It’s hard to believe that we only have today left of 2018. One day to try to finish up tasks that we wanted to have accomplished by now so that we can set our sights on 2019 and start the new year with an abundance of excitement, hopes and possibilities.

I often try to come up with a New Year's resolution and try to make it one which I resolve to learn something new each year. A few years ago I decided to learn origami. That one, it turned out, I just didn’t have the patience for. However I did spend that entire last week of December trying to fold tiny slips of paper into creatures that hopefully someone could figure out what they were supposed to be.

This year I am going to make more of an effort to help my garden grow. Typically I start my seeds, water my seedlings and do my best to help them grow into their mature forms. I even weed sometimes. I would resolve to keep my garden weed free this year, but I don’t want to be heading to a psychiatrist when that gets to be too much for me.

I am going to learn exactly what each plant needs to flourish and grow as close to perfection for that variety. I have compiled my notes that I have kept for years into a binder and since finishing have placed it on the shelf. But this year I plan to devour it and memorize all of the little tips that I have come across in hopes this will be the breakthrough year in which everything grows how it is supposed to.

Call me silly or whatever you would like, but I think if you choose a resolution based off of something you already enjoy, you are more likely to follow through.

There are so many simple tricks that if I actually put to use I would be astounded at the difference that would make.

For instance, in the past when I’ve planted beans I have always made a line in the soil surface, placed my seeds, covered and then watered regularly until the seedlings emerged and then went from there.

It never fails that the birds eat some of my seeds. I sometimes feel they stand back and stalk me until I walk away and then declare my garden as their lunch.

The seeds that are not eaten luckily stay planted, but it’s guaranteed a pop up rain shower comes and manages to wash them out. This causes me to have to go through and push every seed back below the surface. Since it’s spring this happens quite a bit and the more rain we have, the higher the chances are of my seeds rotting below ground before they have a chance to sprout.

The smarter approach would be to moisten the soil first, then plant, then spread straw on top and withhold and water until the seeds sprout. By moistening the soil first you are providing enough water to wet the seed and cause it to swell and break open, thus sprouting. By applying straw, you are keeping your seeds from washing away during the frequent rain storms. And by withholding water, you are helping your seeds to emerge stronger and not waterlogged and weak.

Granted that takes care of the simple act of planting, but that alone deters many headaches I typically encounter. I plan to follow a similar plan for all of my plants customized to their needs.

Hopefully you are able to create a resolution that will help lessen your troubles in the new year and lead to a better year and a better you. I wish you a safe and happy New Year.


Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at

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