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Saturday, January 7, 2017

10 New Year Gardening Resolutions

Happy New Year, dear reader!

My first resolution is to write for this blog more. It has been a long time since I posted anything.  I don't really have a good excuse.  I do apologize and resolve to try to post at least once a month in the coming year.

Second, I resolve to start tracking the wildlife that comes in to my garden.  I plan to keep a log of the creatures that I see, to take as many photos of the as I can manage, and to report back to you all.  By doing this, I hope to learn something about my own tiny patch of environment. I also hope to inspire others to be conscientious of the life around them.  After all, humans aren't the only ones who call the garden "home."

Third, I am trying to pare down what I grow in my vegetable garden. I am always tempted to get carried away with planting a variety of things. As a result, I may grow a new or interesting plant, that I then fail to eat.  I also end up with fewer things that I do actually eat.  For example, I grew okra last summer to see if it would grow well or not in Michigan.  I am happy to report that it grew perfectly.  However, I only used this in one meal, and really only because I didn't want to waste it.  I could have used that space for another tomato plant (of which I didn't have as many as I would have liked to.)  So this year I am nixing the okra and planting more 'maters!

Fourth, I am going to continue to improve my soil.  I will continue applying compost.  I am also going to start mulching with shredded leaves instead of wood chips. I think this is better use of a free and available resource, and will provide a lot of nutrition to the soil.

Fifth, I am editing the "blue border".  I planted a flower bed that can be viewed out my back window, as I face the lake.  While the flowers seem to be doing well, the blue ends up fading into the green from a distance and do not really stand out. (Which is why I never photographed the bed for this blog.)  This spring, I plan to add some warm colors to make the area "pop."

Sixth, I want to get the shade bed in my front yard near the street sorted out.  Right now, it contains some flowers that the previous owner planted, but it needs improvement both in soil and planting.

Seventh, I want to plant 4-5 dwarf fruit trees.  Apples and Pears.  I am tempted to plant a greater variety of fruit, but my yard is not very large.  If I plant 1 of everything, I won't have enough of any crop to do much with. I already have 2 apples and 2 pears elsewhere in my yard, so adding to these should improve fertilization and production of fruit.

Eighth, I want to build some chicken wire cages to protect my strawberries with. I am sick of the birds and chipmunks eating them.  Last year I only got 2 stinking strawberries for myself! TWO!

Ninth, I plan to do more to improve my year-round gardening.  I found a small plastic greenhouse on sale at the local big box store. If I place this over the top of my two cold frames next autumn, I should be able to get a better yield of veggies for winter.  I hope to post about this in the future.

Finally, I plan to enjoy my garden.  'Nough said.

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