By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
It’s almost a new year and for gardeners that usually means a few resolutions for 2024 that will make your garden the best it’s ever been. It’s hard to pick what would be the most important things but here are a few that are at the top of our list.
No Naked Soil! One of the best things you can do for your soil is keep it covered. As soon as you pull out one crop, plant something back there. It may not be time to plant your spring crops yet so simply adding several inches of mulch to protect it will suffice until the next planting.
Journal: This is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Write down what you plant, how many and how the plant grew and produced. Two years from now you won’t have to wonder.
Mulch: While your plants are dormant be sure you have at least 4” of mulch in your flowerbeds and garden. It will make your spring and summer much easier. Spring because your beds are prepared. All you have to do is pull the mulch back and put in a transplant or a seed. The mulch will keep weeds at bay. If a few weeds do pop up they are much easier to pull out of mulch than soil.
Hang a Bird Feeder: I always supplement the bird feed and have fresh water for the birds in the winter. Not only is it good for the birds but I enjoy watching them come and go. A good lift for those dreary winter days.
Try your hand at a compost bin: The best way to recycle your garden and kitchen waste is a compost bin. We have an article about making a compost bin on our website (westtexasgardening.org) that will get you started. The best thing I did was invest in a cute tin container that stays in my kitchen. I fill it up several times a week (there is no smell) and add it to my bin. There are probably leaves around your yard that will make a great addition as well.
Friends, Grandparents or Parents: If you are lucky enough to have your parents or grandparents in your life, ask them about how they gardened. I am always surprised at how many of them still garden or gardened in the past. Talk to friends and get tips from them as well.
Native Plants: Decide which native plants you want to add to your yard or beds now. There are opportunities to order from nurseries and magazines that are based in Texas. It is best to get your order in so you will be first in line.
Permian Basin Master Gardeners have been busy this fall planning for amazing classes for 2024. We have four classes, two symposiums which will last from 9 to 2 on a Saturday and at least one pop-up class in the planning stages. We are exploring a different avenue for our classes, and we will be writing an article in the next few months so you can mark your calendars!
Our horticulture agent, Sara Moran, will hold her Lunch and Learn classes beginning in the Spring as well. Hers will be online and is a great way to spend your lunch hour.
Make 2024 your best gardening year ever!
If you have questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700. Additional information, and our blog for access to past articles, is available at westtexasgardening.org. Click on “Resources”.