How to decide what kind of garden you want this year

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(BPT) - Gardening has become a very popular pastime over the past two years, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down. According to last year’s Axiom Gardening Insights Survey, 62% of their respondents said they will plant even more in 2022. Whether you’re one of the many who plan to expand your garden or it’s your first attempt, there are plenty of tools and resources available to help you succeed.

Winter is the perfect time to dream of warmer days — and gardening. Developing a concrete plan can help you focus on how to make your dream become a reality.

Here are steps to help determine what you want from your garden before the planting season is underway.

Figure out your gardening goals

You could have more than one motivation for gardening, ranging from just enjoying being outdoors to specific results. Your reasons might include:

  • Growing veggies, fruits and/or herbs you can eat or use in cooking
  • Boosting your home’s curb appeal with beautiful flowers
  • Attracting butterflies and/or bees with a pollinator garden
  • Creating a pretty backyard sanctuary

Determining which goal is most important to you can help you make choices about what and where to plant.

Utilize help getting started

Enlist family members or friends to share tasks like planting, watering, weeding and fertilizing. Gardening is a great hobby for all ages, and children can have fun learning about nature from planting things and watching them grow.

One easy way to get started is with Ferry-Morse Plantlings: live healthy baby plants delivered from the Ferry-Morse nursery directly to your door. With over 100 varieties of herb, vegetable, shrub, tree and flower Plantlings available, ready-to-plant seedlings are an easy way to get the summer growing season started. Plantlings are a popular option to begin your gardening early, with established root systems that will yield a healthier garden — and leave you with a shorter to-do list come time for spring planting.

Know your space and time limitations

It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the amazing available choices, especially when you're new to gardening. But even homes with limited space can benefit from the beauty of plants or flowers in a planter, window box or raised garden bed. Choose low-maintenance plants and flowers to save on time.

Consider using what you already have to maximize your efforts — are there flowers and plants you already love in your yard? You could space them out if they are spreading varieties, moving some to other areas of your yard. Look up which plants need more sun or shade, so you know they'll thrive where you transplant them.

Yearning to start growing indoors before the season begins? Jiffy Peat Pellets can help you get your seeds off to a healthy start and establish root systems so your seedlings are ready to be planted directly into the ground at the start of the season.

Know your zone

Learn what plants are native to your geographical zone and hardiest where you live before purchasing seeds or Plantlings. Learning the best times to plant specific species will also help your gardening efforts succeed. Your local agricultural extension office is a wonderful source of information on what plants grow best in your area.

Know your level of expertise

Gardening rookie? You'll enjoy your efforts even more if you limit the number of varieties you plant. Focus on just a few at a time, then expand what you plant later in the year, or next year.

Even if you’re an experienced gardener, it still helps to have a list of goals. Don’t feel you have to do it all at once. To enjoy watching your garden transform its beauty throughout the growing season, plan for some early blooming plants, then arrange for different areas of your garden to feature mid-summer or late blooming flowers.

"Gardening is something anyone can enjoy, at any level of expertise, no matter how much space you have," said Rebecca Sears, chief gardening guru for Ferry-Morse. "Start with a few plants or flowers you love, and learn what you can about them. There's nothing more satisfying than watching your garden grow and thrive."

Visit FerryMorse.com for everything you need to get started, plus tips and resources to help you enjoy your garden more than ever this year.