Mark Anderson, owner, Anderson Seed and Garden

With every new year many resolutions are made. We make a commitment to follow through on all kinds of goals: personal, financial, educational, etc. However, it can be hard to keep those promises. No one likes to do things that they don’t want to do, even if you know they are good for you. This year, I recommend a few resolutions for gardeners. Not just because they are good things to do, but also because they are fun. It’s easier keeping commitments when it’s something we enjoy in the first place.

  1. Spend more time in the garden. While we are digging holes or pulling weeds, it is easy to forget that gardening should be relaxing and enjoyable. Set aside some time to enjoy the uplifting beauty and fragrance of your garden, or the way the dirt crumbles in your fingers as you cover up vegetable seeds to germinate. In our hectic, fast-paced world, it’s easy to see gardening as just another task on our never-ending to-do list. Time spent in the garden brings many joys and rewards including a harvest of edibles or beautiful flowers to share and enjoy.
  2. Nurture more plants from seed. While there is some practical value to starting your own seed (to try new varieties you can’t find anywhere else), few things in life are as rewarding as planting a seed and watching it grow to maturity. I remember many times as a preschooler, starting seeds in peat pellet or potting soil in a Dixie cup, and watching the seedlings grow in size almost daily. Fond memories of digging up carrots and radishes that I grew with my sisters in our sandbox will always be a part of me. There is no reason why that miracle of seed germination and development can’t be as amazing and wonderful to us now as it was when we were 5 years old. And, it’s just fun. Never underestimate the value of having a good time.
  3. Enjoy more homegrown food. Most vegetables (I would suggest all vegetables) taste better when grown, harvested and consumed in your own yard. While a farmer’s market is a great place to try new things, and to find varieties that you don’t have room to grow in your yard, but the flavor and quality doesn’t compare with what you grow at home. Homegrown vegetables taste better than anything else. Try making your garden a little bigger, add another raised bed or add some edibles to the flower beds this season. You’ll reap more rewards from it than just your harvest.
  4. Surround your home with beautiful colors. Many vegetables are decorative, colorful and beautiful to look at, but nothing compares to the variety and depth of color from perennial and annual flowers and bulbs. Using flowers to beautify your yard will raise your spirits and bring joy to everyone who comes to visit. Think how dreary and cold the transition from winter to spring can be until the tulip and daffodil bulbs start blooming. That burst of color gives us a burst of excitement and energy. Coming home to a yard full of color makes me want to spend more time outside and at home with my family.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many commitments in the garden, but try to make it a priority. Inspire yourself with color, feed your soul with a fresh harvest and share the joy that it brings.