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10 New Year’s resolutions for gardeners

Updated: May 14, 2023

It's traditional around the new year to make lists of resolutions that get you excited and motivated for a fresh, new start. And it’s more than just a health and fitness change. You can make resolutions that will improve your garden, too.

I know that when it’s freezing outside, it’s hard to even imagine your spring and summer garden next year. But now is actually a great time to make a few commitments and resolutions to yourself about what your garden will become when the weather turns warmer.

Even if you’ve made resolutions before, this year is going to be different — you're going to want to keep these ten resolutions for your garden.

All you have to do is revisit them a few times during the year and watch your garden grow more lush and fulfilling than anything you could have planned.

Top ten New Year’s resolutions that’ll make your garden even better

1. Compost more

Composting is a great way to decrease your footprint on the earth. Instead of tossing banana peels and coffee grounds in the trash, add them to a composting pin and create rich, organic matter that your garden will love.

Compositing is easier than you think. And almost anything can go in. See how to get started with composting here.

2. Use less plastic

What gardener can’t get behind this idea? From recycling plastic meat trays for perennial seedlings to using paper towel rolls to propagate, this year is your chance to go green in your garden.

Here are a few ways to make this gardening New Year’s resolution a reality:

  • Choose non-plastic growing containers. If you do use plastic, go for second-hand pots. Or opt for terracotta, wood or even old metal tubs or barrels.

  • Use plastic-free and second-hand gardening tools. If you can, always buy second-hand gardening tools. They’re usually just as good and are always cheaper. If that’s not a possibility, go for wood or metal tools — they’ll last longer than plastic, too.

  • Avoid plastic weed barriers. Instead of plastic weed barriers that can slowly release chemicals into your soil, use old cardboard or layers of newspapers. Cover with mulch and no one will know the difference.

  • Use wooden row and plant markers. Instead of using plastic markers, use popsicle sticks or broken pieces of an old pot. It takes a little DIY magic, but the planet will thank you for using less plastic in your garden.

Looking for more quick ideas on upcycling, recycling and reusing in your garden? Here are a few of my favorite ways with step-by-step instructions.

3. Grow perennials and annuals from seeds

When I first started gardening, I didn’t grow much from seed. I did a lot of propagating of my perennials, but I never collected the seeds at the end of the season.

When I started growing perennials from seeds, the whole gardening game changed. I got to be a part of the entire life cycle of a plant. I know it sounds a little weird, but it’s been really rewarding. And I hope this resolution makes it on your list.

collecting seeds
I collect seeds in coffee filters for the winter.

If it’s too late to harvest seeds from your garden, check with local seed suppliers in your area.

I shop a lot with Vild Med Frø here in Denmark. It’s a local shop that has tons of perennial seeds that I can experiment with in my garden.

4. Swap seeds with fellow gardeners

This new year’s resolution builds on the one above. Once you’ve started collecting seeds, you’re ready to swap with fellow gardeners. It’s a great way to meet the gardening community in your area… or start a community! And it’s a easy way to get more plants for free.

5. Share the garden with others

This is a big resolution for me. We have a small garden behind our row house here in Fredericia, Denmark. There’s just enough space for our greenhouse, flowerbeds and lawn. This year, my son wanted a huge trampoline. I said no.

But then my wise husband (and the one helping me write this!) told me that it’s important for our son to grow up with an appreciation of the garden, too. And that means sharing the space with him and his hobbies.

I’m not sure if this resolution is for you. Maybe you have a ton of space outside. But either way, is there space for your family to enjoy it? Can your kids play ball or hang out on the grass without disrupting your hard work with your flowers?

If there’s not enough room for everyone — this next year is when all of that changes.

6. Welcome wildlife to your garden

Your garden needs more insects. And insects need more gardens. This new year, resolve to let more of God’s tiniest creatures into your garden.

Whether it’s an insect hotel or planting native plants, take small steps to bring more bees, butterflies and pollinators to your space.

7. Try going natural

One of the best ways to attract more insects to your garden is to plant native plants — plants that originated from your area — and leave an area of your garden free to grow wild.

This new year, decide that you’re going to leave a small part of your garden or flowerbed free to grow what it wants. If space in your flowerbeds is limited, start with a container on your terrace or balcony instead.

Let it grow what it wants or sprinkle a few native wildflower seeds in the soil and see what happens. I guarantee you that local insects will love it. And that one little area will bring more pollinators to the rest of your perennials, too.

8. Be smart with water

It takes a lot of water to keep our plants healthy. The problem is that water costs money and it’s a resource that we need to take care of.

For this new year’s resolution, I challenge you to install a rainwater catchment system. This will help you reduce your dependency on water from the main line. And you’ll find that a lot of plants benefit greatly from rainwater.

You can also save water by adding mulch around your plants to prevent evaporation. If you’re in a particularly dry climate, always go with drought-tolerant perennial plants that are native to your area. These can handle dry periods and will still give you the texture and color you’re after.

9. Stay on top of weeds

This gardening new year’s resolution will do wonders for your flowers. Instead of stressing over weeds and letting them slowly strangle your plants and zap nutrients from your soil, dedicate to 10 minutes of weeding per day.

For me, I start really early in the season and keep an eye on weeds all spring and summer long. This way, I don’t have one long day of weeding to do. If you start right when things start to grow, you’ll be able to quickly and easily maintain your perennial beds.

Another way to have fewer weeds in your perennial flower beds is to plant closer together. This is how I do it. Not only does it look better, it also doesn’t give the weeds a chance to grow.

10. Get the family outside more

Share your love of the outdoors with your family this next year. Resolve now to encourage your partners and children to get outside more.

It doesn't have to be hours and hours like we gardeners love to spend. Even an extra 10 minutes a day is a great place to start.

And if you’re the parent of a child… Here's a tip: kids like to be involved and want to be involved in your hobbies. Don’t ask if they want to join you… tell them that you need their help and to come outside.

Once they’re outside, make sure that you spend half of the time on an activity that they will enjoy, too. If it’s watching your son jump on the trampoline… then tools down. And watch.

Your garden brings you so much joy. This next year, let it bring that same joy to your whole family.


Welcome to my garden

Hi! I'm Lars (Denmark).

Thanks for joining me as I share tips and inspiration for perennial gardening. 

Click below to see what's growing in my garden right now? 

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