Resolve to be a better gardener

Or not!

87467177For 2015, I ­promise to be a ­better ­gardener. You can use that ­resolution as well, free of charge.

Well, that tends to be a yearly promise, and ­fortunately, it comes without any benchmarks to tell if I, or you, chose to affirm the same goal to succeed. Let’s face it, it’s hard to fault something where you can vigorously nod your head this ­coming December and say “I fulfilled my promise.”

That’s because you can always become a better gardener by just not mowing as often, or by mowing more often, controlling pests better or not.

It’s all how you look at it, and that is just the right way, especially as the number of candles on the birthday cake keep increasing.

Looking out my ­windows at my garden, I could easily come up with 10, 20, 30 or 50 different things to do next year. Most of us could, with maybe the exception of those that employ someone to manage our ­property. All we have to do then is say “You come up with 10, 20, 30 or 50 different things to do differently next year.”

Here’s some starters:

The soil should be richer, with copious amounts of organic matter worked into the soil.

The compost pile should be bigger and definitely turned more often.

The hostas, which haven’t been divided in about 5 years, need to be divided. Of course, the soil should be enhanced with copious amounts of organic matter such as compost. (See, they all relate. That’s how you narrow down your list of things to do and then swell up with pride as you tick the individual ones off to the unknowledgeable.)

The driveway and patio need to be power-washed, which is really an excuse to get a power washer.

Branches need to be pruned, both trees and shrubs.

This can be hard to swallow, but if you are sick and tired of something, and it doesn’t thrill you ­anymore, or you’ve moved on to ­bigger and better things, and it’s just taking up space, get rid of it! I’m ONLY talking about plants here. They don’t have to be sick or dead. You won’t be arrested for pulling your own plants out.

Plants need to be planted. But, please, figure out how big they’ll grow and spread, and determine if

David Robson is Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety for the University of Illinois. drobson@illinois.edu

David Robson is Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety for the University of Illinois. drobson@illinois.edu

the space you have has the right light, water, or soil, though you can add copious amounts of organic matter, such as compost, and make the soil better. (See, it ­happened again!)

And think about all the spots in your garden. That-which-is-seldom-seen from the windows needs to be worked on because some people do eventually see it. In years it could be a drone; now it’s probably Google Earth. Out-of-sight/out-of-mind can only carry you so many years, unless you live in the country; then it can carry you for decades.

Comments are closed.