It’s good to have goals and aspirations. They give us something to look forward to, focus on, and work towards. And what better time to set goals than in the New Year? In a previous post, I shared my resolutions for 2021, but I realized that I have a different set of specific goals for my garden. Some of these ambitions arose out of mistakes that I made last season that I wish to correct, and others came about because I want to do more of something that went right. A few evolved out of a desire to continue learning in the garden and expanding my horticulture knowledge. Others emerged out of an eagerness to share that knowledge with others. Soon, a list of gardening goals started to take shape, and I decided to challenge myself to accomplish at least some of them in the 2021 garden season.
Try New Varieties: This first goal is one that I set for myself annually and never seem to have a problem fulfilling. I am always excited to try new varieties alongside my yearly favorites. This season is no exception. I am especially eager to try the following: Spoon, Dancing with Smurfs, and Sart Roloise tomatoes, Giant Rattle and Lady Bird poppies, Dragon’s Egg cucumber, Cosmic Purple carrot, Wick’s lima bean, and Regatusso garlic.
Be a Container Maintainer: If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that growing plants in containers is not my strong suit. But, this year, I’d like to make a conscientious effort to change that. I plan on trying my hand at growing a few vegetables, herbs, and annuals in containers and hanging baskets. Wish me luck; I’m going to need it!
Start Seeds Indoors: I have started seeds indoors in the past with varying degrees of success. Typically, the longer the seedlings need to be in my care before being transplanted in the garden, the greater their chance of dying a premature death. Despite extensive research, purchasing the required equipment, and tedious maintenance, I have not always been successful. This year, I have purposefully purchased several seed varieties that must be started indoors to gain more experience and hopefully become more prosperous in this practice.
Get Organized: In general, I feel that I am an organized person, except for my gardening tools and equipment. Typically during a hectic gardening season, my tools get placed in various locations. This dilemma is exacerbated when the winter weather sets in, and there is a mad dash to get everything indoors with little attention to where it is stored. This year I hope I can clean out and get my gardening equipment organized to know precisely where it is when I need it.
Grow Flowers for Cutting: My dream garden has a designated cutting bed filled to the brim with flowers that I can cut for handfuls of bouquets. Alas, space limitations have put that dream on temporary hiatus. However, I can make an effort to plant more annuals that also happen to be ideal for bouquets, such as zinnias and cosmos. That way, I can bring the beauty of the garden indoors. Along those lines, I would also love to learn more about flower arranging to create stunning bouquets.
Be a Seed Saver: In 2020, I declared my quest to become a seed saver. I wish to continue gaining knowledge about the practice of saving seeds. This garden season, I will be planting my first saved seed, other than garlic, that came from the Haudenosaunee Skunk Pole Beans that I grew last season. My ultimate goal is to become a competent seed saver who then shares seed with others.
Create a Pollinator Playground: For many years now, I have focused almost exclusively on growing vegetables and fruits in my gardens, with only a few flowering perennials and annuals in between. Last year, however, I started to miss growing flowers. In 2021, I would love to establish a Pollinator Playground garden bed planted with natives, flowering perennials, and annuals that are especially beneficial to pollinators.
Be an Advocate: Being a better advocate was one of my 2021 resolutions, and I’d like to extend that into the garden. Seed diversity, habitat for pollinators, and fighting climate change are just a few of the causes I hope to advocate for this year.
Keep Learning: I genuinely believe that we should never stop learning. My passion for gardening leads to a desire to gain as much knowledge as possible on the subject. I hope to glean knowledge from books, videos, and, my favorite source of information, fellow gardeners this season and beyond.
Help the Garden Community: Supporting the local gardening community is important to me. One of my goals is to participate in volunteer programs that help this community. I plan to continue mentoring budding gardeners, volunteering in one of my local food pantry gardens, and engaging with garden community members so that we can learn from each other.
Thank you for letting me share my 2021 gardening goals with you. I sincerely hope that I will be able to accomplish all of them this season. But, regardless, no matter the outcome, it will be an enjoyable experience. I will keep everyone apprised of my progress, whether they be successes or failures, and I encourage all gardeners to set some goals for the 2021 growing season, no matter how big, or small they may be. Happy goal setting, and may all of your gardening aspirations come true!
Photographs (top to bottom): Feature image: Coreopsis Photo 1: Shasta Daisy Photo 2: Cut and Come Again Lettuce Blend Photo 3: Rudbeckia Photo 4: Sunflower Seeds Photo 5: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Photo 6: Early Wonder Beets