New year is time to plan new garden

Happy New Year 2011! It happens every year, but it all seems so sudden.  We barely close the box on one year and we are already in the next.

This is the time of year when many folks make New Year’s resolutions, set new goals or at least take a little time to analyze their lives and re-focus for the year ahead. This is a good time to spend a little time planning for your yard and garden as well. The seed and mail order companies helpwith that process as they all release their new catalogs with beautiful pictures and write ups on new flowers, vegetables and trees we need to try out.

I enjoy looking at these catalogs and the growing number of internet newsletters and catalogs for ideas and inspiration but I am a big believer in tryingto shop locally as much as possible. On plant issues this is especially important as many plants that look great on the internet or a catalog just don’t perform well under our conditions. The flip side is that many plants that are not in a catalog developed in Michigan or New York will do great here. Pick out some plants that excite you from the catalogs and then show them to your local nurseryman or garden center to help select the right or similar plants that should do well in your neighborhood. Try to buy as much as possible locally so that the local nursery knowledge and experience will continue to be available in your community to help you be a success in your gardening efforts.

This is also a good time to decide if you are going to vegetable garden this year. Do you want to add more trees for fruit, shade or to save energy? Do you want to expand your flowerbeds or create new flower beds? Do you want to add a garden pond or a butterfly garden? Do you dream of growing your own grapes, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries?  Do you want to buy more containers or hanging baskets and expand your container and patio gardening? All these things and much more are possible if you just decide you want to do them start planning and then do it.

There are many resources to help you succeed including the garden catalogs and internet sites but also check out short term workshops and fact sheets at your local extension office. Don’t forget to check out local garden clubs and plant societies, newsletters, tours and speakers of the Oklahoma Horticulture Society.  There is much to learn visiting with fellow gardeners and of course your local nurseryman is always one of your best assets as you plan and plant for 2011.

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