Fresh Ideas to Ignite Your Gardening Passion in the New Year

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner


Fresh Ideas to Ignite Your Gardening Passion in the New Year

Whether you’re an old hand in the garden or someone fantasizing about diving into gardening for the first time in the New Year, getting started can be the hardest part.

But, with a little nudge and a few fresh ideas, the sparks of inspiration will begin to fly – igniting your passion and desire to get out there and dig in!

As a veteran garden coach, clients call on me every day of the year to help them wave the smoldering embers of their dreams into an all-consuming fire of gardening enthusiasm and success.

So where to start?

Fresh Ideas to Ignite Your Gardening Passion in the New Year-strawberries

A quick look at gardening trends shows edible gardening continues to be all the rage. If you’re new to growing food, consider some of the easiest crops to ensure you have success in your initial forays. Perhaps, try a single large container with an easy-to-grow cherry tomato. This may be just enough to get your hands dirty and feed your hunger for homegrown accomplishments in your first growing season.  Or, tackle a portion of your larger garden by installing a border filled with fragrant, edible, drought-tolerant herbs like thyme, rosemary, lavender, and sage – perfect easy-care plants for newbies to try. For those who have “been there; done that” with vegetable gardening, perhaps it’s time to look at establishing easier care edibles for the longer term. Creating a food forest filled with nut and fruit trees or developing an ever-yielding bed complete with asparagus and strawberries may be the ticket to simplifying your tasks and still filling your tummy for years and years.

Fresh Ideas to Ignite Your Gardening Passion in the New Year-rain barrel

Not only will our gardens yield food for our bellies, but they can also create the inputs the earth needs to support our trees, shrubs, flowers, veggies, and wildlife. Using what we have on hand and recycling it back into our gardens is one of the tenants of permaculture. Two of the easiest ways to subscribe to this system of garden self-renewal: recycle rainwater using Fiskars rain barrel systems to capture rainfall and re-use it in the garden. Integrating the Fiskars pop-up composters into the garden to re-use your yard waste as food for your soil. If you’re in an area where wildlife won’t eat their way in, you may even be able to add some fruit and vegetable food waste into your composters too. Set up your rain barrels now and capture winter’s free water from the sky to use later when you need it. Also, it’s never too early or too late to pop up a composter to fill throughout the year.

With the rise in urban density, more city dwellers are making townhomes, apartments, and condominiums their homes. Unfortunately, these locations often come with very little room for gardens. To take advantage of what is available to these postage-stamp-sized gardens, consider installing a vertical wall gardens or simply pot up flowers or food gardens in simple railing containers. Not only will these rail mounts add lively interest and color to tiny decks and balconies, but these pots also do much of the watering work for you, drawing moisture up from tray reservoirs to thirsty plant roots as needed.

Fresh Ideas to Ignite Your Gardening Passion in the New Year-butter lettuce

If you’re fortunate enough to have an existing garden, winter is the perfect time to think about what’s missing from it. This is time to create a calendar, budget, and schedule to fill in the gaps for the year ahead. Perhaps your garden needs a new seating area to capture the best mid-day summer shade; calling a landscape contractor for estimates and installation in winter rather than spring or summer will mean you’ll be enjoying that shade come summer.  Or maybe your favorite shade tree gave up the ghost last fall. Winter is a great time to both research replacements and shop late winter bare root sales for the best prices. If your vegetable garden has shown productivity declines, send in soil samples for lab testing and then amend your ground accordingly well before it is time to plant the foods you intend to grow, cook, preserve, and eat in the year ahead.

If nothing else, take the short days of winter to dream. Scroll through articles and learn. Order tools and supplies. Create a gardening inspiration Pinterest board, and begin the planning and preparing that will empower you to discover a new you when spring soon bursts forth – firing our desire to live outdoors in our homegrown spaces.