Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you do, you may consider giving them a gardening theme this year. Making garden-themed resolutions is a great way to get excited about the spring and summer growing season. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to donate a portion of the vegetables I grow in my garden to a local homeless shelter. Check out nine other New Year’s resolutions with a gardening theme that you might want to make this year.
Nine New Year’s Resolutions Gardeners Will Want to Keep
1.) Create an Organic Garden: Challenge yourself to create an organic garden this spring. Test the quality of the soil, use organic fertilizer, avoid using pesticides, and invite beneficial insects to your garden. All of this can add up to a rewarding experience and lots of healthy vegetables for you and your family.
2.) Spread the Beauty: Take some of the flowers out of your garden and bring them into your home. If you grow lots of tulips, black-eyed Susans, or snapdragons in your garden, pick a few and arrange them in vases throughout your home. They can add instant cheer to your kitchen, bedroom, or living room!
3.) Add Some New Residents to Your Garden: Challenge your gardening skills this year by growing vegetables or flowers you’ve never grown before. Maybe you’d like to try putting some banana peppers or kale in your salads this summer. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try growing some orchids. Go for it in 2017!
4.) Monitor Your Soil: Get a soil test kit to check the amount of pH in your garden soil. The results of this test can guide you on what type of fertilizer to use and what plants to grow in your garden. Resolve to get the most out of your garden this year. Soil test kits can be purchased at hardware stores or online.
5.) Encourage Beneficial Bugs to Live in Your Garden: Certain bugs that are harmful to a garden, while others help vegetables and other plants to grow. For instance, damsel bugs eat caterpillars, thrips, and leafhoppers. Those three insects can chew up your plants before they have a chance to flourish. The larvae of lady beetles, also known as ladybugs, eat aphids. Aphids can chew the leaves of vegetables, causing a lot of damage. Other beneficial insects include leaf miner parasites, pirate bugs, and praying mantises. Encouraging beneficial bugs to live in your garden helps you to avoid using pesticides.
6.) Work in the Garden Several Hours a Week: Working in your garden is a productive activity that may help you lose weight and can lower your blood pressure and decrease stress. This resolution is a wonderful gift to give to yourself.
7.) Organize Your Garden: Create colorful labels for your vegetables and flowers this year. Attach these labels to small stakes and put them in the appropriate areas of your garden. This will improve the appearance of your garden and take the guesswork out of where you planted things.
8.) Take Better Care of Your Gardening Tools: Create a new system of storage for your gardening tools this year. For example, you might make or buy a rack where you can hang your gardening fork, spade, and small shovel. Hanging them up allows them to dry and prevents them from being stepped on in your shed or garage. Set aside a place for your gardening gloves, hat, and apron. Give your gardening activities a touch of organization this year!
9.) Share Your Garden: Share the flowers, vegetables, and fruits from your garden with neighbors, coworkers, and friends this year. Leave a bouquet of flowers on the front porch of an elderly neighbor, or take a basket of tomatoes to a coworker who has a big family. Teach some young kids in your neighborhood how you grow different veggies and flowers. These activities will make you feel proud of your gardening efforts and help others at the same time.
Happy New Year!