Lynn Barber relaxing in perennial peanut bed.

Did you know the most popular New Year’s resolutions include improving your fitness, losing weight and saving money? Gardening activities can improve your fitness, provide great exercise and save you money at the same time. With the New Year right around the corner, many of us addicted to gardening are starting to plan our time in the garden.

I asked our Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ team to give me their garden-related resolutions for the new year. Mine are also included.

Will wants to improve his health while eating his way through his garden, increasing his vegetable consumption and growing herbs to expand his culinary pallet. Makes sense to me, considering his role with community gardens.

Heather plans to reduce her carbon footprint by focusing on ways to reuse items or compost them rather than throwing them away. Guess what she teaches at UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County? If you thought composting, you would be correct!

Paula told me that her first resolution would be to actually get/grow a garden. Her second resolution would be to talk with several people who have fabulous gardens, say she’s doing research (she does work at Extension) and ask for comparative samples. YUM! Paula thinks she is coming to my yard to pick and eat perennial peanut flowers.

Sonya is interested in understanding her plants’ water needs better so she won’t over or underwater. She also wants to learn more about companion planting to save money, rotate crops/vegetables and see how plants actually help each other. Yes, she teaches water conservation using microirrigation.

I have several and hope some (or all) will come to fruition. My gardening resolutions include spending more time in the perennial peanut easement bed to remove clover and other weeds and continue to pick up sticks/branches in the far backyard from our hurricane encounters. I should read at least one of the wonderful gardening books I purchased at the UF/IFAS Bookstore in Gainesville. Check out its website: I am somewhat committed to repairing my wooden bench and moving it to the side yard where I can enjoy the plants, butterflies and birds. I will volunteer to help my friend, Ara, pull weeds in her yard, but maybe we could play Scrabble instead. I should clean out my rain barrel. Guess what I teach? Correct, rainwater harvesting.

For information about our upcoming horticultural programs, visit our website,, and check out our calendar of events at Wishing all of you safe and wonderful holidays. Hope you can get outside and garden!

Contact Lynn Barber at

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