In the Garden: New Years resolutions apply to gardening, too

I welcome the start of a new year and the annual ritual of goal setting. Pulling out the goals I scratched on a piece of paper last year, I consider what got done and what still needs work. For gardening in 2008, I did try heirloom tomatoes, built trellises to support vegetable vines, and divided many overgrown ornamental grasses. But, still there’s much to do in the ever-changing garden. Here are some resolutions for 2009:

1.    Invasives: Remove the invasive plants from the woods on our property. Honeysuckle and garlic mustard continue to crowd out wildflowers and more favorable trees.

2. Tree planting: Plant a tree or two to replace ones lost and damaged from the fall’s hurricane winds. The strong winds also were a good reminder for the value of pruning.
3. Vegetable gardening: Resolve to plant only in spring what I will continue to care for in the heat of July. This is a forever challenge.

4. Composting: Add kitchen scraps such as potato peels and coffee grinds to the yard waste in our compost pile in the backyard.

5. Journaling: Record vegetable planting times, varieties planted, harvest times, new perennials added, fertilizer timetables, plants lost, weather patterns and more in a journal. I’ll also add some photos of the garden and magazine clippings with new gardening ideas. This was on last year’s list; perhaps, I’ll make it a reality this year.

6.    Learning: The adage is true for gardeners—The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. I’m hoping to learn more through classes, volunteering, reading, and, of course, trial and error.

Happy gardening in the new year!

Teresa Woodard is a volunteer with the Madison County Master Gardeners. Questions and gardening news items are welcomed at 740-852-0809 or by e-mail at

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