Many of the New Year’s resolutions made at this time of the year are focused on our own health or fitness. We set ourselves up for failure, with the resolution lucky to make it to the end of this month. This is not so with New Year’s resolutions for the garden. An achievable list results in a gorgeous garden by the end of the year as well as an improvement your own wellbeing because the garden is looking so good by the end of the year.
1. Repot the living Christmas tree before it dries out. Trip it up and apply Seasol and PowerFeed (30mL of Seasol and 50mL of PowerFeed concentrate to 9 litres of water). Place in a well lit position out of direct sun and allow the tree to acclimatise to the bright conditions once again. Move to a more open position over the next few months as it starts to cool down. If you didn’t have a living tree, now is the time to purchase a young one for next year. This way you get to enjoy a living potted plant for at least 11 months before it’s adorned with decorations for the festive season again.
2. Repot all small potted plants into larger containers. Make a promise to yourself to only use larger containers for potted plants. The more soil around the roots results in a happier, less stressed plant and ultimately faster, stronger growth. It will also save water because they don’t dry out as quickly as a collection of small pots. A great idea to get around the problem of lots of little pots is multi planting containers with multiple varieties together of plants that require similar watering needs. Remember to apply Seasol (30mL per 9 litres of water) to help reduce transplant shock and promote strong healthy growth.
3. Be ruthless and remove the plants or pots that give you the most grief or stress. Make a resolution to pass the on to a friend or neighbour or sell them at a garage sale. It will make you feel better that someone else is loving and caring for your ex plants and treasuring them. Remind yourself not to feel jealous when you see something that wasn’t going well in your garden thriving in your friends. Choose a more suitable alternative for the position that was causing you grief, remembering to improve the soil before planting, add a wetting agent and mulch after planting to save water.
6. Make a conscious decision to plant perfumed flowers or foliage in the garden or in containers. Smells are one of the best ways to trigger memories, catching the heady scents of a flower we haven’t smelt since our child hood can instantly transform us to that time. Build a collection of plants that are at their best at different times of the year. This way good memories will follow you around all year.
7. Plant or pot up a variety of plant every month that will gives you great pleasure. By the end of the year you have 12 plants that you feel happy with. Imagine, by the end of next year you will have 24 treasures. This is a simple, manageable way of updating the garden or patio area to make it reflect your personality.
8. One of the greatest threats to biodiversity in cities are the urban infill projects being completed across our cities. More housing has resulted in loss of large backyards. To counteract this trend create a habitat area in your own backyard. This area doesn’t have to be large, just protection from predators and don’t forget to include watering points.
9. Take time to notice what is happening in the garden. Use this time as relaxation – a sort of nature mediation. Dedicate about 15-20 minutes every week to wandering through the yard. If you only have a balcony garden take time to look at the leaves, flowers and fruits. You will learn a lot by just observing what is happening to plants and their surrounds.
10. Dedicate a corner or section of the garden to a specialist interest such as cacti or succulents, roses or daylillies. By developing a specialist interest in a different genus or group, suddenly gardening can become fun. If you have children dedicate an area for the children, allow them to garden it as they want to. Nurturing their interest in gardens, plants and nature is giving a child a life skill gift.