With spring upon us, no matter what you want to do in the garden this year–upgrading the design or creating a vast vegetable garden to feed a community–this year is destined to be yours. Consider a gardening project that puts last years to shame. Here are seven gardening must-dos for 2019.
1. Incorporate a low-maintenance design
Your garden should be your place to unwind and de-stress – not add more stress or items to your to-do list. Simplify your garden in 2019 by adding perennial plants that will return every year. Native perennials are even better since they require less watering, fertilizing and weeding. Consider a red Bird of Paradise or Blackfoot daisies as the gifts that keep on giving year after year. Many plants native to Texas work to repel insects. Marigolds will tolerate Texas heat and keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Other time-saving hacks include installing an irrigation system or utilizing hardscaping features (like stone walkways or robust edging systems). Remove any elements or plants that don’t serve you (like plants that need constant weeding and care) and keep only what makes you and your garden happy. Make Marie Kondo proud of you!
2. Clean up the mess
Get rid of those pesky weeds and those plants that cause nothing but heartache. Tidy up last year’s debris, from old tomato plants to broken stakes. Cleaning up this debris will make your garden more visually appealing and give you room for those must-have plants. Cut down that messy tree that keeps dropping needles on your flower beds. You’ll find you have less work to do and a more appealing garden.
3. Make it comfortable and attractive
Your garden should be a place to escape. Add some features to make your backyard both comfortable and functional, and you may never feel like you need to take a vacation. Consider hardscape design features like an outdoor bar, fountain or backyard fire pit to add contrast and luxury to the surrounding greenery. Decorative lighting around your garden can make the area more accessible to access in the dark, and also safer for you and your visitors.
4. Add some functional backyard structures
Remember that attractive doesn’t have to mean useless. Some structures, like sheds and pool equipment boxes, are necessary. However, landscaping can work to your advantage here. Use rustic materials, like repurposed barn boards, to camouflage your less attractive features; these can also stand up to being whacked by weed eaters. Or, include fun water features that also help irrigate your plants. Double-duty is critical, here, so that every item in your backyard serves more than one purpose.
5. Make it pop
A well-designed, functional garden can add serious curb appeal to your home, and make you happier when you step outside. Add unexpected elements in surprising colors just about everywhere you turn, from seasonal herbs growing in containers on your deck to small groundcover plants growing between your walkways. Not only will you create a beautiful front lawn, but you’ll also have a yard that’s the envy of the design world.
6. Include food
It doesn’t matter whether your property is the size of a postage stamp or several acres, consider adding attractive fruit and vegetable plants. Growing your food adds appeal to your garden and improves your environmental sustainability. Add some pot-dwelling plants, like lettuce or radishes, to your front porch, or consider planting some ornamental edibles like tomato plants. You can even hang planters or grow herbs in a vertical planter if you’re having trouble finding space.
7. Give back
If you have a garden or enjoy the hobby at all, you already know that it’s a great way to give back to the environment and your local community. There are so many eco-friendly ways you can contribute, from planting flowers to attract beneficial pollinators to installing sustainable irrigation systems. Starting a compost pile is a great way to recycle waste and benefit the circle of life.
Spending time outside is essential for your well-being and peace of mind. Make this the year you spruce up your yard with these seven gardening must-dos for 2019.
Cover photo Kris White, Pixabay
Katie Kuchta is a gardening and outdoor-living guru, and self-proclaimed foodie. She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos. Follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen