Now that spring is here, it’s time to get out and garden! If you’re looking to do things a little differently this year, you’ll want to jump on one or all of these exciting gardening trends happening in back yards everywhere this year.
1. Sustainable Soil
In past years, we’ve seen all kinds of eco-friendly and scientifically sound gardening trends emerge—like wild gardening, which leaves a section of your garden to grow wild as a way to promote species diversification along with food and habitat for local wildlife.
This year’s eco-friendly trend is all about the soil. More and more gardeners are turning to things like sustainable compost made from green waste or wood fiber as a way to save on potting soil.
Out in garden beds, many are taking a no-till approach. In a no-till system, gardeners avoid tilling or digging as much as possible, thus preserving the soil’s structure.
This helps prevent erosion, it saves watering needs, helps keep earthworms and naturally occurring microorganism populations healthy, and top dressings of plant matter, compost or mulch reduce the need for weeding while keeping the soil below soft and moist.
2. Bee Hotels
As concerns about dwindling bee populations grow, some gardeners are coming up with a creative solution. Bee hotels! These small structures come in all sorts of shapes. Some resemble porous bricks, others are bundles of hollowed stems or reeds, and a few look a little like a birdhouse—but for bees.
The types of bees that take up residence in bee hotels are typically solitary bees, not the sort that live in hives, like honeybees. What you might not know is that 90% of bees don’t actually live in hives—but they’re important pollinators nonetheless.
A large proportion of these bees love solitary nesting sites like hollow stems or holes in wood, which means bee hotels provide the perfect habitat for them. Check out how to make your own, below.
3. Attract Frogs and Toads
Most of us find a plethora of birds and bugs out in the garden. But what about our amphibious friends? Frogs, toads, and other amphibians in the garden are a good sign of a healthy, balanced ecosystem.
Make your garden habitable for amphibians and you’ll not only get to watch these curious creatures, but you’ll find that because they eat slugs, mosquitoes, and beetles. They provide valuable, natural pest control.
To attract them to your garden, avoid using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Because they like dark, shady hideouts, make a small cave using stones or clay flowerpots as housing. Turn the pot upside down and prop it up with rocks leaving enough room for the frog or toad to slip inside. Place it in a quiet spot in the garden that gets plenty of shade.
4. Edible Mushrooms
Lots of gardeners are cultivating their own mushrooms—and there’s lots of reasons to get in on this trend. For one, edible mushrooms are delicious and nutritious. And even if you don’t plan to eat them, they’re an environmentally conscious choice. Mushrooms are great at soaking up pollutants—so much so, that they’ve even been used to help clean up oil spills.
Note: Unfortunately, you can’t grow morels at home—they only appear in nature.
5. Double Duty Landscaping
The days of landscaping that exists only to beautify the yard are over! In recent years, we’ve seen edible landscaping rise as a trend, and this year, that trend is shifting somewhat to place a focus on the home. Landscapers are loving trees planted with storms in mind—varieties that pose less risk to homes as storms become stronger and more erratic.
These include magnolias, Japanese maples, Ironwood, dogwoods, live oaks and others that are more resistant to losing limbs or toppling over in high winds. Shade trees are becoming more popular because they help reduce air conditioning costs.
6. Super Succulents
Succulents are a big trend for 2020, whether indoors or outside. The great thing about these little plants is that much like cacti, they’re easy to maintain with low watering requirements. Plus, they come in all different shapes, sizes and shades.
Choose jade plants for something leafy, hen and chicks for adorable little rosettes, or lithops (Living Stone) if you love their colorful, pebble-shaped appearance!
Gardening by the Moon
Wondering when it’s the Best Day to plant, harvest, prune, and more? We’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you—just refer to the Farmers’ Almanac’s Gardening by the Moon Calendar!