How to set your gardening goals – and make sure you achieve them in 2024

1. Keep Them Achievable

It’s really important when sitting down to set your gardening goals that you don’t make them too wildly optimistic. I am all for challenging myself and being ambitious, but making the mistake of trying to do too much in one year in your backyard may leave you feeling unfulfilled and disheartened if things don’t go to plan. To start with, think about how much time you will realistically be able to dedicate to your yard. Look at your weekly diary and consider what would work for you, and does it tally with the ideas floating around your head?

Consider whether you will be able to do everything yourself, or will you need to take on assistance from the professionals at some point? If so, they might require booking a few months in advance to ensure jobs get done at the right time of year. I also think it’s useful at this stage to have an idea of your budget. You could think about how much you can dedicate each month to your yard, or maybe you have a lump sum set aside for a particular project. It all helps to make sure you will be able to achieve your dream goals.

2. Identify Your Priority Areas

The next step is to identify specific areas or zones where you want to focus your efforts. This might be, for example, adding native plants to a border, creating an outdoor kitchen, or building a wildlife pond. It might be a bit more specific, such as learning how to successfully cultivate your favorite vegetable, making your own compost, or working out how to make your outdoor seating area feel more private.

3. Get Specific

Now that you know your overarching goals, it’s time to get into the details. If, like me, you have a penchant for a spreadsheet, start one. Map out a timeline based on the seasons and detail each element. For instance, if one of your goals is to grow a particular variety of flower, it might go something like: sourcing the seed and potting mix; sowing the seed; planting into raised bed, and pinching out the growing tips.

4. Be Mindful Of Small Wins As Well As The Big Ones

It is vital to notice and intentionally mark all your successes and achievements when reaching for your gardening goals. I know when I garden it's always the little things that give me the biggest feelings of satisfaction, such as seeds germinating or seeing bees arriving on my cosmos patch.

5. Celebrate Your Failures

Because there will be many of them - but we know that, right? Even the world-renowned gardeners experience failure in the garden every year, and they are not afraid to admit it. Failing is the most amazing learning technique out there, especially when it comes to cultivating a garden. Make notes, adjust your methods and keep going. And rest assured - our failures simply make us richer gardeners.

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