Garden Resolutions

By Jeff Rugg

January 1, 2020 4 min read

Wow, we made it to the year that people with bad vision dream about: 2020. New Year's is the time that we look to the future and try to create a new vision of ourselves. In our mind's eye, we see ourselves healthier, happier and leading more productive lives. The pursuit of gardening can help with all of those visions.

There are many ways that gardening can help. Many studies have found that being outdoors is healthier than being indoors. Planting new flowers that will make your home prettier will make you happier. Planting and tending a garden is good aerobic activity. Growing vegetables will help you keep an optimistic view of life. Eating healthy foods that you grew yourself will make you stronger. The list goes on and on.

To help your garden and landscape grow better and healthier this year, I have a few suggested resolutions. Start by attending gardening classes at your local county Extension office, arboretum or botanic garden. These classes will help you find and grow plants that will thrive in your yard. They will better equip you to do a better job maintaining your landscape.

Join your local garden club. I know meeting new people can be intimidating, but the new you gets out more often than the old you. I have given talks at many garden clubs, and they are all filled with friendly people who want to help newcomers feel welcome and who want to help new gardeners with their garden questions.

After you learn about new plants, you can increase the size of your flower beds and decrease the size of your lawn. This will help you have more flowers and vegetables and less work mowing the grass.

Resolve to get ahead of gardening problems and not wait for weeds to get out of hand. Use more mulch in the flower beds to decrease weeds, save money on weedkillers and protect the environment from useless weedkiller applications. It will also conserve water and decay into a better garden soil.

At the same time, resolve to find out what disease or insect is affecting your plants before polluting your yard with poisons that are used for treating something else. Using fewer pesticides is beneficial to your landscape and your pocketbook.

Resolve to mow the grass at a higher height. The longer leaves will support a bigger root system. More roots means the grass plant will need to be watered less often and will fight off weeds better. A healthy lawn not only looks good but also provides the safest surface for kids to play on. It also cools the air around it, fights soil erosion and filters dust out of the air.

Grow some extra vegetables that can be given away. You will be happy that you did. You can learn more about growing food for your neighbors at This is a program called Plant a Row for the Hungry. It has helped contribute more than 20 million pounds of fresh vegetables to food pantries.

Resolve to order more catalogs from mail-order gardening websites.

And lastly, resolve to enjoy your garden more by eating outside more often, strolling through the yard to smell the flowers (without pulling any weeds) and having at least one party with family and friends over to enjoy the garden.

Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected] To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: DreamyArt at Pixabay

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