Were you one of the people who turned to gardening as a new hobby in 2020?
According to a University of Dalhousie/Angus Reid study released in October 2020, one in 5 Canadians started to garden this year, and almost two thirds of them were influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This study goes on to discover the reasons why people turned to gardening: 89% of the survey respondents cited food affordability as a reason for starting gardens, the real concern that food prices will increase because of the pandemic. The study goes on to reveal that those who tended to food gardens, found gardening to be good exercise (55.5%) while 69% find gardening relaxing.
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that gardening has experienced a renaissance. In my exchanges with folks, many of you who have gardened even for the first time this year, are planning to continue on your growing journey in 2021.
So on this snow covered January day, into our second week of lockdown here in our community, perhaps you have some time to think about your gardening goals for 2021.
To help launch you into this process, I am following here with some inspiration for you to formalize how you want to build on your 2020 gardening experience.
Garden sustainably. Remember how hot and dry it was in July last summer? Choosing drought tolerant plants or investing in / installing a rain barrel can improve your gardening experience exponentially. Even if that is the only thing you do to augment your gardening plan for 2021, you will be set up for greater success.
Understand how everything in nature is connected. Your veggie garden is likely planted in a yard that includes, trees, perhaps a fruit bearing type such as an apple, an evergreen, all surrounded by a lawn . Look at your garden as a complete ecosystem and learn how plants impact each other. For example if your apple tree consistently is defoliated every June, and your lawn is filled with mini potholes because of wildlife digging for grubs in the spring, then you may be looking at the life cycle of a Japanese beetle, one of the most destructive insects in our gardens. Did you know that by controlling those grubs in the lawn in the fall could be your pre-emptive strike to control adult Japanese beetle feeding in your summer garden? Maybe controlling pests in the garden is something you want to prioritize this coming year by understanding how Mother Nature and the seasons reveal the opportunities for ensuring a healthy garden in a safe and natural way.
Plant more beauty with easy to grow flowers. One sunny August day in our cutting garden last summer, a visitor to the ‘Flower Fields’ at Sun Harvest remarked how she loved the experience so much that she was going to plant flowers in her garden this year. There is no doubt that growing food is what has driven the gardening agenda, especially amongst first time gardeners in 2020, but why not add a few easy to grow annuals that are can be plucked for home grown bouquets. Look to future posts about the best plants to grow for cutting.
Choose low maintenance plants. “I want a plant that requires little care” is what we constantly here in our garden centre from new and seasoned gardeners. We love to garden, but, we do not always have a lot of time to spend in the garden, what with our work and family commitments so we need plants that will establish well, provide heaps of beauty with a minimal amount of care. Well with the new varieties of flowering shrubs, perennials and powerhouse performing annuals, we are in luck! Developed with a strong emphasis on compact growth and flower power, these new varieties pack a powerful punch, so be sure to check out sites like provenwinners.com for lots of great plant suggestions to fit your ‘low maintenance bill’. Then visit our webstore in spring to see what we are carrying this season.
I hope that a few of these points do trigger the commencement of your gardening plan for this growing season. It is not simply just an exercise of picking out what seeds to start in late March. We here at Sun Harvest want to build on your success in the garden of last year, we want to be your gardening partner. We love to grow and if we can share our experiences, and provide plants and products that will lead to the enjoyment of your time in the garden, well, that would be just awesome!
Please look to the Get Growing Blog Section on our website for gardening information, inspiration, and tips. Check back often as this will be an important tool in your gardening tool kit, and since everyone is spending time doing their research online, we want to make our site as valuable to our community of gardeners as we can . This section will continue to grow over the coming weeks, so if you have a gardening question, there is a good chance that there are others like you, please ask away – it can prompt a relevant discussion worth sharing.
Here’s to wishing all of you an exciting and happy year of gardening in 2021. Grow your Best Year Yet!