healthy garden

Healthy Garden: New Year Resolutions

Do You Have a Healthy Garden?

How many people do you know that make New Year resolutions to get healthy and fit?

And how many do you know who actually follow through? Instead of thinking about how you can improve, this year make some New Year resolutions about getting and keeping a healthy garden.

Gardens need basic care. That includes making sure healthy nutrients are available. Like us, they need fresh air, good clean water, protection from the elements and lots of sunshine to be their best.

For this new year, starting right now, make a plan of action for your gardens, and stick with it throughout the following years.

Here are six steps to assist you in building a healthy garden – whether it is an ornamental, herbal or vegetable garden.

Make a Plan

Gardens need plans, and right now is a great time to do that planning. Think about your current gardens, and decide what changes you want to make in spring. Which plants require moving, dividing, or even removal?

healthy gardenGet some catalogs from nurseries and gardening outlets. Think about what you would like add to the gardens, and check out heirloom and organic vegetable seeds for a healthy garden.

Start a Garden Journal

Describe your current garden, and make a sketch of what plants are located in it. Draw up new plans on graph paper showing the changes you intend to make, so when spring arrives and you visit the local nursery, you know just what to buy.healthy garden

Take the time to visit your library and consult some good gardening books for ideas, as well as those seed and plant catalogs. Resolve to add to this journal all year long, with notes, photos and sketches. It will become an invaluable record in future years.

Compost

If you don’t already have a compost bin, then get one started. The most important part of any healthy garden is the soil, and by adding your own compost annually, you will slowly add to its health. Get a head start by locating some good rotted and composted manure or some fish compost.

Test your soil before you plant, and learn what you need to do to amend it so it is the best possible base for your chosen plants.

Watering

Plan to group together plants that have similar growing requirements. It’s much easier to water when a group of plants have similar moisture needs.

aboutdrips6Plan to set up drip watering systems throughout your healthy garden. This one step alone will save you hours and is a much more efficient use of available water.

Consider including native varieties that are already suited to your location. If you are in a dry area, or want to conserve water, look for plants with low water needs.

Mulching

Mulching will not only help to conserve water by slowing evaporation from the soil, it will inhibit the growth of weeds. Again, it saves you a lot of gardening time and labor. The extra plus of adding mulch, of course, is it makes your ornamental gardens look much more attractive.

Evaluate

Like in real estate, in a garden location is the key. Plants that are placed in the wrong location – wrong soil type, wrong light – will need constant maintenance to look good.

Evaluate what is already in your garden. Look at the environments you have available to you, and resolve only to grow plants that fit into those different environments. This will take some research, but what better time to do that than the cold winter months!

Finally, remember that gardening is fun, it is relaxing, and it is enjoyable. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing, about getting dirty without guilt, and taking the time to find peace and serenity among your plants.

And just thinking about it, planning and dreaming of your healthy garden next spring can make these winter days seem warmer.

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