January is the time of new year's resolutions, with no exception to gardening. Maybe you’ve always wanted to grow veggies in containers, or make your garden more environmentally friendly, or visit a few open gardens for fresh inspiration. This might be the ideal year to do just that!
Here are some thoughts and ideas to inspire your resolutions list for 2020:
1. Grow vegetables in containers
If you lack the space or resources to grow your own food, consider growing vegetables in containers. Vegetable containers must be large enough to accommodate your plants, including their roots, and they should have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to run off. Select a well-draining potting mix designed for large containers. It’s best to wet the soil thoroughly and allow it to drain before you plant your seeds.
2. Include a diversity of flowering plants in your garden
Well-designed and properly tended gardens attract bees and other beneficial insects to your garden. Many pollinator species are in decline due to fragmentation of native pollinator habitats and improper use of pesticides. By planting a variety of pollen- and nectar-producing flowers, you can make your garden a sanctuary for these important critters.
3. Compost your kitchen scraps
All those leftover salad greens, cucumber peels, onion layers, tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells are much too valuable to send to the landfill. These items are easy to collect in a compost container. When you've gathered enough, either add them to a compost pile outdoors or dig them directly into the ground where they’ll break down and feed your garden.
4. Be an inspired gardener
Try something new! Plant a fruit tree … or two, start a rose garden, install raised beds, plant seasonal containers, grow herbs in a vertical planter, or try your green thumb at ‘indoorscaping’. Do some research on what works in your location and get your hands dirty.
Be a drought-savvy gardener. This could be your year to create a drought-resistant landscape by using xeriscape principles and the bounty of native plants to create a vibrant landscape that survives on minimal amounts of water. Learn more about xeriscaping here.
6. Reduce gardening expenses
Think of creative ways in which you can reduce gardening expenses like starting a compost pile and regularly adding to it so you don't have to waste money buying compost to add to your garden. Save on grocery bills by planting your own herbs. Install a rain barrel to save money and water. Add more mulch to flower beds, where it will decrease weeds, helping you save money on weedkillers and protect the environment from weedkiller applications. Get your thinking cap on!
7. Store seeds and bulbs
Instead of buying new bulbs each year, dig up your summer bulbs before they rot, and store them for winter. Save seeds from flowers and vegetables to plant again next year. Storing your seeds also allows you to swap seeds with fellow gardeners. Try ordering seeds for heirloom vegetables so you can grow your own.
8. Keep wildlife in mind
Provide essential habitat components like food, water, cover, and places to raise young while designing your garden space to attract local wildlife. Hang a bird feeder. Weave native plants into your flower beds. Plant a berry-bearing tree or shrubs to feed the birds. Provide a water source for bees, butterflies and dragonflies.
9. Enjoy your garden
Don’t stress about your garden being perfect. And don’t try to work in it when it’s too hot. Do, however, spend more time there, whether it’s smelling flowers in the morning on your way out the door or enjoying a good meal with family outside. Gardens are meant to be enjoyed.
10. Grow & Share
Grow your gardening knowledge, whether it's learning how to discern a good bug from a bad one, or learning how to plant a bulb, or learning how to prune a fruit tree, keep cultivating your inner gardener!
Do you have any gardening resolutions for 2020? Share it with us and hashtag #GardeningResolutions
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