New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners40+ inspiring ideas to kick off your gardening year
Photo by: Mega Vectors / Shutterstock.
The start of a fresh new year is here, and like many others, we’re thinking about our upcoming year in the garden. What will we do differently? What worked well that we can continue in 2024?
Whether you’re someone who makes resolutions or not, we hope these ideas for the coming year inspire you in one way or another. Happy gardening!
CHOOSE PLANTS STRATEGICALLY
- Use Proven Winners' handy container garden recipe search or Proven Plant Pairings to help decide which plants are best suited for the same general area in your garden.
- Create a more private garden by selecting trees that are good for screening.
- Do your part for the environment by adding native plants to your garden.
- Add houseplants that work for your space: whether you get bright light or low light. (Keep those houseplant pests away, too!)
- Stick to doing what you love (it's your garden, after all!), but take a look at what's trending in garden design to see if anything sparks your interest.
- Keep track of what’s working and what’s not by documenting your garden’s happenings in a garden journal.
- Expand your garden library and treat yourself to a new gardening book.
- See what other gardeners are up to by following Garden Design on Instagram. And tag us in your garden posts!
- Attend an online webinar and learn from experts such as Dan Benarcik, Jenny Rose Carey, and more.
Photo by: Dayna Springfield.
CARE FOR POLLINATORS & WILDLIFE
- Make your garden more wildlife friendly by keeping local bees fed, attracting local butterflies, and feeding birds.
- Invite local wildlife into your garden with one of these 10 ideas — some as simple as adding a bird bath. Get even more inspired with this Delaware garden that invites all forms of wildlife into their yard with a natural-style pond.
- Include places for wildlife and beneficial insects to hide out and spend the winter. Layer used pallets and fill the gaps with broken clay pots or roofing tiles, twigs, branches, and dried seed heads. Use your imagination!
MAKE MAINTENANCE EASIER
- Learn ways to design and plant a low-maintenance garden for less work, and more fun!
- Designate an area of your garden as a meadow to mimic plant colonies found in nature and use less resources than typically required of traditional lawns or gardens.
- Set up a drip system for your container plants. Learn how in this video from Garden Answer.
- Keep your garden tools in good working condition by learning how to clean and store them properly.
Photo by: Eveline Brown / Pixabay.
DETER PESTS NATURALLY
- Keep deer from feasting on your garden by designing with deer-resistant plants.
- Fill a patio container with mosquito-repellent plants to keep from getting bit this summer.
- Make the time to learn more about common garden pests and keep your garden healthy.
- Not all garden bugs are bad! Discover 12 beneficial insects that will help keep your garden healthy and in balance.
- Consider the climate when choosing plants and making decisions in your garden.
- Start a compost pile that benefits your plants and the environment.
- Learn how to manage weeds without dangerous chemicals.
- Clear out harmful chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and make the switch to natural and organic alternatives such as neem oil. Check with your local county extension office for proper disposal options in your area.
- Choose plants that are right for your area. If you live in a drought zone, plant accordingly.
- Do your part to cut down on plastics by searching out eco-friendly options, such as plants sold in compostable containers, like Eco-Pots.
- Read Nature's Best Hope by Doug Tallamy to learn more about how you can make a difference.
Photo by: Dayna Springfield.
GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
- New to growing veggies? Learn how to start your own vegetable garden or to grow your own plants from seed.
- Try your hand at building a raised bed for your vegetable or cut-flower garden.
- Make your garden both beautiful and functional by incorporating edibles along with ornamental plants.
- Get a complete guide to growing an organic edible garden by reading The Vegetable Gardening Book by award-winning television and podcast host, gardener Joe Lamp'l.
- Volunteer at a local community garden. Don’t have one? Start one!
- Join a local garden club. You can find listings at Garden Clubs of America or National Garden Clubs. Again—Don't have one? Start one!
- Help support the work of Garden Conservancy to save and share gardens by becoming a member and attending Open Days events.
- Visit a local botanic garden or arboretum and become a member or volunteer.
HAVE SOME FUN
- Pick a theme for your garden and embrace it. Whether you like a tropical look or prefer a cottage garden style, there's a plant for that!
- Plant something fun, like sunflowers, with a child and watch how the stalks grow taller than they are.
- Plant a cut-flower garden and share surprise bouquets with neighbors. Here are some of our favorite plants to include.
- Design a garden (or area of your garden) that appeals to all the senses.
- Slash your gift-giving budget for the year by growing gifts instead of buying them.
- Inspire the next generation of gardeners with fun garden-inspired crafts and activities for kids.
A new year means a fresh start and new opportunities, in life and in your garden. Our best to you in the coming year!
Lessons Learned in the Garden