NEW YEAR IS TIME FOR REVIEWING GARDEN PRACTICES

We have apparently passed the end date of the ancient Mayan calendar and tonight we pass the end date on our modern 2012 calendar and start the New Year 2013.  This end of one year, start of a new year time period is one where we usually pause to reflect on the year that is winding down and ponder dreams and goals for the year ahead.  We are even tempted to ponder our life’s accomplishments, disappointments, challenges and to plan for any mid course corrections to get where we want to go.  We can benefit from the same year end review and planning when it comes to our gardening and landscape activities.

Regardless of the calendar change to a new year this is the perfect season to do our gardening or farming reviews and planning.             It is the coldest season of the year with short days when we are between crop seasons.  Most of the plant world is dormant or in hibernation, curled up for the winter and waiting for the invitation of spring.  Farmers have their winter wheat and gardeners have their evergreen trees and shrubs, pansies and a few other hardy crops but most of the plant world is hiding for the winter, trying to avoid the ice, snow and cold like those experienced this last week.  Since we are in a drought these winter crops do need periodic watering to survive the Oklahoma winter.  You could still make late plantings of spring flowering bulbs or dig some new flowerbeds but for the most part this is the season to stay inside and enjoy pictures and memories of gardens past and to dream and plan for gardens future. 

The last several years have seen an explosion of new gardeners, particularly vegetable, fruit and berry gardeners as more people have tackled growing some of their own food crops.  This has been one part of the whole “grow local” movement that has led to many new local farmers markets and new growers to serve those markets.  Many others have discovered gardening as a way to get outside to get fresh air, exercise,  sunshine and to relate to nature.  Many folks are assessing what is important in life and are deciding to spend more time at home, with family and communing with nature instead of full blast on the treadmill of daily events or inside glued to TV, games or movies.  Gardening and landscaping take some time and effort but are the perfect counter balance to the electronic and gadget lifestyle that can consume us.  Take a look at what you enjoyed doing in your garden this last year and do more of it in 2013.  What crops did good, which did poorly, what could do better if not for the drought of last year?  Are you happy with your landscape?  Do you need to plant more trees, prune and shape the trees you have?  Do you want to add flowerbeds or start a vegetable garden?  Do you want to add a kitchen herb garden, a butterfly garden, a new patio or gazebo, a fountain, pond or a hobby greenhouse?  Things don’t happen unless you make plans and dream a little.  Use this winter time to review seed catalogs, attend an Oklahoma  Horticulture Society lecture, read some gardening books, take a soil test to the county extension office or visit with you local nursery or garden center to get new ideas.

 We wish you a happy New Year and hope 2013 exceeds all your dreams in your garden and in your life.

 

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