New Year is here with its dark miserable nights, it’s a great time to plan ahead and start (or improve) your gardening game. Setting goals can help you:
- Learn from past mistakes and
- Improve your health and wellbeing
- Learn from your garden as you grow explore what you want in your space
- And find greater enjoyment from the time you spend in the garden.
Having clear goals of what you want to achieve in your garden, like in other walks of life, helps you plan ahead and work out what’s important to you.
For example, if your goal is to have blueberries for breakfast everyday then you need to plan to grow blueberries, not flowers. If you have to try to squeeze them into a garden later there may not be room.
Your garden should be personal and unique to you and allow you to achieve what you need to in your space. Don’t waste time planting cabbages because you feel you should if your not going to eat them.
But isn’t there gardening rules to follow?
Yes there are certain rules you need to follow like giving plant the correct nutrition etc. but, remember this is your space, make it individual to you and your family and above all play and enjoy the space.
What should my goals be?
Well there are some basics you need to consider before getting to the fun stuff.
Firstly, deciding what space you have to grow
- Choose The Best Location To Grow Vegetables
- What conditions you can create, dry shady etc
- Decide what you want to grow
Decide what plants you’d like to grow. Match the conditions you can provide. Research your chosen plants in gardening books,.seed packets and online.
And finally make your plan. Researching plants and their needs helps you start to make a plan where you match the plants you want to grow to the right spot.
Each of these steps will give you a few goals to aim for such as water every day, provide good fertile soil etc but now you need to have some fun.
Making gardening fun
So we have our practical goals but those are really things you NEED but now it’s time to decide what you want.
Traditionally veggies are grown in long straight rows in an allotment. But nowadays, we can grow anything almost anywhere. Strawberries grow in welly boots, lettuce can grow in a gutter or cracked in a path. So decide what your garden means to you.
For example, do you want;
- Areas of whimsical fun for the kids that include edibles like strawberries
- Somewhere that offers a space to relax and Potter around
- Maybe you only have a few hanging baskets and need to produce maximum colour all year round.
Decide what your space needs to do for you and make some I WANT… statements. These are your goals.
Yip that easy…so,
• If your goal is to save money, try planting vegetables that are expensive in shops and ingredients you use a lot of.
• If your goal is to eat healthier, plan a succession of yummy fruit and vegetables to keep your plate brimming with organic nutrient filled crops throughout the year.
• Or if your hoping to get your kids out in the fresh air and learn where their food comes from then plan space for lots of things you can pick and eat straight from the plant, raspberries, peas, strawberries and spinach are all good choices. You can also plan garden activities to do indoors with the kids to introduce growing such as, making seed balls,
Do I need to make goals?
Setting out goals before you plan your garden can help the space feel more personal and useful to you and it won’t feel like as much work and keeps you realistic.
Knowing what not to grow is as important as growing the right thing.be realistic
• If you have a few pots on the patio your not going to grow a field of potatoes.
• If your teaching kids about growing food your not going to try growing a flowering plant that takes up all your time and attention and needs constant care.
• If you’re hoping to grow a vertical garden, you know the soil will be a lot drier so growing plants that like moist conditions is a waste of time.
Things to consider
So now is the best time to set your goals and expectations for your garden. So what do you want??
- Are you gardening for the kids?
- Do you want to attract wildlife
- Save money on fresh vegetables and fruit?
- Or want a quiet peaceful place to escape to?
It’s also a good time to do your research. Spend some time going through seed catalogues and online companies and start making a list of all the seeds you would love to grow.
As you plan, keep in mind your goals and don’t just write down everything you see.
- If your planting in containers, look for compact vegetables used to growing smaller or produce heavily in a small space.
- If your just starting out, start small and grow as you learn.
- Take your time and enjoy the process
Setting Goals: Round up
So, whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced grower. Setting gardening goals can teach you so much and make your gardening experience more rewarding.
A garden is a great teacher! Every year there are new things to try, different challenges and a different set of things you need or want from a space. I hope these goals will help YOU plan a garden that fits all your needs
Now, just download your 12 step guide to starting your first edible garden. Then, all you need to do is leave a comment below and let me know what your garden goals are