Garden Lifestyle

Pick a Vegetable Growing Resolution for 2016

Happy New Gardening Year to you!

A new vegetable gardening season is practically bursting with potential.
Photo/Illustration: John Pendleton

There are a many ways I’d like to improve my vegetable garden for 2016, and now’s the time to start planning. These New Year’s Gardening Resolutions are at the top of my list, perhaps one will strike a chord with you:

Plant something new. There are plenty of new vegetable introductions just waiting to be planted. Instead of going with the same varieties every year, find something you’ve never planted before. You could choose one of the new winners from All-America Selections or find an heirloom tomato with an entertaining or intriguing name.

Grow more. Adding a few more vegetable plants means more produce to donate to a food pantry or soup kitchen near you. The Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign encourages vegetable gardeners to plant extra fruits, vegetables and herbs to donate – no matter how large or small your growing space.

Inspire a new vegetable gardener. Even if you’ve been gardening for a only a few years you can help a new gardener get started. Offer to help by sharing seeds, resources and your favorite vegetable gardening shortcuts. Then ask them to pass it on.

Plant for pollinators. Vegetable gardens are more productive when there are more pollinators nearby. Invite pollinators, like bees and butterflies, into your garden by planting pollen and nectar-rich flowers. Lavender, black-eyed Susan, milkweed, coneflower, blanketflower, asters and bee balm are just a few favorites.

Have more fun. Planting and tending a vegetable garden takes work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Instead of dreading typical tasks like weeding, watering and fertilizing, enjoy them! The goal of growing a vegetable garden is to harvest delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables. But that doesn’t mean gardeners can’t enjoy it, too.

What vegetable gardening resolutions do you have for the 2016 season? Please share your ideas here!

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