My gardening resolutions for 2020—what are yours?

swallowtail butterfly on dianthus
A butterfly visits the dianthus in my container garden. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

We’re coming up to the end of the year, a time when we look back at the previous year and make plans for the future. What will you do differently in your garden next year?

Here are my gardening resolutions for 2020. Please share yours by leaving a comment below.

When I buy plants, I will get them in the ground quickly.

To me, “as soon as possible” often means “when I get around to it.”

Plants that you buy in small containers, especially six-packs (the ones that hold six plants), need to be watered often. If I don’t water them enough while they are waiting to be transplanted into the ground, the poor plants are stressed — or they die.

I’m not sure why I procrastinate, but next year I resolve to make it a priority to get those plants into the ground right away.

I am going to buy one really big planter

I love planting in containers. I can change them from year to year, and more important, I can move them around. We might have to replace a sewer line in our front yard at some point, so while I have chosen a spot that would be good for a garden, I’m going to stick to containers for a while. It’s easier to move a bunch of pots than it is to dig up a mature garden bed.

While smaller pots are easier to move than large pots, and smaller pots are cheaper, I am going to buy a really big planter this year.

The larger pots look better in a large area. You don’t have to water them as often. And if you want to grow larger plants, including shrubs, you need larger, deeper containers.

I will focus on my flowers instead of the weeds.

Yes, you have to stay on top of the weeds so they don’t get out of control. But if I’m just sitting in the yard eating dinner, am I enjoying the flowers and the birds and butterflies, or am I noticing only the weeds? I resolve in 2020 to enjoy my garden!

What are your gardening resolutions for 2020? Please share by leaving a comment below.

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18 Comments on “My gardening resolutions for 2020—what are yours?

  1. I love all the responses! Especially loved seeing the plant’s beauty, not merely the weed mess.
    My resolve is to finally make an area specifically as a holding bed; marked out somehow, where I will remember to water newly acquired plants or transplants, while deciding where and when to dig. It will also be a reminder that they are patiently waiting for me to give them a real home!

  2. We are purchasing a half acre to add to our one acre garden. It comes with two mature apple trees. Looking forward to planting some new and different trees. Also want to create part of it using grasses and perennials in a Peit Oldoff style prairie garden that is bee and butterfly friendly. And yes, relax more and enjoy it all.

  3. Wow! I don’t think I have ever gotten so many comments so quickly. It’s so interesting to read all of these. I can’t wait to see what other readers add.

  4. I am editor for a quarterly garden club publication and this is my editorial for the winter issue:
     Resolve to try a brand new plant in your garden. Seek out the current AAS winners.
     Resolve to get out into your garden early to divide and replant your overgrown perennials.
     Resolve to share your divisions with a new gardener.
     Resolve to use more earth friendly methods of eliminating weeds or bugs in your garden.
     Resolve to seek out some perennials that will bloom in your late fall garden.
     Resolve to invite a new gardener into your garden and share your vast (…or not so vast) knowledge.
     Resolve to visit a different nursery; share that experience with your gardening friends. Better yet, take them with you!
     Resolve to take the time to sit, share and enjoy what you have created.

  5. At first, I thought when I saw this subject …..I don’t have time for this now! But read on, I did. I just can’t help myself …..I wanna talk about gardening ……..every day of the year. I believe I will try more compost on my beds topped with a lighter layer of mulch this year.

  6. Reduce my lawn by at least 30% in the front to cut back on water and chemical use. Replace with native grasses and flowers for pollinator garden. Basically…go back to nature!

  7. LOVE the challenge to yourself to notice whether you are enjoying the garden or picking it apart! Yes, having a garden takes work but your resolve reminds me to see and relish IT…not focus on what *I* did/didn’t/should/shouldn’t do.
    After all – nature, in its natural state, is what what drew me to gardening in the first place!
    May 2020 be our/our garden’s best!

  8. Really try to improve my lawn by sticking with fertilizer program. Time to redo the north facing beds . Split Hostas and ferns. Can’t wait to see my new flower bulbs come up in April!!! Merry Christmas all and a healthy new year 2020

  9. Your resolutions really hit home for me as i need to do the same. Also Barbara’s point of buying in multiples instead of single plants. I decided on that in mid summer as i noted i would have more color in my yard if planted a batch of one color instead of the single plants that don’t really catch one’s eye.

  10. I’d like to engage a landscape pro to re-do one of my gardens. I need to dig out existing plants and start with a blank canvas. Can’t wait! Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Gardening in 2020

  11. I am going to install a rain barrel. Also doing pots. They worked so well last summer and looked so beautiful.

  12. Plant native plants to attract pollinators. Plant an oak tree which is a host to many beneficial organisims.

  13. Thanks for all the great ideas! I want to keep expanding my bee and butterfly garden and be more generous with spreading my compost. I want to grow more from seeds for variety, economy, and trading with friends.there’s always room for more bird baths and garden art and I agree w/ Connie about big “Statement” pots- plus my crazy dog can’t turn them into chew toys.🙀

  14. I think next year will be all about improved maintenance! Better weeding and mulching; maybe a try at some vegetables in containers

  15. Buy in multiples instead of single plants, plant an artichoke, improve my soil, add new beds for more native species. Wish me luck!

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