As we enter a new year, with it comes the promise of a new start, so what better time to make a few gardening related resolutions for your green space.
Plant more native species – These are easy to grow and don’t take much work having adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. They also don’t tend to be invasive and are great providers of pollen as well as being an important food, nesting and shelter source for local wildlife, such as birds.
Install a rainwater butt – Becoming more waterwise is definitely the perfect New Year’s resolution and installing a water butt in your garden is the best way to do this. Collecting the rainwater (which Northern Ireland is not in short supply of) and using this on our plants is much better than tap water.
Mulch your beds with compost – If you haven’t done this already, now is the perfect time. Mulching by adding a thick insulating layer of organic peat-free compost is great for protecting roots, suppressing weeds, and improving soil structure. Your beds will thank you for this in the spring!
Plan this year’s vegetable garden – When it comes to planting, we can get a little too excited and may start to grow every vegetable under the sun or we might start too early. Whether you’re an expert or a novice gardener planning is always key! Create a list of veg you wish to grow (ones you’ll actually want to eat), and this way you’ll have time to look up planting times and source your seeds so you’re ready by the spring.
Plant something you’ve never grown before – Add a little diversity to your garden this year by growing something new such as a different kind of flower, vegetable or herb and incorporate into this year’s planting plan. Why not choose something to add colour and vibrancy to your garden or to attract wildlife like birds, bees, and butterflies.
Use less plastic – Living in an ever-increasing throw-away culture reducing our plastic is imperative in protecting our planet. You could reduce your plastic consumptions when gardening by using ceramic rather than plastic pots, avoid plastic seed trays and use organic compost rather than plastic membranes when trying to supress weeds. You can also repurpose your plastic by turning old milk cartons into a watering cans for example.
And if you only can manage one resolution this year, make it to find a little more time to enjoy your garden. Wishing you all a healthy, happy and green 2021!