New Year's Resolutions for the Gardener
by Don Janssen, Extension Educator
As the year winds down, it's once again time for some resolutions for the upcoming year. Here are a few yard and garden resolutions for consideration.
Regardless of the type of yard or garden, proper planning is the key to success. Outstanding gardens and landscapes rarely happen by accident. So if new plants are proposed for 2006, draw up a plan this winter. Consider factors such as the height and spread of plants, hardiness, preferred habitat, and maintenance needs. Also, use plants that go well together so the landscape has harmony and is attractive.
Winter is also a great time to put together a maintenance calendar for existing landscape plantings. This will assure they are cared for properly and remain attractive. Depending on what types of plants exist or may be in future plans, consider pruning, fertilizing, weed control, dividing, reseeding, and other practices in your schedule.
Another important area to put into your yard and garden resolutions should be sound pest management practices in 2006. Start by always identifying the problem, then look at possible ways to manage it. Management may or may not include pesticide use.
When using pesticides, resolve to always use extreme care and follow all label directions. Label directions include how to mix, apply, store, and otherwise handle the product. Don't assume pesticides will be the "cure all" to problems; but consider them as one potential management tool in a complete plant management program.
Think about improving yard and garden soils in 2006. Poor drainage, compaction, high soil pH (alkaline), lack of nutrients, and large amounts of clay are among the problems facing landscape plantings. Consider soil testing, adding organic matter, and following proper watering and fertilizing programs in 2006.
Another year had passed, which saw a variety of problems showing up on yard and garden plantings. Many were described in this column...stay tuned for more in 2006. Happy Holidays!
(this resource was added December 2005)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County is your on-line yard and garden educational resource. The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office