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Gardening resolutions for the new year

By JANETTA FOX - Garden Club of Cape Coral | Jan 5, 2023

Ah, resolutions! Oftentimes we make them in January and then break them in the blink of an eye. Certain ones were meant to be kept, though, like those relating to, yes, you guessed it, gardening! So, let’s turn our attention outward to our gardens and consider a handful of resolutions which can reap very positive benefits when acted upon. The key to success is taking action because a resolution without follow-through is just wishful thinking.

Resolve to start the new year right by taking a stroll outside. Make a list of improvement opportunities. From that list, select items of most importance to you and benefit to your landscape. Create action plans and resolve to follow through on those actions.

Resolve to NOT over-exert. One way to lessen your resolve is to attempt too much on a given day working in the garden and then paying the price with aches and pains for days after. Therefore, resolve to pace yourself. What you don’t get to today will most assuredly be waiting for you tomorrow. So, don’t fret.

Resolve to keep hydrated. Just as your plants need hydration, some more than others, so do you. There are a number of negative side effects when we get too much sun and don’t intake a sufficient quantity of water, with worst case scenarios being heat exhaustion and, even, heat stroke. Therefore, keep your water handy when outside taking care of business. The ideal amount to drink in hot weather is a minimum of 16 ounces per hour of gardening, or two cups.

Resolve to check your plants for pests on a regular basis. Unwanted bugs can negatively impact your plants when left to their own designs. However, when caught early and treated by least toxic means, your plants will reap the benefits. Keep in mind that many “bad” bugs like to hide on the underside of leaves and, so, always investigate thoroughly. When conducting your investigation, be on the lookout for “good” bugs that may also be present. If you notice beneficial insects such as lady beetles, lacewigs or parasitic wasps, consider keeping to the status quo, leaving everything as is. You can be assured they are taking care of business. For example, the wasp will incubate its eggs in pests such as aphids.

Resolve to tend to weeds early in their growth cycle. Rather than waiting until they have taken over a given area, determine to walk around periodically and tend to those pesky weeds while they are still manageable and definitely before they have gone to seed!

And, finally, resolve to take time out of your busy gardening schedule to sit back, relax and enjoy all you have accomplished!

The above offerings are but a handful of resolutions to consider for 2023. You can probably think of a few more. However, of most importance is not the quantity but our willingness to act on a select few.

Happy Gardening!

Janetta Fox is a Lee County Master Gardener Volunteer and member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral. Visit us at www.gardenclubofcapecoral.com.

Sources:

Hydrating in hot environments. (n.d.). UF/IFAS Solutions. Retrieved from https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/ archive/hot_topics/families_and_consumers/hydrating_in_hot_environments.shtml

Natural enemies and biological controls. (March, 2021). Smith, Hugh, Capinera, John, & Martini, Xavier. Askifas. Uf/IFAS Extension. Retrieved from https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN120

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