The new year has begun! Now is the time when we reflect on the past year and resolve to improve in the upcoming months. There are many kinds of resolutions to make, but gardening resolutions are the most fun. These cold January days are also the perfect time to think about gardening – what better way to warm the heart and mind than to think spring and summer!

First things first – review and revise. Curl up next to the fire or under a warm blanket with a cup of cocoa and a notebook. Think about what went well last year and what needs to be improved upon and why. One of the most common gardening “problems” is getting too much going at once and not taking a moment to literally stop and smell the roses. Don’t be afraid to resolve to do less and enjoy more!

Here are a few more gardening resolutions to consider for 2016.

Tonkadale Greenhouse: Planting for bees and pollinators

Photo by Michael Palmer, Wikimedia Commons

Have your soil tested. Healthy plants start with healthy soil. Find out what your garden needs and make the modifications and amendments. Your plants will thank you and reward you.

Plant for the environment. There are so many ways to do this and each and every one makes a positive impact. Plant milkweed for monarchs and a variety of flowers for pollinators. Practice sustainable gardening – plant “water-wise” plants that do not require constant irrigation. Water your lawn only when it needs it (not on an automatic timer), compost vegetable waste, and use pesticides as sparingly as possible and in a manner that will not harm pollinators.

Learn something new, try something new. One of the most wonderful things about gardening is that it never becomes stagnant and stale. There is so much to know that there is always something new to learn. Likewise, there are so many varieties of plants to try. Expand your gardening knowledge in the new year!

Tonkadale Greenhouse: kale, rosemary and cilantro in the garden

Kale, rosemary and cilantro. Photo by Harvest, Wikimedia Commons

Grow something edible. If you don’t already, give it a try. If you do, consider edible landscaping. Tuck some herbs, tomato plants, eggplants, peppers – whatever you like to eat – into the garden with your annual and perennial flowers.

Eating local is good for our health and the environment, and it doesn’t get more local than your own garden! Planting veggies close to other plants aids in pollination as well, since our pollinator friends don’t have to search very hard.

Relax and enjoy. This one is the most important garden resolution to make! All the rest will fall into place if you do this first. After all, the benefits of gardening are many, but it’s all lost if it becomes a source of stress and frustration. Stop. Sit in your garden. Watch the birds, bees and butterflies. Enjoy the hard work you’ve already put into the garden.

No matter what your resolutions may be, the best way to go about achieving them is to have a plan in place. Once more – put relaxing into that plan! Here’s to healthy, happy gardens and gardeners in the new year!