Ready for your best garden year ever? Start with these gardening resolutions, designed to give you a fuller, richer gardening experience. Learn, grow, and enjoy your flowers and veggies like never before!
January: Start a garden journal.
Make this year the one you finally start documenting your garden experiences. Sketch your ideas, make lists from catalogs, capture inspiration, record what works… and what doesn’t. Try the simple route with a notebook, expand your journal with photo pages, or go hi-tech and start a blog or other online journal.
February: Add some new houseplants to your collection.
Longing for the fresh scent of growing things, and wishing you had your hands in the dirt already? Sate your gardening hunger with houseplants. They’re more than just pretty; houseplants offer health benefits like cleaner air. Try these top 10 hard-to-kill houseplants, or learn how to grow flowers indoors.
March: Embrace technology by using a new planning or identification tool.
Many of us look to gardening as a chance to leave screens and WiFi behind. But there are a variety of online tools that can enhance your outdoor experiences, and cold winter months are a great time to explore them. Try Habitat Network to create a garden better able to attract birds and pollinators, or use the Kitchen Garden Planner from Gardener’s Supply.
April: Attend a gardening class, online or in person.
With warmer weather on the horizon, get ready for a great year in your garden by learning some new skills. County extension offices often offer free or low-cost classes; contact them for a list. Your local botanical gardens or garden clubs should have some great options too.
May: Try to attract one new butterfly by planting its host plant.
The best way to attract new butterflies to your garden is by providing the plants used by their caterpillars, called host plants. Each butterfly has its own host plant or plants, so you’ll need to do a little research first. (Here’s a good place to start.) Remember, caterpillars will be chewing on these plants so they won’t always look their best. Plant them in an area where they’re not highly visible if this will bother you as a gardener.
June: Grow something new to eat.
Veggie gardeners tend to stick to tomatoes, beans, peppers, and other familiar edibles. Every herb garden has mint, parsley, and thyme. This year, branch out and try something new! Get some new veggie garden ideas here, like tomatillos and bok choy. Click here for a list of new herbs to try, like bronze fennel or winter savory.
July: Visit one new botanical or public garden.
By this time of year, gardens are at their best in most places. Take advantage of the splendor and visit a new botanical or public garden in your area. You’ll find inspiration for your own garden, discover new plants, and maybe even meet some new and interesting people. If you really love your local garden, consider volunteering your time there for an even richer experience.
August: Take photos of your garden to use in holiday crafting and gifts.
Since most of us have cameras in our pockets most of the time these days (in the form of smartphones), make a resolution to actually take photos of your garden in its prime this year. Snap lots of photos of your flowers, trees, and garden visitors. Don’t worry about organizing them now – save that for snowy winter days. Tip: Learn how to take great butterfly photos here.
September: Dry flowers and herbs for winter.
Some of your favorite garden flowers dry well for use in indoor arrangements. Sedums, lavender, asters, and chrysanthemum all work very well as dried flowers. Almost any herb can be dried for use in teas and other recipes. Learn how to dry flowers by clicking here.
October: Clean and repair tools before putting them away for winter.
Imagine if you opened your shed in the spring and every tool was clean, sharpened, and ready for use. Let this be the year you make that happen. Get tips on general garden tool care here.
November: Serve at least one item at Thanksgiving that you grew yourself.
Now’s the time to benefit from the new veggies and herbs you tried back in the summer! Take pride in your harvest and share your successes with friends ad family at the Thanksgiving table. It’s also a good chance to urge others to give edible gardening a try. (Canadians – switch this one to October!)
December: Give gifts from your garden.
Remember those flower photos you took over the summer? Use them to create photo calendars, fridge magnets, or unique Christmas tree ornaments from your best shots. Craft sweet sachets from lavender you grew, or give jars of dried herbs from your garden. Gifts of seeds saved from your own flowers are also special, so try your hand at making these DIY charming snowman ornaments or your own throw-and-grow seed balls.