Oh, how time flies! It’s already 2021 and I can’t even remember what I did gardening-wise in 2020. It’s all a blur. So let’s talk gardening goals for this year. Do you have any gardening plans for this year? Any gardening goals you’d love to achieve?
Whether you’re thinking of starting a new garden or you’re contemplating expanding your growing-related horizons, it can be tough to narrow down goals. Goal setting works the same way for gardening as it does for anything else. So here are some tips to help you formulate your 2021 gardening goals.
How to Come Up With Gardening Goals
Goal setting? For gardening? Heck yes! Gardening is a hobby that requires a lot of planning, so it’s actually fairly easy to come up with gardening-related goals. As with any kind of goal setting, you want your goals to be:
- Achievable. Dreams are great, but goals need to be concrete. If they’re so wild that you’d need a miracle to achieve them, you’ll end the gardening season more frustrated than anything else. What are some examples of achievable gardening goals?
- Grow a new tomato variety.
- Build a new garden bed.
- Clean the shed.
- Measurable. Measurable goals are easy to track. If your goals are too vague, you’ll struggle to decide whether you’ve actually met them or not. “I want to get better at growing carrots” sounds great but what does it actually mean? How will you be able to tell if you’ve gotten better? How can you turn that into a measurable goal? Instead, turn it into “I want to grow at least one edible carrot this year.” You can obviously make it, sixteen, twenty, whatever fits your skill level and abilities.
- A mixed bag. Include a variety of goals from easy ones to some that are more challenging. Growing a new plant variety is an easy one. You likely won’t face any roadblocks with that kind of goal. Including more ambitious gardening goals will keep you interested and engaged in the gardening process.
Why Have Goals?
Why bother with gardening goals at all? We’re still dealing with a pandemic, so don’t feel pressured to come up with a long list of tough goals to achieve. Not everyone thrives on goal setting. Some people prefer to go with the flow. Personally, I find goal setting is helpful when I’m feeling a lack of motivation. Listing your personal gardening goals can also help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This year, I feel anxious about the gardening season. I feel so stressed in my regular life, that I’m nervous about whether I’ll succeed with gardening. Forming achievable goals helps me focus my attention and worry less about being perfect all around. If I can meet a few goals, I know I’ll feel content about my gardening season.
Choose goals that get you excited about the upcoming gardening season. Ready to jump in right now? Make yourself some houseplant-related goals. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Revive a dying houseplant.
- Grow a new type of vegetable.
- Spend zero dollars on gardening supplies.
- Save X amount of seeds.
- Harvest X lbs or grams of produce per week
- Keep a gardening journal and write in it weekly
- Support a local seed supplier
- Learn a new gardening technique
- Make a gardening friend
- Swap seeds with someone by mail
The possibilities are endless!
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.
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