With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it’s time to ponder your resolutions for 2024. Many involve gardening activities, which can include improving your fitness and outlook, helping you lose weight and save money. Gardening provides exercise, satisfaction, meeting neighbors and making new friends.

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

Will would like to attempt to grow oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) in his home and learn how to preserve the vegetables he is growing through canning. Makes sense to me, considering his role with community gardens.

Mollie wants to establish a mist propagation system to facilitate the successful cultivation of plant cuttings from her garden. She would also like to experiment with her success rate using different propagation techniques, particularly the art of grafting and air layering plants. I’m shaking my head, yes, as Mollie teaches water conservation, which includes misting.

Heather has decided it’s time to remove her fruit trees from pots and plant them in the ground. She needs to relocate two garden beds because she inadvertently placed them on top of her in-ground sprinkler heads last season. She will be installing microirrigation in those beds.

Michael plans to reestablish his seed bank with new varieties of crops, learn to propagate 10 new plants and design and install a memorial garden at his grandfather and father’s final resting sites. I know they will appreciate his gardening skills.

My gardening resolutions include adding one or two more bird feeders because I thoroughly enjoy seeing our great variety of feathered friends in my yard. Having pretty much mastered weeding the perennial peanut easement bed, I can spread the 70 bags of pine bark mulch I moved around the front and backyard. I will be heading to Gainesville soon, so I must go to the UF/IFAS Bookstore in Gainesville. Check out their website at http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/. I am also somewhat committed to putting my wooden raised garden bed together and planting it with collards, eggplant, peppers, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Lastly, I am committed to cleaning out my rain barrel this month. Guess what I teach? Correct, rainwater harvesting.

For information about our upcoming horticultural programs, visit our website at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/ and check out our calendar of events at https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/events/?location=hillsborough. Wishing all of you safe and wonderful holidays. Hope you can get outside and garden!

For more information, contact Lynn Barber at labarber@ufl.edu.

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