• Visit as many public gardens as possible. Our state is blessed with many beautiful gardens. Not only can we learn new ideas about combining plants into striking color combinations, we can attend workshops and lectures on flower gardens, landscaping, and vegetables. University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Julie Weisenhorn, has an extensive list of gardens to visit at Become a Smarter Gardener in 2019: New Year’s Resolutions Part 1.
  • Become an organized gardener. Clean, maintain, and organize our extensive tool collection. Keep a garden journal, Take photographs each week as the garden progresses through the seasons. Mary Meyer, Professor and Extension Educator, suggests placing all your plant tags into a very large envelope as you purchase your plants. Put “2019” on the outside of the envelope. If you wish, punch holes on the edge of the envelope and place it into a binder. Add a map or descriptive sheet noting where you planted your new greenery. Become a Smarter Gardener in 2019: New Year’s Resolutions Part 2.
  • Garden within limits. In part 2 of the video I cited above, Anne Sawyer, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota, Food and Farm Safety, recommends moderation and setting limits on gardening and the number of plants we care for. By the hot July weather, a huge garden tends to get out of control. Crowding plants to make space for yet another one results in poor air circulation, the increase of diseases, and discouragement.
  • Protect the environment. Be kind to birds and bees and bugs (not all are bad) by planting more natives. Make and use more compost. Conserve water. Mulch more. Find out what is really wrong with the plant, before heading to the garden center for a toxic spray. Use the least harmful remedy to the problem. Tolerate a little bit of damage to my plants before panicking. If I do not know the answer, I can bring part of the injured plant to the FREE Ramsey County Master Gardener Plant Diagnostic Clinic.
  • Share. My harvest. My plants. My extra seeds. My knowledge. Volunteer more. Work to teach the next generation of gardeners some of what I learned and what I experienced.
  • Learn more. Attend more classes. Read more. Look up the answers to garden problems at the University of Minnesota website (extension.umn.edu) or by consulting other university sites by googling: “item site:edu”.
  • Try something new. Plants. Techniques. Colors. Try pushing the climate zone limits a tiny bit. Have fun with your garden resolutions and garden revolutions this year,

    Joe Baltrukonis