Gardening Trends For 2022

This year’s garden trends emphasize environmental friendliness, reducing carbon footprints, and many more.

Indoors? Outdoors? Why Not Both?

Last year’s garden trends included both bringing plants indoors and taking elements of the indoors outside. This year? The pandemic is ongoing, and that means people are still staying home more than usual. It also means that these two trends are not only continuing, but evolving into even bigger and better things.

Let’s start by bringing the outdoors inside. Have you seen #PlantMom trending on Instagram? So have we—and this year, it’s about a whole lot more than planting a windowsill herb garden. Now, we’re looking at something more robust. That means grow lights, hanging planters, and even bringing small trellises indoors for vining plants. Some hobbyists are creating entire jungle room—although most people looking to get in on the trend are collecting a few choice houseplants with a focus on beautiful foliage or flowers. In particular, tropical plants featuring colorful or unusual foliage are growing in popularity.

Now let’s take the inside outdoors. Last year saw the beginnings of this trend as people created comfortable backyard havens with cozy seating and extras like firepits or outdoor projectors. This year, the trend marches forward. People are now creating outdoor “garden rooms.”

What do you need to create a garden room? Something for privacy, be it a fence, screens, or trellises. Shade is also a must, either via shade trees, an arbor lush with foliage, an awning, or a roof. Lighting is getting an upgrade, too. You can still have your firepit, but people are also adding string lights, lanterns and lamps to their outdoor living rooms.

Gardening As Stress Relief

Over the years, we’ve seen different types of gardening rise to fit different needs. Edible gardening grew big as the demand for locally grown produce grew, and native gardening became popular as people became more conscious of native plants and the animals who frequent them.

The big need this year? After a couple of years of uncertainty, people are looking for ways to relieve stress. In the garden, that means—well, it could mean anything, depending on what helps you to relax! Mostly, it’s about creating your own little oasis of life, color, scent, and sound.

If you find floral scents soothing, then you might want to include plants with perfumed flowers and foliage. Some people find a particular color more soothing than all the rest—and it will benefit them to plant flowers of that color. To relax to the sounds of trickling water, create a water feature by tucking a small, inexpensive fountain among the greens.

Bringing Back The Birdbath

Here’s another amalgamation of garden trends—and this one is for the birds. With the rise of native gardening to support local wildlife, birds included, and the need to create stress-relieving green spaces, the birdbath is coming back to backyards near you. In keeping with this trend, look for items that can safely be repurposed as a birdbath, or shop for something unique that serves as a focal point.

Article by Amber Kanuckel for farmersalmanac.com©

Source: Gardening Trends for 2022 – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

When Was the Last Time You Cleaned Your Gardening Tools

Healthy plants need clean tools—here’s how to maintain yours.

Maintenance. Not a very glamorous word, is it? But, before you start running away, let me reassure you that this is going to be a totally doable part of your plant-care routine that will become as second nature as “accidentally” buying more plants than you intended to. (This is a safe zone, no judgments. I’m right there with you.)

PHOTO BY ROCKY LUTEN

The spring and summer months are busy ones in the plant world. It’s peak plant-growing (and accumulation, ahem) season after all! So, now is the perfect time to take care of your hardest working tools before that green leafy distraction hits. This rings true whether you’re planning on harvesting tomatoes or simply pruning your indoor houseplants.

Yes, garden tools are the obvious workhorses in need of tending to as they get vigorous use and more exposure to the elements, but don’t think that taking care of indoor tools is not as important as those being used outside. In fact, I chatted with Danae Horst, author of House Plants For All and founder of Folia Collective, to get the nitty-gritty on why keeping your indoor snips in good shape is the key to growing that green thumb:

This is what she had to say: “Though it’s often overlooked, tool maintenance is just as important for indoor plants as it is for outdoor gardening. Infections especially can be spread through dirty cutting tools, so cleaning and sterilizing these tools after every use is a great prevention practice. Dull shears, snips, or other blades will mash stems rather than cut them cleanly, which can keep new growth from sprouting when pruning and can trigger rot in cuttings, making successful propagation difficult.”

Remember, when thoughts of maintenance start sounding like a real drag, the goal here is to set yourself up for success before you even plant that first seed or bring home a new plant baby. By keeping tools and grow pots clean, you’ve already taken the first step towards caring for the healthiest plants possible. Ready to roll up your sleeves? Here are a few quick cleaning tips that I personally practice and that I hope will get you going:

Buff Up Shears & Harvest Knives

We’re all guilty of running our tools a little ragged, often stuffing them away after a snip here or there without a proper wipe-down. While this isn’t a huge problem when done once in a blue moon, storing wet or dirty shears and knives over time will start taking its toll…mostly in the name of rust. Arm yourself with a rust eraser pad and a quality Camellia Oil made for cutlery, and together with a little elbow grease, you’ll be bringing your tarnished blades back to life and looking good as new. Trust me, I’ve brought back a harvesting knife that looked like an old, corroded car part. Pure magic!

Sanitize Pruning Tools

We don’t often think about what we can’t see and there are times when pathogens (those nasty bacteria, virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease) are transferred between plants with a simple shared snip of your shears. It’s important to sterilize your cutting tools when removing deceased leaves and branches. To avoid any accidental contamination, make a habit of cleaning tools when working between plants. I like to put a simple disinfectant into a small amber glass spray bottle that tucks easily into my apron pocket or garden bag so it’s always on hand. Simply spray 70-100 percent isopropyl alcohol directly onto your shears and wipe clean between cuts to minimize the spread of any bad guys.⁠

Clean Seed Trays & Grow Pots

It’s easy to disregard pots once you’re no longer using them, but previously used growing containers can harbor fungal and bacterial diseases that could prevent proper germination; potentially kill new seedlings; and even wreak havoc on transplanted starts or houseplants. Speaking of houseplants, don’t forget to check in on those drip trays which could house more than just fungus. Stagnant water loves you-know-who (I’m looking at you mosquitos), especially in the summertime. To disinfect and deep-clean containers between seed-starting seasons or plant repotting, simply use soap and water to remove dirt, then dip in a solution of one-part non-chlorine bleach to nine-parts water. You can also make a sanitizing solution with equal parts water and white vinegar if you’d like to keep your bleach away from your home-grown edibles. Both work wonders!

Stay On Top Of It

Scheduling out time or making seasonal notes to take care of your tools might sound like a bore, but it is the easiest way to care of things before they catch up with you. You might not want to do a full buff-up of your shears after every harvest, but you should put in a little TLC after a heavy-lifting period (think: in fall after your busy summer-growing spree). Similarly, making simple weekly habits like wiping down or sanitizing your tools will keep everything cleaner in the long run, and avoiding any heavy scrubbing or additional maintenance later.

I like to keep a simple mental checklist that I can run through each weekend, which keeps me on task and not feeling overwhelmed. Basic weekend actions like winding up the hose, making sure tools are hosed off and stored properly in my garden bag, or cleaning out and stacking grow pots that are no longer in use will become as routine as other weekly chores and keep you growing without setbacks.

by:KRISTINGUY for Food52©

Source: How to Clean Gardening Tools – Gardening Tools Maintenance Tips (food52.com)

5 Common Mistakes When Moving Indoor Plants Outside

The warmer seasons are the time to get outdoors and enjoy everything you’ve been missing while the world froze over. Your flowers, ferns, and figs feel the very same way. Since we’ve domesticated our plants, it’s easy to forget that they once, too, thrived in the great outdoors. So, if you’re thinking of moving your indoor plants outside for the warmer months, here’s a plant doctor’s step-by-step guide for doing it correctly.

Although moving your plants outside sounds easy in theory (you just pick up the pots and put them on your porch, right?), the process is a little more complicated than that. Outdoor conditions are tricky for your plants to adapt to at first, so you’ll need to choose an ideal spot in your garden and coddle them for a couple weeks after their relocation. Below, Chris Satch, plant doctor with Horti, walks you through sending your plants on a summer vacay (to the backyard).

Photo: Getty Images/Thana Prasongsin

Which indoor plants you should move outside and when

All your plants can take a trip outside, but there is a caveat: You need to survey your garden and make sure the conditions are right. If you don’t have any shade, for example, you plants will probably live their best lives inside. “For all plants, ensure that they are moved into full shade for two weeks when first brought outdoors,” says Satch.

If your yard gets hours and hours of sunshine, consider moving them to a covered porch or simply keeping them indoors. Remember: we ultimately want your plants to live to see next spring, so don’t put them outside if there’s no ideal spot for them.

The most common mistakes

1. Taking your plants outside too early in the season

As Satch has already warned, toting your plants outdoors too early in spring could lead to their early demise. Be patient and wait for weather upwards of 55°F, okay?

2. Choosing a spot that’s too windy

“Indoor plants haven’t been hardened enough to handle windy conditions, so you will need to put them in a location where they will not be battered by the wind, like near the house or close to some other wind-blocking obstacle,” Satch explains. If one day is going to be extra, extra windy, consider moving them inside until the air stills again.

3. Not checking for pests

Pests are a huge nuisance to your plants, according to Satch. “Insects will always be a problem when you put your plants outdoors, so let go of the perfectionist mindset that the leaves will always stay flawless,” he says. “Pests are expected, but an infestation is not. Usually, the beneficial insects in your yard ought to keep the pests in check, but occasionally, you will need to treat any largely infested plant with an insecticide of your choice.”

Despite potential infestations, relocating your plants outdoors is still worthwhile, says Satch. Remember that your plants will grow way faster and get to enjoy a new habitat for a while. (Plus, they’ll make your garden parties and backyard barbecues with friends so much prettier.)

4. Under-watering your plants

While your plants are calling the great outdoors their home, they will need a lot more water. The good news? You can depend on spring and summer showers to help you out. The not-so-great news? You’ll have to make sure to get out there with your watering can if it’s a hot, cloudless day. Make sure to check on your plants every other day to see how they’re doing, and read up on how often your specific plant varieties require some H2O.

5. Failing to monitor the temperatures in summer

Summer heatwaves are another threat to the health and well-being of your outdoor garden—so be on the lookout for unideal conditions. “You don’t have to pay attention to the highs until summertime, when it starts to get above 95°F,” says Satch. “During a heatwave, you will need to water [your plants] daily to help offset the heat getting water on the leaves will help cool them if applied in the early morning.” (Make sure you’re keeping yourself extra hydrated during the heatwave, too.)

Kells McPhillips for Well+Good©

Source: Move Indoor Plants Outside, According to a Plant Doctor | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)