Let me be clear: I’m not a New Year’s resolution kind of guy. Which is why this post isn’t really a list of New Year’s resolutions, but more of a list of My Top 10 Gardening Goals for 2012. Ready? Here we go:
1. I will start all of my own seeds.
Last year, I had great luck with the seeds I started indoors and most that I sowed directly. But I also supplemented my plantings with seedlings from the Rodale Institute’s Spring Plant Sale. And what really overcrowded my garden last year were the extra seedlings I brought home from work, things that Doug Hall started in the greenhouse for the test garden, things like tomatoes and peppers, and celeriac. Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate free stuff like you couldn’t imagine. But this year, I’m taking a less-is-more approach—a Thoreau-like tact of simplistic self-sufficiency: If I didn’t start it from seed, then it’s not going in my garden. One possible caveat: Strawberries (see #6).
2. I will only grow seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds.
I love their seeds. I love their company.
3. I will not over-plant tomatoes.
Every year, I seem to have too many tomato plants. Not this year. No, I will have the exact right number. Whatever that is.
4. I will grow more flowers in my garden.
Last year, I grew zinnias, calendula, nasturtium, and moonflower. This year, I will grow these and more. And I will interplant them among my other crops.
5. I will plant a sunflower house for my kids.
Last year’s fun project was a bean teepee. I might do one of those again, but we’ll definitely grow a sunflower house.
6. I will grow strawberries.
I love strawberries. Why haven’t I grown them before?
7. My garden will be productive earlier in the season.
How? By starting my own seeds indoors, I’ll be able to start my greens and whatnot in February and get them in the ground in March. I might even start some peas indoors to get a jump on fresh peas. Ah, fresh peas. I can’t wait for spring. It’s been a long winter and it’s only early January. Yep, I’m starting to champ at the gardening bit, as it were.
8. I’m going to buy (or make) a rain gauge.
I know how much rain we got last August and September: way too much. But this year, I’d like to be a bit more in touch with my precipitation.
9. I’m going to keep a detailed garden journal.
I have a good memory. For some things. I can remember people’s birthdays like Rain Man can count toothpicks. For instance, today is my Grandmother’s 90th Birthday. Tomorrow is my cousin Emily’s 25th birthday. Sunday is my friend Kevin’s 39th. The Monday after next is my nephew Calvin’s birthday. He’s turning 13. Ok. You get the point.
But there are some things that just seem to slip away. When did I plant my potatoes last year? What kind of beans did I plant two years ago? How much rain did we get last June? When did those Mexican Bean Beetles first appear on my bean Teepee? OK, you get the point there too. Yep—garden journal. Count me in.
10. Keep my hopes high & my expectations low.
Not sure if this counts as a goal. But it’s my M.O. and I’m sticking too it.