New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners35+ inspiring ways to kick off your gardening year
Photo by: LanaSweet / Shutterstock.
It’s that time again when we look forward to the new year and make our annual resolutions. It’s probably a good bet that eating healthier and getting more exercise are at the top of your list. The good news is, gardening can help you achieve both of those goals, along with others like learning new things, going green, and having fun! Here are some ideas and inspiration to get you started on your best gardening year yet.
- Mix and match plants like never before. Use Proven Winner’s container garden recipe search or Proven Plant Pairings to find plants that work well together.
- Create a relaxing garden space by planting soothing-scented lavender.
- Research native plants for your area and add them to your landscape.
- Add four new houseplants to your collection—one each season—and learn how to care for them.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
- Check out what’s trending in garden design and incorporate at least one new idea in your yard or garden.
- Start a garden journal and keep track of what works — and what doesn’t.
- Expand your garden library and treat yourself to a new gardening book.
- Follow Garden Design on Instagram and see what other gardeners are up to, get new ideas, and maybe even share some of your gardening knowledge.
- Take an online gardening course and learn from an expert, like container guru Karen Chapman, perennials whiz Kerry Ann Mendez, or organic gardener extraordinaire Joe Gardener.
Photo by: Dayna Springfield.
CARE FOR POLLINATORS & WILDLIFE
- Dedicate a section garden to local pollinators. Plant a selection of flowers that will keep local bees well fed, or design an area dedicated to butterflies.
- 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.
- Plant a buffet for birds with fruit-bearing shrubs and trees.
- Build a home for wildlife and beneficial insects to hide out in 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 EASY
- Set up your container plants on a drip system. Learn how in this video from Garden Answer.
- Take better care of your garden tools by learning how to clean and store them properly.
- Cut back on weekly maintenance (and water) by rethinking your lawn and incorporating native grasses and low-maintenance plants.
Photo by: Eveline Brown / Pixabay.
TAKE CARE OF PESKY PESTS
- Keep deer from feasting on your garden by designing with deer-resistant plants.
- Take care of grubs before they take over your lawn.
- 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.
- Start a compost pile and make your own ‘garden gold’. It’s great for your plants and the environment.
- Don’t let weeds get the upper hand this year. Learn how to manage them without dangerous chemicals.
- Clear out harmful chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and make the switch to natural and organic alternatives. Check with your local county extension office for proper disposal options in your area.
- Do your part to cut down on plastics by searching out eco-friendly options, such as Eco-Pots for seed starting.
Photo by: Dayna Springfield.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES
- 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.
- Try something new in your vegetable garden. Check out Veggie Garden Remix, by Niki Jabbour, for inspiration.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!