You can make new year’s resolutions which will help your garden thrive over the next 12 months.
Researchers from outdoor specialists GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled 19 top tips.
A spokesman said: “2019 will be the best year of your garden’s life, if you make some simple new year’s resolutions.
“Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a complete newbie, pledge to put some of our nuggets of wisdom in to action in your backyard and you could make it a more pleasant and efficient space.”
Here are the 19 top tips:
1. Be organised
Keep on top of garden tasks every week and month rather than letting the to do list pile up; lay firm foundations for the coming months by noting down a detailed and timed plan.
2. Plant a crop
Make the garden feed the family this year by planting some tasty and nutritious homegrown fruit and vegetables.
3. Start composting
Cut food waste and provide a nutritious natural fertiliser.
4. Sort out tools
The onset of a new year is a perfect time to clean, repair, organise and replenish collections of outdoor tools and equipment.
5. Tidy up
Making a concerted effort to tidy the garden will make it look so much better, so regularly remove any weeds, dead species or fallen leaves; also trim the borders and grass frequently.
6. Get scientific
Test the Ph (acidity) level of soil in the backyard, to learn what plants could be most suited to the conditions; make amendments as necessary based on the test results.
7. Take care of timber
Treat any wooden decking, fences or sheds with a layer of protective paint or varnish to see them through the year.
8. Nurture seeds
It’s always nice when someone else has taken care of most of the hard work, but bored Brits gardeners should also take on the rewarding project of nurturing a new plant from birth more often.
9. Use natural remedies
Purchase organic pest solutions and fertilisers or find recipes online to make them home, as an alternative to ones that damage the environment.
10. Save water
Wise gardeners will toss sink or even bath water over outdoor plants. The best prepared will collect rainwater.
11. Plan for holidays
Green-fingered folk shouldn’t allow their outdoor plots to be forgotten about when they choose to spend time soaking up the sunshine abroad; ask a kind friend, relative or neighbour to water and tend to everything.
12. Welcome winged wildlife
Birds can be helped in the backyard by leaving out specialist food or feeders, a water bath or bowl and appropriate shrubbery or bird boxes to shelter in.
13. Build an insect hotel
In a quiet corner of the garden, pile up a selection of bricks, logs, rocks, twigs and leaves to create a mini monument that will quickly become home to all sorts of insects, bugs and spiders.
14. Keep cats out
To deter neighbours’ cats from becoming an outdoor nuisance and turning the lawn into a toilet, place obstacles like pine cones and branches into any obvious points of entry, lay chicken wire under mulch to make the ground rough, or lay feline repelling smells – such as coffee granules or citrus peel – around the borders.
15. Enjoy the garden
Spend more time in the backyard socialising and entertaining, or even just relaxing and appreciating the surroundings, rather than only stepping outside to do gardening.
16. Take inspiration
Get out and about to see neighbours’ backyards, to attend any classes or courses, to visit public or botanical gardens, or to talk to friends for tips and tricks; don’t be afraid to steal ideas from online research either – imitation is flattery.
17. Try something new
Buy a relatively unknown species, add bright colours to replace boring greens or plant a tree, which could also provide fruit such as apples; there’s a first time for everything, and it’s 2019.
18. Picture it
Take a few photographs of garden highlights and share them with the world on social media channels; be proud of hard work, success and beauty.
19. Get the family involved
Sharing your passion for planting with your partner or teaching your children how to take care of the backyard will lighten your workload and could give them a new hobby too.