“To be healthy, your garden needs basic care just like you do. This includes getting nutrients and a healthy diet in the form of nicely amended soil and a well-balanced fertilizer, a good dose of sunshine, fresh air, and it needs to be kept hydrated.” The simplest way to provide all of this is to start with a simple plan of action and then stick with it throughout the year.”

With that in mind, here are some gardening resolutions that will help you build a healthier, happier garden, as well as to work more in harmony with nature (“Green gardening”).

This year resolve to: *Create a garden plan so that you will know ahead of time what needs to be done and when. This way, when you go buy plants, fertilizer etc. you will know exactly what you need to buy, no more or no less.

*By adopting a few smart-watering habits, you will do your part in “Green gardening”: Adding mulch or compost to your soil will retain water and cut down evaporation. Also keep in mind that drip irrigation only use 50% of the water used by sprinklers. Water in the morning so that you can avoid evaporation and winds. And remember that the best place to drench your plants, are directly on their roots.

*Always plant the right plant in the right location. If you select the wrong plant for a particular location you could end up with a constant maintenance problem. Always remember that different plants have different requirements. Some prefer more sun, some shade, some can tolerate wind and some can’t.

*Go indigenous. When choosing plants for your garden, consider native and indigenous plants. Already adapted to local conditions, indigenous plants are easy to grow and maintain, generally requiring less fertilizer and water, as well as less effort to rein in pests. Consider these indigenous plants (in flower this month): Agapanthus (from R29.95), Leucospermum sp. (from R98.95), Gazania (R24.95 per six-pack) and Felicia amelloides (R24.95 six-pack/R39.95 pot).

Finally, resolve to never forget why you chose to garden in the first place: to have fun and enjoy your garden, and remember that the benefits of gardening are well documented in research: It relieves stress, improves your heart and flexibility, promotes deeper sleeping, helps children develop social and intellectual skills and much, much more .... - Cape Garden Centre

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