As we wrap up 2019, it’s fun to reflect on what we learned in the world of gardening. There are always new innovations and concepts getting introduced every year, and we’ve always loved experimenting with new techniques. Just when you thought you had your garden all figured out, something completely out-of-the-box will arrive on the scene, revolutionizing the way you look at gardening. Take a look at some of our favourite new trends and techniques that made a huge splash this year!
All About Gardening: What We Learned In 2019
Just like technology, gardening is one of those industries that always seems to be churning out wild new approaches, gardening supplies, tools, and techniques. They range from ultra-practical to downright wacky, and we’re totally into it! Here’s what we learned about gardening in 2019 in Edmonton:
Meet the Robo Gardener! No, it’s not Robo Cop’s woke hippie son””it’s the latest and greatest innovation in modern gardening, and it’s kind of blowing our minds. Our busy lifestyles have led to a demand for automation in all areas of life, and garden robots like the Tertill are doing precisely that. The Tertill is pretty much like a Roomba that hangs out in your garden all summer, scanning the terrain for weeds and pulling them up without damaging your plants. It charges with solar panels and is totally weather-proof, so you can toss it outside and let it do its thing without any worry.
Tons of gardening apps have also launched over the past year, so you can control irrigation and monitor soil quality through your smartphone! The Edyn app syncs up with a specialized sensor that you stick into the soil, and it continuously keeps tabs on soil acidity, moisture levels, and nutrient saturation. With the app, you can be sure your plants are getting exactly what they need, and you’ll know when to intervene with soil amendments like fertilizer or lime.
Other apps can hook up to a sprinkler system, so they’ll keep tabs on the weather in your area and regulate the amount of irrigation accordingly. This way, you’ll end up saving a considerable amount of money on your water bill, and your plants won’t down with root rot from too much water.
Climate Change Gardening
An unfortunate fact we’ve had to address in recent years is the looming threat of climate change, so reducing water waste is high on the list of priorities, as well as reducing all waste in general. By that logic, there’s been a big switch to planting drought-tolerant species, so less water is needed to keep your garden blooming. Gaillardia, lantana, verbena, sedum and sage are some of our faves because they require way less water than your typical summer flowering annuals, which typically drink like college students on spring break in Cancun.
There are so many other ways to reduce household and plant waste through zero-waste gardening. Upcycling old junk to use as plant containers or seed starters, root-to-stem cooking, freezing excess vegetable harvests, and keeping a compost bin all have a massive impact on the amount of waste you produce. When less trash ends up in the landfill, fewer greenhouse gases get released into the atmosphere. That’s a big win for everyone!
I was definitely a bit skeptical when I heard of this new trend, as it sounded a little bit hokey at first, but it turns out that there’s actually legitimate science behind it! The moon has an amazing effect on our soil because, in the same way it affects the rising and falling of tides, it also pulls up moisture from the ground in cycles. The light levels at night vary too, because sunlight bounces off the moon and reaches our garden plants. During a new moon, there’s no light at all, and during a full moon, there’s a whole bunch. By monitoring the moon phase and taking note of what stage the soil is in, we can produce better results by scheduling different garden tasks accordingly.
Totally Legal Cannabis Gardening
In October 2018, after it was legalized in Canada, Albertans were granted the right to grow cannabis at home, up to a maximum of three plants. While our climate isn’t exactly ideal for producing -ahem- the “dankest” pot, indoor growing is absolutely possible with the right equipment. Grow lights make it possible to have a viable cannabis garden indoors, so the unpredictable Edmonton weather won’t end up destroying your ganja. Good air circulation and temperature control is a must, so installing some fans, eliminating any window drafts, and monitoring the thermostat to maintain a temperature between 20 °C and 30 °C will serve you well.
For years we were so caught up with keeping bugs out of the garden, we didn’t realize how damaging the long-term effects would be. In our pursuit of killing all the bad bugs, we’ve hurt the good bugs in the process. Overuse of pesticides and herbicides has decimated bee and butterfly populations, and we have to change our approach to pest control before our precious pollinators go extinct. Seriously, we are going to have a huge problem on our hands if we don’t have pollinators to help our vegetable and fruit gardens thrive.
In response, we’re embracing one of the most innovative, eco-friendly solutions to pest control. The secret? Go bug-friendly and add more bugs! Sounds crazy, right? Hear us out: by introducing beneficial insects (like ladybugs) into the garden, we can help maintain the natural balance of bugs in the yard. Ladybugs are predators to many of the nasty pests that ruin our plants, like aphids and spider mites. You can buy a box of refrigerated ladybugs””which doesn’t hurt them, it just puts them in hibernation mode””and when they warm back up to room temp, they’re hungry and ready to kick some aphid ass.
We can’t wait to watch as even more weird and wonderful innovations get introduced in 2020! Got any predictions? We’d love to hear them! Share your garden trend predictions with us on Facebook or Instagram at @salisburygreenhouse. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the last few weeks of this memorable decade!