As we look ahead to the start of 2020, the gardeners among us and those who wish to join the green-fingered family this coming year, start to think about the goals and targets to accomplish.
Gardening has so many wonderful benefits and opportunities to explore, I’m going to share with you some ideas for gardening goals next year.
As we head into a year of uncertainty, you can’t help but find comfort in the simplicity of growing. If you plant it, it shall grow. Given the right formula of conditions, it’s a guaranteed recipe for success. And so, this year, we’ll begin to see a ‘back to basics’ approach to gardening. Low-maintenance gardening through the use of easy growers will be making a comeback. But plants with more than one purpose and grow-your-own crops are also two themes you’re sure to see a lot of.
Many of the plants that perform a double duty are rising in popularity because their multiple purposes mean they’re great space savers and packing double the rewards.
This idea means that you might be planting to give interest to your front garden whilst also helping to insulate your home with climbers like Virginia creeper.
Other plants may help deter pests—either from you or other plant life.
Herbs such as spearmint, thyme and lemongrass help deter wasps in the summer and can also be used in your cooking, while flowers such as pennyroyals, geraniums and marigolds, will put wasps off and produce beautiful blooms for you to admire.
As well as this multi-purpose approach, we’re seeing more and more people enjoying a full circle experience of growing food. It’s simple really: if you love your food, you’ll love growing it at home.
Not only does this give you access to freshly grown produce, but you can grow what you most enjoy so it’s readily available instead of relying on shop-bought crops, so we’re sure to see a resurgence of the time-old veg patch passion.
With us focusing on our health and wellbeing more than ever before, gardening in 2020 is all about feeling good.
Of course, growing outside gives us access to fresh air in our lungs, soaking up some vitamin D, and quality time with the family or with our own thoughts to help with mindfulness.
But more than that, people are turning to plants now to provide them with a sense of wellbeing inside the home too.
As far back as 1989, NASA’s clean air study proved to us that indoor plants have a cleansing effect on the air we breathe and that houseplants can contribute to a healthy indoor living space.
Because of this, we’ll be upping the ante when it comes to caring for our well-loved and much-needed house plant companions; turning to the use of technology to keep up with their care alongside our hectic routines.
Self-watering pots, light-up plants and apps that measure light conditions are all on hand to help with your indoor gardening needs and anything that gets people engaging with nature is alright in my book!
Friendly fur all
As well as benefiting us, gardening has a profoundly positive effect on the land and the wildlife that lives there.
We’re more conscious of environmental care now than we were just a few years ago and caring for your wildlife means caring for the wider ecosystem. Sustainable approaches to gardening really do go hand in hand with caring for the ecosystem.
So, mini gardening projects like starting a compost heap, soil conditioning, and water butts – or other water-saving techniques – are going to be ever-important in the year ahead.
But one of the most important initiatives finding its way into 2020, and a topic that’s close to my heart, is caring for our local wildlife.
Working alongside the RSPB and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, I like to remind new starters and green thumbs alike that if you focus on making your gardening a green oasis for wildlife, they’ll return the favour by aiding your growing efforts.
Inviting insects into your plot is something we can all do more of in the year ahead. And what’s great about it, is that by nurturing a wildlife-friendly space, we’ll begin to see our plants prosper too.
Save some space
If you’ve written off gardening in the past because of lack of space, you’ll be happy to know that we’re all on the search for space-saving techniques!
One of my top tips is that vertical growing is a great way to pack in the plant-growing power.
You can either mount pots or troughs on the wall to grow herbs or ornamental flowers.
Or perhaps try growing climbing crops or trellising cucumbers to make use of the vertical space by the bucket full.
However you harness the power of plants in 2020, try something new and get out there amongst Mother nature to reap fantastic rewards in the upcoming year.
The non-foil, colourful Quality Street
wrappers are made from cellulose, derived from
wood pulp, and are compostable!
So, now you’re in the know with what and how to grow, you can well and truly grow like a pro next year!
Happy gardening everyone!
My parsnips aren’t faring too well; are they frost hardy?
Yes, your parsnips are frost resistant and, even better, lightly frosted roots tend to produce the best flavour. If you’re looking to harvest these, you’ll know the roots are ready to lift when the foliage has died back, and you should lift these before the ground gets too frozen to do so!
How can I effectively disinfect my bird table and feeders?
If your feeders are widely used, it’s definitely an idea to keep these disinfected as overcrowding can spread disease. Use a 5% disinfectant solution and move your feeders to a new location each month to prevent droppings from building up. Water containers will need daily rinsing to keep them fresh.