What Gardeners Resolve to Do

First, Happy New Year to our readers!   We hope this finds you and your gardens in good health and ready for a terrific 2012 season.

Wondering what resolutions gardeners might be making for the new year, I searched the Internet and found plenty of them, like the ones in this nifty video by an Extension agent in Nebraska: 

Penn State, another Extension service, offers their resolutions but they’re more like a guide to good gardening practice than resolutions per se.   So for resolutions from real gardeners I turned to gardening columnists and bloggers, whose lists reflect where they are in their gardening journeys, and where they want to go.  Here’s what those real gardeners are resolving to do in 2012.

Most common gardener resolutions:

  • To weed more.   I found this resolution on almost every list I read.  Like eating right and exercising regularly, discipline in weeding is a universal requirement for a successful garden.
  • To plant something NEW this year.   Because no matter how long you’ve been gardening, there’s always something new to plant – thank heavens!
  • To grow vegetables, or more of them.  The biggest trend in gardening continues to be the growing of edibles.  Can’t get healthier than that, or better for the environment.
  • To start more seeds, to order them earlier, or to remember to use the seeds saved.  Like growing vegetables, seeds are getting lots of attention these days.
  • To divide perennials.  I’m guessing this is on so many lists because it’s something that’s easy to forget.  But what task is more rewarding than one that yields free plants and isn’t even hard work?

More popular resolutions:

  • To harvest the vegetables in time and to actually consume them, rather than leaving them to rot in the garden.
  • To attract more birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.
  • To start composting.
  • To join a garden club, community garden or Master Gardener program.
  • To keep a photo journal of the garden, or start a garden blog.

Some unique resolutions found:

  • To grow more foliage plants.  What garden wouldn’t benefit from this one?
  • To give up on the plants that don’t perform well for you, or that simply taste bad.  (Great one!)
  • To visit more public gardens as inspiration.
  • To stop buying plants without knowing where you’ll put them.  (Another good one!)
  • To tag all the plants in the garden, or make a detailed drawing of the garden with plant names.
  • To “plant decent containers.”  (Looks like someone’s feeling frustrations with their prior attempts.)
  • To “sniff some soil.”  Love that.

At GardenRant,  the team blog I write for, Michele Owens posted her resolutions and they’re totally unique to her garden and where she is in her evolution as a serious grower of food (and a cook).  For example, she resolves to grow more berries, and also to “give in” to the standard advice to add aluminum sulphate to make her soil suitable for blueberries.  She had resisted that good advice because it went against her belief that the only amendment required for great results is mulch – a belief that a poor blueberry harvest forced her to abandon.  Michele also resolves to “fearlessly make sauerkraut in August,” to “paint my porch rockers blue” and to stop deferring things she’s wanted to do for a long time, like painting those rockers.  Procrastination, in or out of the garden, is something that millions of New Year’s Resolution-makers are addressing today, no doubt.

Before and after photos of my garden in Takoma Park.

For my part, I’m skipping the resolution-writing for the simple reason that I recently moved (to Old Greenbelt) and will be starting a brand new garden this year.  Starting with a blank slate – except for one Japanese maple – I have no existing garden to tweak, just some errors I’ve made in the past that I intend to NOT repeat.  They are:  1. Neglecting to take “before” picture, and 2. Not getting design help.  I wrote more about them here and asked readers to tell me about their own garden mistakes.  The responses were very instructive.

Comments are closed.