by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Garden Alert! Frozen soils can take a noticeable toll on the landscape. The heaving of the earth breaks tender new roots and causes the roots of some plants to come right up out of the ground. Soil heaving promises to be bad this winter, so, if you didn’t do it earlier, head off this destructive action by top dressing with a 2-3 inch layer of Premium Mulch or shredded bark. As a wise gardener, you will not allow winter to do damage that you can prevent.
Hanukkah is over, the Christmas tree has been dragged to the curb, and the “fresh” wreath is downright crispy. The pressing questions of the moment are: how long should the festive outdoor lights be left up? And should I feel this guilty from an overwhelming desire to throw away such a beautiful red poinsettia? Upon entering a New Year, there are heavier issues we might ponder.
For many, the next few weeks are times of reflecting on the year past and projecting how to make the new year better. This is an especially good time to reflect and project about our gardens. Snow covers our landscapes, so logically, we turn to the gardening catalogs that hit the mailboxes, both digitally and physically, to formulate plans for 2020 gardens.
Adopt any resolutions you feel will help your gardening efforts in the coming year. Increasing the harvest, lowering water costs, and reducing labor time are priorities in my New Year’s garden-related resolutions. Some objectives are fun, others are passion-based, and some are just smart gardening. Here are my resolutions:
A Gardener’s 2020 Gardening Resolutions
I will acquire better garden tools, starting with new pruners.
I will grow spectacular tomatoes and fruits.
I will add perennial flowers to the landscape, even if I must plant them in containers.
I will provide for backyard birds by planting a fruiting shrub just for them.
I will help the environment by planting a tree in my yard, in the wild, or for a friend.
I will prevent weeds this year by using more Weed & Grass Stopper.
I will do significant pruning on trees and shrubs, especially those that present safety hazards.
I will remodel my landscape by replacing ugly plants with attractive new ones.
I will keep plants healthier by using more Premium Mulch or shredded bark.
I will reduce water use by making regular seasonal adjustments to my irrigation clock.
I will feed the entire yard with 7-4-4 ‘All Natural Plant Food’ at least three times this year.
I will have bigger, bolder pots of color on the patio.
I will grow flowers that can be cut and brought indoors.
I will not be discouraged by animals in the garden, so I will add an electric fence.
I will bring used plastic growers’ pots to the garden center for recycling.
I will use my chiropractor and masseuse more often to ease gardening-incurred aches.
I will slow down to smell the flowers and teach my grandchildren to do the same.
I once again resolve to minimize the number of self-inflicted and frazzling deadlines, to keep up my physical workouts, and to spend more time gardening. Besides enjoying more peace-filled time in the gardens, I anticipate more time spent helping friends at the garden center; both are activities I find very gratifying. I look forward to more dates with my girlfriend Lisa, who has also been my wife for the past 32 years:)
My grandparents passed on to me the joy of picking our food, enjoying the shade under the beautiful tree we planted, and the exhilarating fun of riding the mower. As a grandfather myself now, I make only four requests of our children. That Lisa and I be encouraged to visit in their homes, that grandchildren be allowed to stay with us often, that we are permitted to share our faith with our grandchildren, and that we can teach them the joys of gardening.
To you readers of this year’s column, I extend my warmest wishes to you and your gardens that you experience good health, prosperity, and much joy in the year to come.
2020 Free Garden Classes Announcement for next year is very exciting. January classes and instructors are finalized, and the rest of the Spring schedule is coming together nicely. Next year’s classes are going to be good! Here are the topics for the first classes of 2020.
January 11 @ 9:30 am: Houseplant Designs with Professional Style
January 18 @ 9:30 am: Top Landscape Designs with Flare
January 25 @ 9:30 am: Why January is the Month to Plant Wildflowers
Until next week, I’ll be helping local gardeners here at Watters Garden Center.