It is the time of year between Christmas and New Year’s where our thoughts tend to switch from the Holidays to plans for the New Year. Now is the time for those optimistic resolutions that most of us make and so few keep.
I will stay away from the weight, money, career and other common resolutions today and instead talk about my resolutions for my garden for the coming year.
Perhaps you will join me in one of these.
I resolve to…..
#1 Stop planting and remove invasive plants
No I am not going to only plant natives plants, but I will make sure that the plants I do add from different parts of the globe won’t spread like wildfire into natural areas. There are plants from other parts of the world that are well behaved and stay in your yard where you plant them.
The second part of this is that I will remove and replace any invasive plants that I have in my yard. I currently have Vinca minor, Japanese pachysandra, Burning bush, and Japanese silver grass all of which have been identified as being invasive.
The 1st two are ground covers that only spread by creeping along. They don’t spread by seed, so I can keep them as long as I keep them from spreading outside of my yard.
I have to admit though I do have a bit of Vinca spreading under my fence into the lot behind my house. I need to install some edging and kill some renegade plants trying to escape.
As far as the other two, I really have no excuse.
They have to go. There are enough natives available that are just as nice as them. See my posts on 12 Common invasive plants and natives to use instead (Part 1 and Part 2).
#2 Plant natives that support wildlife
My 2nd resolution goes hand in hand with the first. I am going to keep planting SOMETHING!
If you have read my last two posts (Do you have a plastic plant in your yard? and Would you want a 70 foot statue in your yard?) , you understand why planting natives is not just a fad, but instead a mission.
There are lots of places to get lists of native plants for your area. The lists at the end of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded(*affiliate link) are certainly a great place to start. As an alternative, here is a site that gives lists of native landscape plants that are state specific: http://plantnative.org/reg_pl_main.htm
#3 I will have less lawn
Oh I like this one. I mean, Less lawn = less lawn work!
It also means less chemicals if you use them and less gas to run the lawn mower.
A big circle of lawn in the middle of my backyard is what I have planned. This should result in much easier care as I will have less area to mow and won’t have all those funky edges to line trim.
#4 I will better control of my weeds
I dislike using chemical weed killer. I also dislike spending money on mulch and my weekends spreading it and pulling weeds by hand after working 40 hours as a gardener. This has resulted in an unfortunate number of weeds in my yard.
I will detail my plan to eradicate weeds from my yard in a future post.
Yes there may be a bit of chemicals involved, but my main strategy will be organic and no it does not involve child labor.
Those are my RESOLUTIONS for the yard for the next year. In an upcoming post, I will share some of my PLANS to dramatically improve how my landscape looks and help to make it a true Garden Sanctuary.
So do you have any resolutions for the New Year in your yard? I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Do yo have any suggestion on how to rid my yard of invasive bamboo?
When I bought my house I thought it was so pretty and peaceful.. i have since spent hours and hundreds of dollars trying to remove it. Today I tried digging out some of the underground runners. I had no idea the runners were so think and hard to remove. They are also spreading into the sedimentation pond next to my house. I do not know if the previous owner planted it or if it spread from the drainage pond to my yard. I do know it was growing right up to my foundation and right up to my above ground pool. I do not want to use toxic chemicals but I was so desperate to keep it from spreading that I let the landscape person I hired use Roundup last year. It is still trying and succeeding in invading my backyard and spreading.
I would appreciate any suggestions that will help control it.
I have not had to deal with bamboo, so I have no experience on which to draw. I think herbicides will be required, possibly for multiple applications/years even.
Mrs. Anderson says
Less weeds, for sure! I have a feeling I will be pulling buckets and buckets. Maybe we should start to compost, too. We need to have a separate spot for each of those. I want to do more than tomatoes and herbs in the garden garden. It would be nice to have more veg in the freezer. I would also like to add some color. Is it spring yet?