so research any new plant you want to add to your garden to make sure it won't create headaches. Lots of problematic yet popular plants such as roses and tomatoes have disease- and pest-resistant varieties to choose from, so look for those when choosing what to grow.

woman placing organic mulch in bed
Credit: Marty Baldwin

Resolution 3: Improve Water Conservation

Although this goal is especially crucial in drought-prone areas, gardeners in every region can conserve water. Mulch is your friend because it helps the soil hold onto moisture for your plants. Add at least a 2-inch layer wherever you have bare soil. And try choosing plants native to your region; they're better able to thrive without a lot of extra watering and other pampering. For areas of your garden that may need more water, such as lawn or a vegetable garden, an irrigation system with a timer can really help use water more efficiently.

screwing in hinge for blue garden trellis
Credit: Carson Downing

Resolution 4: Take on a Challenging Project

Part of the fun of gardening is trying something new, whether it's a weekend project like making your own concrete containers or freshening up your garden beds with some dramatic edging. Or maybe you'd like to try building your own trellis or creating a broken brick patio? The possibilities are endless, but no matter what you choose, you're bound to gain new skills and a sense of accomplishment. And if a project doesn't quite work out, consider it a lesson learned and start a new one!

woman gardening in a Spring garden
Credit: Kindra Clineff

Resolution 5: Enjoy Your Outdoor Space More

Just 20 minutes a day outside in nature can lower your stress levels, so make it a priority to literally stop and smell the flowers once in a while. Spend a few moments watching the birds and butterflies doing their thing while you enjoy your morning coffee. Or if you've got a patio or deck, add a few containers and comfortable seating to make it a more welcoming place to hang out. No patio, no problem! How about building a fire pit for your family to gather around? The more you can make your outdoor space a pleasant and relaxing place to be, the more you'll appreciate all the hard work you're putting into it.

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January 8, 2020
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January 8, 2020
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