Sprouting thoughts

Resolutions: People with green thumbs have a few ideas to plant in gardeners' heads


This time of year, there's not much left to do in the garden except rake up the last of the leaves. That makes it the perfect time to think about what you're going to do better next year. We asked gardening experts to give us their suggestions for New Year's resolutions. Here's what they think is important:

Scott Meyer, editor, Organic Gardening magazine

For the novice gardener:

I will water and fertilize when necessary, no less and absolutely no more.

I will leave one small corner of my yard uncultivated and unmowed, where wildlife can live in peace.

For the experienced gardener:

I will consider all insects in my garden innocent until proven guilty by physical evidence.

I will remember at all times that I garden because it is fun. Especially when it's not.

Susan McCoy, president of the Garden Media Group, which publishes garden trends

The novice:

I resolve to mulch, mulch, mulch before weeds start popping up.

The experienced:

I will take up my trowel and help someone else learn to love gardening.

Nona Koivula, executive director, All-America Selections, which tests new cultivars

The novice:

I resolve to look for summer annuals that will perform without deadheading, staking or bug problems.

The experienced:

I resolve to plan my garden with an overall design and color theme and include contrasting foliage plants.

Gene Sumi, educational coordinator, Home- stead Gardens, Davidsonville

Novice and experienced:

I will spend time in the garden at least twice a week looking at my plants so I can identify problems early. Most problems can be treated if caught in time.

Alan Summers, host of The Garden Club on WCBM and owner of Carroll Gardens, Westminster

For the novice:

I will plant some of the newer plants that give more color like the re-blooming hydrangea, iris and day lilies and the low-maintenance roses like 'Knockout.'

For the experienced:

I will try some of the new products that are 100 percent natural and make my plants healthier organically.

Charlotte Frieze, garden editor, House & Garden magazine

For the novice:

I resolve to plant more than one of any plant I like -- to plant in groups.

For the experienced:

I resolve to be ruthless, to evaluate all my plants and replace any not performing up to par.


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