New Year’s resolutions. Everyone has them, but how difficult are they to keep? I challenge each and every one of you garden-lovers, whether you’re a Master Gardener or a novice, to pick the perfect New Year’s Garden Resolution for yourself and stick to it! Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of some ideas to get your wheels turning about how to get outside and get something done in your garden this growing season.
With that said, some of the things on this list are easier than others. It’s important to choose a resolution that fits your lifestyle and is possible for you to achieve. Don’t dismay if nothing on this list appeals to you – just use your imagination (or Google) to come up with the resolution that is just right for you, whether it’s garden-related, health-related, or something else entirely. Without further ado, here is my list of suggestions to make your garden and your life better in 2016.
- Finally plant that vegetable or fruit that you’ve always wanted to plant
For me, I would have to say that this is probably cherry tomatoes or strawberries. Have you ever tasted either one of these edibles fresh from the plant? They are divine. I know I will say this again in this article, but I can’t recommend buying from a local greenhouse or nursery enough. So, head to your local ma & pa plant market and get that dream edible of yours. Be sure to ask their knowledgeable staff about plant care and maintenance!
- Take more time to spend in your garden – your health will thank you
Okay, we all know that being outside makes us feel good (as long as the weather isn’t unbelievably hot or freezing cold). But why is that? Richard Louv states, in the book The Nature Principle, “This principle holds that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival.” And he is so right. If you don’t have your own backyard oasis (or even if you do), we are more than happy to welcome you to the Arboretum again and again.
- Get rid of that aggressive or invasive plant that you just don’t want there
One way to get rid of that tricky plant is, of course, declaring chemical warfare on it. For this option, visit your local Greenhouse or garden store to find the right thing for your specific problem. Some other options, for those who wish to avoid using harmful chemicals in their gardens, are using vinegar (this won’t work for everything) or trying a more physical approach. You can try removing the majority of the plant by digging it up, but, chances are, this will not remove the plant entirely. The best thing to do is try a few different ways until you accomplish your goal. This will take work, but, I promise, once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, you will feel great!
- (This one is for our readers that are apartment owners) Research which houseplants would work well in your home (lighting, environment, pet-friendly, etc.), and go out and buy that houseplant
With advances in technology and the World Wide Web, we have any information that we could ever need at our fingertips. Let’s take advantage of that! Head to your search engine of choice and simply type in “houseplants for low light”. Or, if you have a particularly sunny spot in your home that’s missing something, you can type in “houseplants for high light”, you get the idea.
While researching which new houseplant to get, please keep in mind that some houseplants are toxic to pets – put some green in your home without endangering your fur babies! Once you’ve picked a winner, I would suggest heading to a local nursery or greenhouse instead of a big box store. The selection will be better, the staff will be more knowledgeable, and the product will be of a better quality. Happy plant-hunting!
- Decide to spend time enjoying your own backyard with family members – especially the little ones
This one is similar to #2, but that should just make you realize how important this resolution really is. I felt the need to include this twice, because I think it’s twice as important for kids to get outside as it is for adults. According to a study done by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, children are spending HALF as much time outside as they were 20 years ago. This is unacceptable. Every single human needs Vitamin D. That’s just a fact of life. Vitamin D is important for bone growth, among other things, which makes soaking up rays a vital activity for young children. So, grab Fido and the kids and head outside this growing season to plant some strawberries, play a game or two of tag, and experience the euphoria of absorbing that all-important Vitamin D.
Juster, F. Thomas et al. (2004). “Changing Times of American Youth: 1981-2003”, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Child Development Supplement