Unlike some, my New Year’s excitement usually centers around the garden. December is a quiet month in my Cincinnati garden. If I’m lucky, I may still be harvesting radishes or some hardy greens. However, I usually put the raised beds to rest by the end of November and let Mother Nature do her thing over the winter.
January is a perfect time to review what did or didn’t go so well over the last year and start planning for the upcoming growing season. Following are my high-level goals for 2017. I’ll also be sharing monthly to dos and goals throughout the year.
- Have my soil tested by a lab. In fact, I’ve already got two kits from the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District. I just need to get the samples together and send them back.
- Find a planning/tracking/journaling method that works and commit to it for the entire year. Any suggestions? I’ve dabbled with everything from old-school journals to Evernote but I’m very inconsistent and usually end up scribbling notes all over the place and taking random pictures. I recently downloaded Arbico Organics’ 2016 Garden Journal, which has given me some ideas. Also, the folks at GrowVeg.com are launching a Garden Planner Journal this spring. I signed up to be notified when it’s live—maybe it will be solution for me?
- Expand my perennial herb garden. I’m already growing thyme, chives, horseradish, fennel, mint (in a pot so doesn’t really count, ha ha) and chamomile. I’d like to expand the area and add a few more perennial herbs to help both the pollinators and my cooking! I’m thinking about lavender, rosemary, and oregano.
- Learn more about beekeeping. I’m intrigued but not sure if it’s something I want to get into yet, so I’m starting with baby steps by hosting a hive through Gaiser Bee Co.
- Redo the raspberry patch. We moved our raspberry plants last year during a dry spell and totally blanked on how wet the new area gets. Wet feet = unhappy plants. While a couple plants did well, I was disappointed in general. to the worst area; wet feet = unhappy plants. Need to build it up this spring and get those raspberries growing again.
- Try growing melons again. I was semi-successful three years ago but got discouraged. Still researching but I may try these sugar baby watermelons this year.
- Buy a kitchen scale so I can start tracking how much I’m harvesting. I also daydream about selling at a local farmers market so this would help me decide if I’m growing enough.
- Wear more sunscreen. No-brainer but I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been last year.