New Year Goals for Gardeners:

New Year’s resolutions have never really been much of a thing for me.  Rather, I prefer to set personal goals, and I don’t necessarily wait for the first of January to set them.

Here’s a list of good 2019 goals for gardeners.   If you accomplish any or all of these, you will improve your personal environment, as well as the bigger environment:

  1. Plant a shade tree. Lambton County’s tree canopy is steadily shrinking.  The Ash trees are gone, and our precious Oaks are slowly diminishing.  If every homeowner planted one or two new trees, we would turn the tide and make Sarnia Lambton an even better place to live.
  2. Bring tropical plants indoors. Beat the winter blues by bringing live greenery into the family room.  They will help clean the air and give you amore comfortable living space.  Start with easy to grow Pothos, Peace Lily and Chinese Evergreen.
  3. Aerate your lawn: Turf specialists are realizing that aerating is grass’s miracle fixer-upper.  It relieves your lawn of over compaction by extracting plugs of soil 3 to 4 inches deep thus making it easier for nutrients and air to reach root system.
  4. Plant a few butterfly attracting flowers. Summer flowering perennials are sure to bring birds, hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.  They will also cheer you up with a blast of colour.  Try Echinacias, Rudbeckia and Coreopsis.
  5. Prune: Prune your flowering shrubs to rejuvenate them and improve their performance.  Prune the evergreens around the foundation plantings to add years of enjoyment and life to your landscape.  Pruning can b e a daunting task for someone who is nervous, so consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
  6. Add privacy plants. You will use your backyard more if it becomes your own private oasis.  Add a few strategically placed evergreens that will soon grow big enough to obscure the neighbour’s views into your backyard.
  7. Use less water. If you are going to water your grass, do so only once a week.  it is far better to add an inch of water once a week than giving a light sprinkling every day or two.  Frequent watering causes roots to become lazy because there is no need to search for water.  Allowing the soil to dry out encourages strong deep root growth.
  8. Add mulch. A good layer of shredded wood mulch improves the growth of plants, keeps weeds at bay and helps retain soil moisture.
  9. Improve your views from the house into the backyard. Easier said than done.  A few years ago, as part of our kitchen renovation, we switched out a small window and replaced it with a larger one.  Washing dishes has never been so rewarding.  We enjoy the new views into the backyard, and through winter we watch birds fight over the best seats at the feeding station.
  10. Build a patio. Another job that’s easier said than done.  Take some time to plan the best size, location and material for a new area that will increase your living space and draw you to the outdoors.