New Year’s resolutions can be fun and full of hope and promise. Often they are about personal growth, boosting your health, or ticking a couple of things off your bucket list. Another way to add a little intention to the new year is to come up with a few gardening goals.
This could be developing an already existing garden, starting a garden from scratch, joining a community garden, or something else that can’t help but bring health, wellness, and joy to you, possibly your neighbors, and certainly the planet.
The great thing about gardening goals is that they are a little easier to keep than promising to go to the gym twice a week or totally quitting *fill in the blank*. Whether you are a green-thumbed pro or a complete noob in the garden, check out these ideas for some New Year gardening goals.
1. Introduce a New Edible to Your Mix
You might already have the art of turnip and carrot growing down to a T. If so, why not think about trying a new variety of said veggies or look up another root vegetable—parsnips, radishes, and beets would be a good place to start. Since many root vegetables enjoy similar soil conditions, and your other root crops are doing so well, you might do well branching out.
It doesn’t have to be root vegetables. How about trying a new variety of lettuce, or getting hold of some strawberry starts or a raspberry cutting to expand your garden?
2. Start a Container Garden
If you don’t have a lot of garden space at your disposal but have always wanted to grow some veggies for yourself then you should think about starting a container garden. As long as you have at least a sunny porch, balcony, stoop, or windowsill there will be something you can grow.
Tiny little herb plants in pots on your windowsill, tubs filled with salad greens, and hanging baskets trailing with strawberries all count as container gardening. And, every little bit counts towards you taking some control over your own food sources.
3. Grow Something You Have Been Putting Off
Growing certain things can be a little off-putting. You might have read about terrible germination rates or that some crops need a lot of attention. You might have tried and failed to grow something in the past and vowed never to return.
But, if you already have an established garden, and you are feeling like you want a challenge, step out and have a go at growing whatever it is you have been putting off.
If it goes well, fantastic! If it doesn’t, well, at least you know and you can stop wondering. Either that, or you will be even more determined to make it work next year and have a bit of experience under your belt.
4. Save Some Seed
Source: Growing In The Garden/YouTube
Without having to sow or grow anything specifically for this reason, research the plants you already have growing in your garden and learn about how you might be able to save seeds from them.
There are many advantages to saving seeds. One simple one is that you can save money from having to buy new seeds year after year. Another is that you can be sure that your seeds have come from plants that have been grown organically and in a way that suits you.
Before you start just taking seeds from plants and trying to replant them, there are some things to consider, such as cross-pollination. Check out this article about best seed-saving practices.
5. Clean and Sharpen all of Your Gardening Tools
It is really easy to let our gardening tools fall into disrepair. They get blunted, covered in mud, and sometimes accidentally left out in the rain. When a hard day’s work in the yard is over, we don’t always feel like giving our tools the attention they need.
Before spring comes, have the goal of getting your tools in tip-top shape. Give everything a good clean and oil—that means metal and wooden tools. Sharpen up blades and tighten nuts and bolts. Sew and patch the holes in your gardening gloves and clean your plant pots.
It will be a lovely way to start the new growing season.
6. Start a Pollinator Garden
Source: Epic Gardening/YouTube
Learning about what flowers grow wild and are native to your area is essential if you want to start a pollinator garden. Pollinator gardens are a wonderful haven for many birds, insects, and other small mammals, not just pollinators.
Certain pollinators are attracted to very specific species of plants. With habitat loss, some pollinator species are seeing their required flora declining, and in turn, so are they.
If you have the space, plant wildflowers and natives with a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and aromas. As well, try to find plants that bloom at different times of the year, meaning the pollinators have a food source all through the growing season.
Start or expand your herb garden. Learn about a medicinal plant. Try a new recipe with veggies from your garden. Learn about wild edibles in your area. Start a home composting system. Spend more time enjoying your garden—sit on a stump and take it all in.
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