1. Find a better way of marking seeds for indoor seed starting. You may recall the pieces of poster board I used last year didn't work very well--they disintegrated after several waterings or fell out of some of the seed trays. This year I'm going to use something plastic or short popsicle sticks so that when I plant seeds, expecting to get these . . .
I don't get these instead . . .
The kohlrabis were tasty, but sure not as pretty as gray-headed coneflowers!
2. And speaking of seeds, this year I vow not to get so carried away ordering seeds. I was enticed by photos of pretty blooms and glowing descriptions of veggies in the seed catalogs to order more than I had intended. Then Renee's Garden kindly offered me some free seeds, and of course, I couldn't pass that up. And then all kinds of interesting seeds from fellow bloggers came in the mail through Monica's seed exchange so that I had more seeds than garden space to plant them in!
Wonder if these leftover seeds will still be good this year? Hmmm, while I'm at it, doing some cleaning and organizing ought to be put on the resolution list, too.
3. Even worse than seed buying is my addiction to plant shopping. This year I vow to cut down on impulse plant purchases, and think about where I will put a plant before I buy something just because it's "so pretty."
|Just one stage of the "pot ghetto" last year.|
4. Mulch, mulch, mulch! And mulch early before the weeds, especially the weedy grasses take over.
Besides saving me from hours of work, it would be nice to show a photo of the vegetable garden or a new bloom like this Gaura without having to crop it so close to keep all the weeds out of the photo. (And since my photo-editing program is acting up today, you may be seeing more of my weeds since I can't crop any of these photos.)
5. Invest in some good tomato cages. The ones I have, although better than nothing, are the cheap, conical ones. A few have gotten rusty, and most of them have ends that are at crazy angles from repeated use. They're not very sturdy; last year strong winds or perhaps an errant Golden Retriever galloping through the vegetable garden knocked a few of them over, and they never could be propped up right again.
Time to stop being such a tightwad and spend a little money to have a better tomato crop this year.
6. Plant more zinnias! Longtime readers will remember how much I love these colorful, easy-to-grow annuals. Last year I sowed them directly in the roadside garden as usual in May, but heavy June rains apparently washed away all the seeds. This year, if the same thing happens, I'm going to re-plant and re-plant again, if necessary, even if it's late July.
How I missed seeing these beauties this past year!
7. Plant more ornamental grasses. Most gardeners would be surprised to know that I didn't have a single ornamental grass in my garden until this year. But I've always been a little afraid of where to plant them--you see, we have lots of weedy grasses growing around the farm that require constant cutting down, and I didn't want anyone to think I had one of these weeds growing in my flowerbeds!
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' has changed my mind about grasses. Planted in late August of this year, it's only had a little time to settle into my garden, but wow, it even looks good encased in hoarfrost!
8. Be more diligent about watering the roadside garden and planter under the oak tree. I make this resolution every year, and usually by mid-summer I've gotten so
Maybe I'll be more motivated if I remind myself that the 1/4 mile walk down the lane
and back carrying jugs of water will be a great calorie-burner.
9. Pay attention to frost warnings!
This fall I wanted to bring more plants inside to overwinter, including my two 'Illumination' begonias. I did bring one in, but it was too late. After one night in the chilly garage, it gave up the fight and promptly died.
And while I'm at it, I really should throw those Halloween pumpkins onto the compost pile in November before they become frozen fast to the patio steps:)
10. Finally, this year I vow to leave my gardening gloves out of Sophie's reach.
I don't think I need to explain . . . except to say at least these were a cheap pair from the Dollar Store. I'm not going to show you my first pair of Ethel gloves--it would make you cry:)
Ten resolutions sounds like a manageable number; surely I can stick to most of these. But I really should add Exercise back to the list, especially since # 3 doesn't count anyway. We have a big wedding coming up in May, so this is primarily a personal goal. It's a beach wedding, and this mother of the bride doesn't want to be mistaken for a beached whale. But it's also a goal for gardening. Those first few weeks of gardening season can be torture if you're digging and toting 40 pound bags of topsoil and compost around with muscles that have atrophied over the winter, where the only strenuous exercise has been to turn the pages of gardening magazines. . . . Now where did I put those dumbbells??
Whatever your gardening resolutions for the year, here's to a great year in the garden in 2011!