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Making New Year’s Garden Resolutions

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Broccoli is a great fall and winter crop. Keep your edible garden growing year-round.
Broccoli and lettuce keep my front-yard garden looking green in winter.

If you’re like me, a few garden books made it on your wish list this holiday season. I garden in my front yard—the only spot on my property that receives the requisite 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily—so Ivette Soler’s The Edible Front Yard was top on my list. Thanks to my future mother-in-law for this much-needed and appreciated gift!

So on this New Year’s Day, after we’ve eaten the collard greens and black eyed peas, while others (including my future husband) are watching football, I am curled up with a good gardening book, writing notes and making plans for this year’s garden. Right now, the raised bed in my front yard is full and lush with lettuce, broccoli, and parsley, but the carrots, kale, and parsnips planted in the in-ground beds flanking the front door leave a lot to be desired. I can’t imagine with the neighbors think. Because I garden in a public space where everyone can see, I need to take my garden plan a little more seriously.

Even a few months before spring, I’m making my list and checking it twice. It’s a nice reprieve from the winter doldrums to think ahead to a green spring. It’s not just about plant selection, though that’s important. I’m also thinking about soil preparation, watering systems, and garden structures, too. Luckily, there’s a ton of info about all these on our website in the Garden Planning section.

My first resolution (and it’s a fitting one for the year I will get married): Don’t be afraid of commitment. I always experience a moment of hesitation before placing a plant in the ground. After all, it’s a living thing, and I’m making a choice that will determine its survival! But in her Design Primer chapter of The Edible Front Yard, Soler warns against this hesitation: “Be bold, take risks.” Planning is important, but so is trusting your instincts and being willing to see what grows from them. Now that’s a mantra to live by, in the garden and in life.

What are your garden resolutions and plans for this year? We’d love to hear them. Here’s to a successful garden, full of risks and rewards, in 2012!