21 Gardening Resolutions

A new year's to do list from industry experts.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Kimberly Lacy

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Photo By: Image courtesy of James Farmer, photo by Amber Phinisee

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Photo By: Image courtesy of Charlie Thigpen

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Kimberly Lacy: Resolution #1 - Create a Safe Solution to Bug Control

Designer and co-host of HGTV's "Curb Appeal: The Block," Kimberly Lacy says, "I plan to create an all natural bug repellant that's safe and effective for both plants and humans." 

Kimberly Lacy: Resolution #2 - Combat Weeds

"One side of my back yard is on a slope and draped with ivy, weeds and seed trees which continue to grow in the lushness. I continuously clean the weeds and seed trees out but they grow, grow, grow. I want beautiful ivy, no seed trees or weeds."

Kimberly Lacy: Resolution #3 - Enjoy the Fruits of My Labor

"I will make and set aside enough time to tend to my garden area this year and eat plenty from its harvest. I'd also like to learn more about the botany of plants and move one step closer to creating hybrid species of some of my favorites."

James Farmer: Resolution #1 - Learn New Skills

Author/gardener James Farmer says, "I would love to learn how to do some minor upholstery work with nailheads, light carpentry skills and even a bit of lamp wiring. I use amazing workrooms and artisans and technicians all the time, and gaining a better understanding of their craft would be a great learning experience in the new year!"

James Farmer: Resolution #2 - Grow More Greens

"Every year I grow vegetables and herbs, thus I learn what works best in my garden and climate. Some old faithfuls keep going strong year after year and some new things make the list or simply make it to the compost heap. I really want to grow more salad greens, collards and turnips and varieties of basils."

James Farmer: Resolution #3 - More Zinnias!

"My zinnia border will definitely need to be expanded! I can’t have enough zinnias!"

Dan Faires: Resolution #1 - Increase Propagation

Contractor/designer Dan Faires wants to learn "How to propagate more plants and start plants from seed, especially for my vegetable garden.  There is no greater feeling on the planet than starting a plant from a seed or cutting, nurturing it into an established plant, and watching it produce beautiful blooms and/or enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of your labor."

Dan Faires: Resolution #2 - Go Greener!

"I am always looking for 'greener' ways to garden.  This year I want to improve my compost beds and create a watering system with a new rain barrel design I've come up with that blends into the landscape."

Dan Faires: Resolution #3 - Combat Aphids the Natural Way

"Using natural solutions to manage the garden are also a big passion of mine, so I hope to employ a few new methods with that. Last year I had a breakout of aphids and I was able to remedy the situation by ordering 2,000 ladybugs on the Internet!  Not only did it work, but the ladybugs were a happy addition to my garden and I plan on ordering more this year (aphids or no aphids)!"

Amanda Thomsen: Resolution #1 - Acquire Carpentry Skills

Amanda Thomsen, garden blogger and author of "Kiss My Aster," says, "I'd really like to accrue some carpentry skills in 2014. I see easy projects that I bet I could master but I have fear! Funny, gardening gives me no anxiety at all, but screwing pieces of dead tree together tweaks me out."

Amanda Thomsen: Resolution #2 - Create a Bigger Garden Bed

"2014 is going to bring me a big, new garden bed - like, really big. Like 'keep me out of trouble forever' big! Getting the bones for this garden built will be a year-long task. It'll get tilled up in the spring (I tried killing the grass with newspaper but it was just too big of an area) and then I'll work at amending the soil before I go nuts planting."

Amanda Thomsen: Resolution #3 - Better Bulb Planning

"I need to get better at planning bulb planting. I really love bulbs when they come up in the spring but I'm always out of steam when it comes time to plant them in the fall. I've always wanted to blanket my lawn with a bajillion crocuses. Here's hoping that 2014 sees that come to fruition!"

Charlie Thigpen: Resolution #1 - Use More Herbs in Cooking

Charlie Thigpen, who runs the Gardener's Gallery with his wife, Cindy, in Birmingham, Alabama, says, "I've been growing herbs and vegetables for about 10 or 12 years, but over the years my main focus has been more related to ornamental plants such as annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs. I know a lot about growing herbs but would like to know more about how to use them in cooking."

Charlie Thigpen: Resolution #2 - Grow My Own Vegetables

"I also need to know more about vegetable gardening because growing your own vegetables is a trend that keeps increasing in popularity and so many of my clients and customers want to learn and grow more."

Charlie Thigpen: Resolution #3 - Upgrade Outdoor Lighting

"What I really need to work on in my yard is landscape lighting. I Installed low-voltage lighting about 10 years ago but all the plantings have grown up and some of the light fixtures need to be replaced. Outdoor lighting really can be a great way to make-your-home-look-better-after-dark by highlighting your house and specimen plants." 

Laurie March: Resolution #1 - Be a Compost Vigilante

Laurie March, host of "The House Counselor" on HGTV.com, says, "My gardening resolution for 2014 is to be more vigilant about composting. When you're moving fast in the kitchen, it's easy to forget to put aside the scraps that can go straight into the compost spinner. The thing I learned that makes it less messy is to toss your organic scraps into a bag in the freezer until you've built up enough to warrant a trip to the composter.  They don't break down and get smelly this way."

Laurie March: Resolution #2 - Grow Head Lettuce

"It sounds silly, but here in Los Angeles our temperatures make it easy to grow almost everything else—but hard to grow head lettuces.  In addition to all the wonderful weird stuff I like to grow, all my fiancee wants me to grow for him are heirloom iceberg lettuces. Sheesh!  I'm going to try both inside and outside this year.  Who knows if my indoor grow room can sustain head lettuces, but I'm going to try!"

Laurie March: Resolution #3 - Grow More With Less Water

"This year I'm going to try to grow some succulents and other things that will be hardy with less water.  I'm hoping to spend less money on the plants themselves by growing them, and to spend less on water this year too.  LA had its worst year on record for rainfall, so my goal is to get us down to drawing as little water as possible."

P. Allen Smith: Resolution #1 - Home Renovation

Author and garden/design expert P. Allen Smith says, "In 2014 I hope to complete the renovation of my original Garden Home. Last year a storm severely damaged the roof and south side of the 1905 Colonial Revival house in our historic district. I love this house and this disaster (could have been worse) was all the impetus I needed to kick start a long overdue makeover. Wish me luck!"

P. Allen Smith: Resolution #2 - Experiment with Heirloom Varieties

"I'm totally jazzed about learning new and more creative ways of using what I'm growing to eat in 2014. This not only includes experimenting with growing new and heirloom varieties of seeds and plants, but how I use them in the kitchen and preserve them. Who doesn't love an amazing salsa? Or homemade tomato sauce? The alchemy I can create from the food I can grow in my own backyard fascinates me. Diving in deep and exploring the diversity of the food garden is at the top of my list!"

P. Allen Smith: Resolution #3 - Create Vertical Color

"Adding big color 'on the vertical' is a huge goal of mine in the new year. What a great way to get really creative! Making the most of under utilized wall space and creating dramatic vertical elements in the home and garden excites me. For instance I'm adding some really wacky decorative tutuers to parts of my garden and using flowering (fun, electric colors of course!) vines on them as 'exclamation points' in the garden space."