10 New Year’s Resolutions for Gardeners

For gardeners, every year opens the possibility of better success: fewer weeds, more tomatoes, prettier flowers, etc. Whatever your aim, the following resolutions will get you there faster.

1. If you’re not happy with your landscape or garden, you have too much landscape or garden. Edit your design and goals so they demand less time and maintenance. An acre of lawn and a hundred tomato plants sound good in spring…but how will you feel in July?

2. Seek out gardening information that is appropriate for Georgia. Your friendly Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are ready to answer questions based on Georgia conditions. Just call 1-800-ASKUGA1. Or visit UGA Horticulture Publications for brochures you can download and print.

3. Don’t let weeds get out of hand before taking efforts to control them. Dealing with weeds is an unavoidable part of landscape upkeep. Yards with regular weed maintenance have less severe weed problems.

4. Use mulch in flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, around shrubs and in other appropriate areas. Pine straw, leaves, dry grass clippings, ground bark and shredded wood are our best defense for controlling weeds. They also conserve soil moisture, look attractive, prevent soil compaction and moderate soil temperatures. There are few things we do that are more beneficial than mulching .

5. Get your soil tested. It’s cheap and simple. Plants can’t tell you what they want! You gotta test the soil to keep them happy. Go to Georgia Soil Test Instructions and follow directions.

6. Visit at least one of the outstanding public gardens around the state. The Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gibbs Gardens, and the Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Gardens are great!

7. Grow something you can eat. You don’t need a large area. Did you know you can grow lettuce on a sponge? You can grow tomatoes in a five-gallon bucket! And office conversations are so much better when you can brag about your garden! Get the how-to from UGA Gardening Publications.

8. Try a few new plants in your landscape or garden. Experimenting with new plants is part of the fun of gardening. My friends at Pike Nursery, have a great selection. Ask at the nursery or go online to find out about the plant needs before you plant it.

9. Show a child the wonders of gardening. Take your son, daughter, grandchild, niece, or nephew and show them your garden, flowers and vegetables. How many of you remember a grandparent or parent showing you how to garden when you were young? How much do you treasure that memory? Pass it on.

10. Spend more time simply enjoying the garden. Sometimes I randomly meander through my landscape, touching leaves, smelling flowers and appreciating what’s happening. This year, I personally resolve to relax and to remember that my garden does not always have to look like a magazine cover.