As you head into the garden to start your spring prep work, do you find yourself doing the same old thing year after year? Maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit—start by looking at the hottest gardening trends of 2014 at your local plant nursery or greenhouse. Things are popular for a reason, so it may be worth your efforts to go with the flow this year. One of the most desired features are grafted plants, which happens when the top of a plant is connected to the root of another plant. This helps prevent disease and improve strength, and can even up the flavor content.
Gardeners are also opting for more raised beds, and even stackable ones, as a means to change the landscape, make projects easier on the back and provide some more contrast in an otherwise flat garden. You can also add some containers to the landscape, which make moving and gardening design easy. However, for an even bigger game changer, consider these ideas:
Change What You Garden
Who says gardening only involves plants, fruits, veggies and flowers? Why not keep a few bees and enjoy your own honey, as well as some free pollination while you’re at it? Bees are becoming increasingly endangered, too, so you’ll also be helping the planet on a bigger scale. If bee keeping just isn’t for you, you can lure these gardeners to your yard by planting things they love, like a variety of bright flowers.
Another option is choosing what you plant based on the potential for foraging or health benefits. For example, aloe plants and ginger both provide excellent health benefits. Encouraging the growth of safe mushrooms and healthy veggies means your next meal is literally in your own backyard. Think about what supplements you take (or should take) and plant them yourself to save some serious cash at the pharmacy.
Get Creative with What You Grow
If you’re like most people, you grow the same fruits and veggies every year because you know how to care for them and you like them. Break out of your pattern and choose some exotic or flat out strange veggies for planting. How about some Dinosaur kale or black tomatoes? Research the health benefits, and if you have kids, let them take a crack at picking the weirdest veggies—and then trying them when they’re ripe.
Likewise, the gardening of “super foods” has boomed in popularity this year. From berries to beets, quinoa to avocados, it’s easy to up your super food intake when you grow it yourself. Plus, there’s no worrying about it being really organic, and you can’t get more local than your own garden.