There are some exciting garden trends emerging for this New Gardening Year. I’ve looked into my crystal ball and can clearly see gardening will become more than just planting the landscape or tending the garden.
In 2017 people will still turn to gardening for exercise and a way to relax in the outdoors. But gardening will take on new meaning as individuals look for a deeper connection to their lawns, landscapes and vegetable gardens.
First, I’ve noticed more attention is focused on creating wildlife-friendly spaces. One reason is a growing awareness about the plight of Monarch butterflies and honey bees. News reports have led to more interest in not only planting to attract wildlife, but helping to sustain it. Even non-gardeners understand how important it is to care for wild birds, bees, butterflies and other important insects.
In addition to providing more food-producing plants for winged wildlife, the trend is toward using fewer pesticides, herbicides and synthetic chemicals, too. Fortunately, there are more organic options on Nick’s Garden Center’s shelves than ever before.
The second gardening trend is that gardeners simply want to garden more. In our cold-weather climate, that means trying to stretch the gardening season so it lasts longer. Gardeners want to get an earlier start each season, and they want to keep gardening even when the outdoor season ends.
Thanks to new developments, gardeners can do more than garden on the window in winter. Today’s hydroponic and aquaponic systems make it easy to grow indoors 365 days a year. New advances in high-intensity lighting provide super-bright, full-spectrum light, that’s also energy efficient.
T5 lights are small-sized fluorescent light bulbs that can fit into smaller spaces. They can be used to start seeds in spring or keep herbs and other edible plants growing indoors all year long. Houseplants also benefit from the bright lighting, and vertical planting systems make growing an indoor wall of plants a reality.
A third gardening trend will have a positive effect on those who want to grow their own food, even if they don’t have space for a vegetable garden. Small-space gardens can now sprout just about anywhere, from balconies to front porches and concrete driveways.
Plant breeders keep coming up with smaller-sized plants that produce full-sized fruit. And garden suppliers keep inventing new systems that can fit smaller spaces. Experienced and first-time vegetable gardeners alike are turning to online classes and gardening apps for ideas to help with planting and growing small-space gardens.
As part of this vegetable gardening trend, growers are looking for organic options, and they have a no-GMO mindset. That’s why new labeling on nearly every seed packet clearly states the seeds are untreated and non-GMO.
A fourth gardening trend has to do with saving water in the landscape. Some gardeners will replace thirsty lawns with water-wise plants and others will be on the lookout for more efficient ways to water them. I envision a future of more drip irrigation, soaker hoses and old-fashioned hose dragging. Smart technology will help improve irrigation efficiency, too.
Those are the four gardening trends I see this coming year. What trends would you like to add to the list?