Dakota Gardener: Give gardening a try

Kelsey Deckert
NDSU Extension

It is hard to believe we are a whole month into the new year already. How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? Statistically speaking, many of us do not even it make it to the end of January sticking to the resolutions we set.

I have a secret for you if your resolutions included anything along the lines of losing weight, exercising more, eating better, saving money or trying something new. You can accomplish any of those with gardening!

Gardening is a great way to get in more physical activity along with growing nutritious foods to incorporate into your daily diet. Studies show that by gardening you are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Gardening can be done at any age, and you can make a garden any size that is manageable for you. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Gardening has become more popular the past few years as people like to know where their food comes from and whether pesticides were used. Many people feel a sense of accomplishment by gardening and being sustainable on their own.

If space is an issue, consider raised beds or container gardening. If you live in an apartment setting, as long as you have a light source (sun or artificial) you can use small containers to grow a garden.

Gardening can be done at any age, and you can make a garden any size that is manageable for you.

Gardening can save you money, depending on the input costs. Select vegetables that you and your family like to eat so you are not wasting money. Look at growing vegetables that may be more expensive in the store, like tomatoes. Maximize your garden space by intercropping or companion planting.

Grow vegetables that store well, such as potatoes or carrots. Consider different preservation methods for extending the shelf life.

North Dakota is an agricultural state where many people garden. If you already garden, check the “trying something new” off your New Year’s resolution list by growing a new variety or entirely new vegetable you have not tried in the past. You could also try a new gardening method such as no-till or square-foot gardening.

Give gardening a try and keep the resolutions you have set for 2023. I wish you a belated Happy New Year and good luck with your garden!

For more information about gardening, contact your local NDSU Extension agent. Find the Extension office for your county at