Green-fingered Brits have been urged to consider making ten New Year Gardening Resolutions in order to improve their horticulture skills in 2021.
Plant pros from GardeningExpress.co.uk are asking budding gardeners to keep to these resolutions to help wildlife and the environment, too.
From composting kitchen scraps to using fewer harsh chemicals, there’s plenty the average gardener can be doing to both improve their skills and enjoy a healthy, eco-friendly backyard.
Growing more houseplants, using less plastic in the garden, and keeping on top of weeds are also on the list.
“As a new year rolls around, many people like to make resolutions in an attempt to improve their lives in some way.
“This year, we’re asking people to keep their garden in mind when setting their resolutions,” a spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk said.
“Some of these will help gardeners to hone and improve their skills, but the majority have incredible eco benefits too.”
I will compost my kitchen scraps
Most food leftovers are compostable — think salad greens, onion skins, cucumber and carrot peels, coffee grounds, tea bags and even eggshells.
They’re easy to collect in a compost bucket or bin and when there’s enough, add them to a compost pile outdoors or dig them directly into the ground, where they’ll break down and feed your garden.
I will use fewer harsh chemicals
If you’re eco-minded, you might want to cut down on the chemicals you use in the garden.
Instead, start making your own natural fertiliser.
When you do need a garden chemical, try to find an organic alternative instead.
I will make extra efforts to look after garden wildlife
Set up feeding stations to help the birds and other critters that visit your garden.
You could even help feathered friends, pollinators, and other creatures by choosing the right plants — evergreens for shelter, ornamental grasses for bedding, and buried bushes for food.
Digging a pond is another great option, if you have space.
I will do my best to save water
You can save water by growing drought-tolerant plants like succulents and cacti, making sure hoses are free of leaks, and by simply watering infrequently but deeply so plant roots grow down.
You could even set up a water butt to collect rainwater, which you can then use to water plants.
I will grow more houseplants
Houseplants are more popular than ever — and for good reason.
Keeping plants in the house can actually improve the air quality around the home, help to relieve stress, and aid concentration.
Many varieties are easy to grow; there’s something suitable for every home.
I will use less plastic
Gardening uses more than its fair share of plastic — from plant labels and watering cans to tools, plants pots, and even sheeting to suppress weeds.
Fortunately, there are alternative materials for most products, so you can reduce your plastic footprint outdoors.
I will keep on top of weeds
If you don’t stay on top of them, weeds can quickly take over, sapping the light and nutrients from plants you want to grow along with them.
Regularly weeding around plants can help prevent weeds from growing big.
Just 10 minutes a day can really make a difference.
I will grow more of my own food
Few gardeners have the time or space to be completely self-sufficient, but most will be able to grow two or three crops.
Start with easy-to-grow varieties like potatoes, courgettes and runner beans. Tomatoes and peas are other good options.
I will plant a tree
The benefits of planting trees are obvious and aplenty.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide, help reduce flooding, and can also contribute to reducing urban temperatures.
They can even provide food and shelter for wildlife. So, if you have the place, consider planting a tree in 2021
I will hone my gardening skills
Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned pro, there are always ways to broaden your knowledge and step things up a notch.
You could sign up for a class, or simply do some more research from home.
There are a wealth of materials online and information in books.
For more gardening advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.