When you think about your garden from last year, are you thinking about what went well and what you need to work on? I’m sure a lot of things were great and you will keep exactly the same. But maybe there are some things that you want to tweak or make even better. I have three ideas for you today!
Even before I’m finished with one garden season, I start thinking about the next. I want to think about what I want to change for the next year. This year, I realized that there are three areas that I really want to change for 2020. Keep reading or click below to listen:
Grow What You Eat (especially when what you eat changes)
I always recommend that gardeners grow what they eat. But what if that changes? My family has changed our eating habits since I started gardening. So I need to adjust what I plan to grow to meet our changing needs.
For example, my family and I have fallen in love with sweet potato nachos. Since we harvested 95 pounds of sweet potatoes last season, we have plenty of those, but I kept having to buy black beans to make our nachos. So next year I can plan to grow more black beans.
Perhaps you need to grow more of a crop you’re eating more of, but the opposite can be true as well. For years, I’ve grown tomatillos because we have loved tomatillo salsa. This year, we just didn’t eat as much. We’ve grown a little tired of it so I’m going to take a year off from tomatillos. Deciding to take a break from a crop is completely okay! Plus, it gives you garden space to expand in other areas or experiment with new crops.
I’m not a flower gardener; I garden so that we have fresh and preserved food to eat.
Over the years, though, I’ve learned the benefits of having flowers in the vegetable garden. Flowers in the vegetable garden transcend beauty and add the practicality of attracting beneficial insects and pollinators.
Plus, many flowers, such as calendula, also have wonderful medicinal purposes! Calendula, lavender, and echinacea are not only beautiful but attract beneficial insects and can be used for medicinal and body care purposes. That’s why they have become superstars in my garden.
Add to or Change Your Garden Design
This is a new area for me to think about as I start to think more outside the box about my landscape and where I can grow different things around my yard. Don’t think of your garden as a static space that needs to be the same year after year. Consider these garden design changes that will enhance your garden this year:
You may want to think about growing fruit trees or bushes, or some other perennials like asparagus. I’m so glad I started my blueberries early and wish I hadn’t waited so long to start my asparagus.
Medicinal Herb Garden
Just like flowers, medicinal herbs can serve several purposes in your garden. You can start small with just a few herbs like peppermint, lemon balm, and lavender. Or you could plant an entire medicinal herb garden! If you want to dive into medicinal herbs, you might think about having an entire bed full of medicinal herbs. Learn more about starting a medicinal herb garden here.
Garden for Kids
Many parents want to get their kids outside in the garden with them. But how do you garden with kids in a way that serves everyone?
Luke from MI Gardener suggested having a garden bed just for his daughter. I did this a few years ago and it was a great experience. My son raised a “spaghetti” garden with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and basil, and my daughter raised okra, black-eyed peas, and cherry tomatoes in hers.
Native wildflowers support bees and beneficial insect populations more than we realize. Robust with beauty, a wildflower patch in your yard will help your pollinators all year long.
This year, I am building a new kitchen garden! This raised container bed will be situated right by my patio outside of my kitchen. I’m planning to grow herbs, vegetables in small quantities, and flowers. It will be convenient to harvest and will add beauty near my home.
What Changes Will You Make in Your Garden?
If you are going to make changes to your garden in any of these areas, you don’t want to wait too long, nor do you want to let those ideas sit in your head. Click on the image below to print out this Garden Dreaming Worksheet to get these changes on paper so you can start designing your dream garden!