New year, new you, right? But it can also be new year, new garden. While you're busy making your list of 2020 resolutions (you know, eat healthier, hit the gym, start a daily meditation session), remember the other areas in your life that bring you joy—like your yard and garden. If you can commit to a few outdoor goals, you'll be well on your way to creating a gorgeous garden in the new year. We came up with five resolutions to help you get started.
Resolution 1: Keep Your Tools Organized
You obviously need the right tools to accomplish just about any garden task—and while it's easy to toss your favorite gardening gloves or best set of pruners in a random bucket in the back corner of the garage, you'll curse yourself next weekend when you can't find them. Instead of wasting time hunting, resolve to get your tools organized and keep them that way. Trust us, you'll be better able to take care of your yard when your tools are always at the ready.
Adam Albright - Amy Haskell
Resolution 2: Prepare for Pests
No matter what region of the country you live in, you'll deal with unwelcome visitors to your garden, such as deer, rabbits, insect pests, and weeds. But don't let that discourage you! Instead, resolve to be ready. Regularly scout for weeds that can pop up whenever the ground thaws, and remove them ASAP. If an area like your veggie garden usually attracts pesky bunnies, fence it off before you sow seeds. Certain species of plants have more pest issues than others—for example, ash trees inevitably will attract emerald ash borers that will kill them—so research any new plant you want to add to your garden to make sure it won't create headaches. Lots of problematic yet popular plants such as roses and tomatoes have disease- and pest-resistant varieties to choose from, so look for those when choosing what to grow.
Resolution 3: Improve Water Conservation
Although this goal is especially crucial in drought-prone areas, gardeners in every region can conserve water. Mulch is your friend because it helps the soil hold onto moisture for your plants. Add at least a 2-inch layer wherever you have bare soil. And try choosing plants native to your region—they are better able to thrive without a lot of extra watering and other pampering. For areas of your garden that may need more water, such as lawn or a vegetable garden, an irrigation system with a timer can really help use water more efficiently.
Resolution 4: Take on a Challenging Project
Part of the fun of gardening is trying something new, whether it's a weekend project like making your own concrete containers or freshening up your garden beds with some dramatic edging. Or maybe you'd like to try building your own trellis or creating a broken brick patio? The possibilities are endless, but no matter what you choose, you're bound to gain new skills and a sense of accomplishment. And if a project doesn't quite work out, consider it a lesson learned and start a new one!
Resolution 5: Enjoy Your Outdoor Space More
Just 20 minutes a day outside in nature can lower your stress levels, so make it a priority to literally stop and smell the flowers once in a while. Spend a few moments watching the birds and butterflies doing their thing while you enjoy your morning coffee. Or if you've got a patio or deck, add a few containers and comfortable seating to make it a more welcoming place to hang out. No patio, no problem! How about building a fire pit for your family and friends to gather around? The more you can make your outdoor space a pleasant and relaxing place to be, the more you'll appreciate all the hard work you're putting into it.