Start planning your spring garden now

old oil heater is pedestal for annuals
An old oil heater becomes an interesting pedestal for a pot of annuals in the yard of Jerry and Marie Wysocki in Hamburg. Photo by Connie Oswald

by Connie Oswald Stofko

What’s the next best thing to working in your garden? Planning for next year’s garden!

Here are some suggestions on how to make your garden even better than it was this year.

What didn’t work?

Think about things that went wrong in your garden this past year.

For example, maybe your plants limped along because they didn’t have enough water during our hot, dry summer. Make a plan to address it next year.

Here are some options:

  • You can vow to water when it rains and water when it doesn’t. (Remembering that piece of advice has helped me a lot.)
  • Choose plants that don’t need as much water. Many native plants can tolerate some dry conditions.
  • If you planted in small containers last year, try much larger containers. Big containers don’t need to be watered as often as little containers.

The solutions to some issues may be obvious, but other problems can be puzzling. If you had a problem that you don’t know how to address, contact the Master Gardeners in your county. They’re great! The Master Gardeners can give you much better advice than I can.

What did you miss this year?

Do you wish you had planted more tomatoes? Do you regret not buying an entire flat of marigolds? Did you want a better trellis for vining plants?

Make a list now so you can remember to get those plants and items when it’s time.

And on the flip side, make a list of the things that went well so you can make sure you do them again. I finally tried ‘Brandywine Red’ tomatoes this year and they were delicious! I made a note to get more next year.

Try something new

Did you come across a gardening tip you really liked this year? Write it down so you can make use of it next year.

And get inspiration from other gardeners. Browse through articles on garden walks here to get ideas on landscaping or plant choice or quirky ways to add interest to your garden. You probably don’t have an antique oil heater like the one in the photo, but maybe you already have something in your garage or basement that works as a plant stand.

What ideas do you have for your garden in the coming year? Please leave a comment.

11 Comments on “Start planning your spring garden now

  1. Thank you for all of your informative articles, tips and advice. Have a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year

  2. Planted 216 bulbs in an unmown area of lawn, can’t wait to see them. Also going to build a long pergola to frame part of our new back garden and grow, roses, wisteria and clematis on it. Thanks for all your articles.
    Merry Christmas and keep safe.

  3. Thank you I lol forward to your the weekly report. Enjoy the break & Merry Christmas to you and your family!! See you in the new year!🎅🏻🎄

  4. Thank you for your comments Maxine. I plant and take care of our 100 ft community island and I have salvia in front of our sign and on the very end opposite. Beautiful, your comment have inspired me plant more next year! Happy holidays and a healthier and happier 2021!

  5. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family. Thanks for another great year of garden info, updates and advice.

  6. We “discovered” salvia this year. It was a bonus gift from a nursery where we bought some other treasures and the salvia did so well and stayed vibrant so late in the season that we are definitely adding more plants to our garden next year. We are also looking forward to planting the seeds we harvested from this season’s find!

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