In 2012, Time magazine listed the top 10 New Year’s resolutions that were most often broken as:
1. Lose weight and get fit
2. Quit smoking
3. Learn something new
4. Eat healthier and diet
5. Get out of debt/save money
6. Spend more time with family
7. Travel to new places
8. Be less stressed
10 Drink less
After reviewing this list (and being guilty of breaking one or two in the past), I decided not to set myself up for failure. Putting my thinking cap on, I have come up with my 10 New Year’s resolutions that if I follow to a ‘T’ I will have success. Plus my garden, the birds and other creatures living there will benefit.
- I will not plant vegetables or fruit-producing plants in the shade. Just seeing the sun from the area where the plant will go does not mean ‘sun.’ Most plants need at least 6 hours of FULL sun with vegetables needing 8-10.
- I will invest in good gardening tools and equipment. Selecting, investing in, and maintaining tools that are dependable can save much time, money, energy and frustration.
- I will not be deceived by weekend specials at the big box stores. Most of these ‘deals’ offer plants that bloom in the dark, grow 40’ in one year and eliminate household odors. They include grass that never needs mowing and plants that never need watering. Be wary fellow gardener!
- I will never plant more of ‘anything’ that I cannot maintain. Recognize your limitations (physical, mental, financial and time). Choose easy-to-care for plants that are tried and true performers in East Texas climate and soils.
- I will not believe in miracles. Miracles are too precious to be sold in little plastic bottles. Products with secret ingredients that ‘cannot’ be listed on the label are suspect. Keep plants healthy with periodic applications of the appropriate fertilizer. Healthy plants are less susceptible to disease and insects.
- I will be wary of sales. A dead plant is not a good deal. Sales are generally for dying plants, excess supplies of non-adapted plants or poor-quality plants.
- I will consider sources of information carefully. I will seek out sound gardening advice from authorities (local garden experts, extension agents and Cecil).
- I will not over-indulge my plants. Plants will not grow faster or bigger with kindness! Do not put twice the amount of fertilizer recommended, water too often or spray with pesticides made double strength. Avoid the “if a little does some good, a lot will be better” philosophy.
- I will plant the right plant at the right time in the right spot. Don’t try to cheat by planting too soon. Trying to have the first tomatoes of the season among your friends will only damage your plants and reputation. Learn the requirement of each plant for your landscape (light, water, soil, extra care or protection, pruning, etc.).
- I will recognize my mistake(s) and take action. Make the right decision first to avoid suffering consequences for years. Don’t think you can take a regular crape myrtle and prune it to dwarf size because it blocks your window. Constantly pruning shrubs to fit a location can easily be remedied by replacing with appropriate sized varieties.
Now, see these resolutions will be easy to keep. And, most of these resolutions include the Time top 10 in some fashion as well. Except for the drinking - you must have a glass of wine in the garden now and then.