Brand New Year in the Garden
As the beginning of a new year unfolds it is a great time to both reflect on last year and make plans for the New Year. There is plenty to do in the garden, to get ready and cleaned up for Spring, but first spending some time reflecting and planning is very important and quite satisfying and it may save you time in the long run.
My favourite way to start is to bundle up, grab a notebook and your favourite warm drink and wander through your yard. Try to look at your garden with fresh eyes. You might need to walk down the street and then approach your yard to try to see it 'fresh'. If you have a lot to do, don't overwhelm yourself, choose one part of your garden to start with that is the most important to you.
Most gardeners know which areas need some work but here are some areas you might think about: -
- Front Entrance - The purpose of this area is to welcome your family and friends to your home.
- Trees – add definition to your garden and can provide shade as well as attract birdlife.
- Hedges – provide privacy and define your space/spaces.
- Borders & Flower Gardens - Frame your outdoor space and/or create interest and shape in your yard.
- Hanging Baskets and Containers - These are generally the final touches but in small gardens, they may play a larger role.
- Veggie Garden - Growing your food is fun and more important than ever!
- Seating area - A place for solitude and relaxation
- Outdoor dining space – a place to gather with family, friends & food
- Lawns - A place to play and walk barefoot.
Look at everything and reflect on how it looked in season and what the possibilities are for this year.
For example - you might look at your outdoor dining space. We are spending more time outdoors and having a beautiful space for breakfast or dinners will be top of mind for many this summer.
Other things to consider…
- How are the pathways, structures, and hardscaping?
- Do the shrubs need trimming? If so, make a note to check the correct time of year for pruning specific plants. Be careful, some shrubs, like Rhododendrons and Lilacs, have the buds already formed and you will be trimming all the flowers away if you were to prune these in winter.
- How does the soil look? Could it use amending or re-mulching? Even though you may not do these until later in the Spring make yourself a note now that you want to add manure, compost, or mulch. Pay special attention to the areas you noticed were dry last summer during the heatwave. Adding more organic matter here (manure, peat moss, coco coir, compost) and/or soaker hoses will help you to be more successful in these areas.
- Make a note to feed your garden with an all-purpose fertilizer such as our Organic Mix or 10-15-19. Apply in early March.
- Are there changes that need to be made or does it simply need to be maintained? If you are on tight budget maintenance is your friend; everything looks better when it looks loved.
If time permits, you may want to reflect on all the areas of your garden this way so you can prepare a loose plan of what your priorities are for 2022. Recognize that you might have to put some areas on the back burner for the following year. This way while you are working in your yard you will have a clear picture of what the big picture is and what you are working toward.
I hope 2022 will be a fantastic year for you in your garden!
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