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Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners

As a new garden season approaches, here are some suggestions for making the gardening experience a better one than last year. They’re like New Year’s resolutions, but for the garden.

1 - I will not blame myself for past gardening failures. Last year’s drought was Mother Nature, not me. Just because my tomatoes or other crops didn’t grow, the circumstances were beyond my control.

2 - This year I won’t be afraid to ask questions. A simple Google search can answer most any question I might have about crops, pests or fertilizers. Neighbors, garden center employees and our local Extension Service, all have information to share if I will just ask.

3 - I will try something new. Just because I’ve planted the same tomato or carrot varieties for the past several years, doesn’t mean they are the best ones for my area. By looking in the seed catalog or on-line, I can find vegetables and herbs that are drought-tolerant and best suited for this region.

4 - I will share my knowledge with others. With encouragement, most children can learn about growing and eating homegrown vegetables and herbs. Maybe you will be the reason your grandchildren learn to like food from the garden.

5 - I will make a better effort at composting kitchen scraps. Instead of sending vegetable kitchen scraps to the landfill, I can just as easily make a composting spot - even a small hole in the garden, where the scraps get buried (no meat, no bread or other things that will attract varmints). Composting makes my garden soil richer and more fertile.

All very simple resolutions, meant to help us forgive ourselves for past mistakes, and give encouragement for the garden season ahead.

Kids learning how to safely use a knife when cutting fresh herbs.

If you would like to help a kids garden project, visit my website ( and click on the “Order Seed, Help Kids” button, on the lower left corner of the page. It is linked to and for every packet of seed you buy from her, she will donate 25% to the Health, Environment and Wellness Children’s Garden project, which is helping kids, grades 1 through 6 to learn about gardening. Happy gardening!

Kids working in the school garden kitchen.

Visit my Gardening Adventures blog, for what's happening in my garden this week.

Copyright, 2013 Jim Long

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