Winter chores are nearly done. While you and your garden are at rest, you can take a break and think of the many ways to make gardening easier and more enjoyable in the coming year.
I’ve planned some changes. I’ve removed some plants that are high maintenance and always thirsty and I’m happy with the results. There are some other ways to simplify garden routines, making it easier on our bodies and less demanding on our time.
Here are a dozen resolutions that will make gardening easier and be kinder and gentler to the earth:
1. I will not be seduced into buying pretty plants that need constant deadheading. I WILL keep African daisies, that bloom year around, and lavender, which I love, and use hedge clippers to keep them shapely and in bloom.
2. I will divide and replant plants that give color with little care and water, like society garlic, coastal irises, and daylilies,
3. I will be more practical in growing edible plants. I’ll plant edible greens on a staggered schedule in my vegetable boxes, planting a small area each month. After all, how much lettuce, arugula, and spinach can two people eat?
4. I’ll NOT grow organic vegetables that I can buy at a reasonable price.
5. I’ll sprinkle wildflower seeds before each rainstorm. What am I saving them for?
6. When I feel the need for an upper body workout, I’ll get out my hula hoe and remove those tiny weeds in the pathways and beds before they get too big to pull.
7. I’ll remember that disturbing the soil when it is wet creates an unnatural environment for micro-organisms that are necessary for healthy plants.
8. I will mix compost into any soil in which I am working at a rate of 50/50. Native plants are best planted in native soil with no soil amendment.
9. I will not use fertilizer unless needed. Over-fertilizing is unhealthy for plants and the environment. I will establish a schedule for fertilizing and stick to it.
10. I’ll use minimal insecticides knowing that sprays and systemic insecticides impact the natural balance of my garden, and often kill as many beneficial insects as they do pests.
11. I will not buy plants solely because they are challenging to grow. I don’t need any more challenges, thank you!
12. I will leave deciduous leaves and pine needles that have fallen from trees to decompose and nourish the soil. I’ll clean up diseased leaves as soon as possible.
I’ve resolved to relax and enjoy the garden that I have. I’ll spend time each day appreciating my natural surroundings. I’ll resist the urge to pull weeds and be content during this down time to breathe in the fragrance and moist air.
Here’s wishing you all a lush and abundant coming year.