2020 Yard & Garden To-Do List


The time has come to call my shot on the yard and garden plan and overall priorities for the year.  I've done enough thinking and planning and dreaming and posting.  Walt Disney has said that "Everyone needs deadlines".  This is my version of creating a deadline.  By creating a list of projects/items that I want to tackle this year.   In what has become the second annual version, I did this, for the first time, last year when I posted my inaugural list in February of 2019 - one year ago tomorrow.

This is intended to provide focus for me as we enter the Spring frenzy.

That initial list from last year had ten items on it.

Then, in April (when Spring had actually sprung), I added seven items to the list in an addendum.

When the season wound down, I graded myself at the end of October 2019.  12 of 17.  C-.

But, in that same scorecard post, I also began to turn the wheels on what my 2020 list would look like.  I mentioned (at the time) 19 things I thought should be on my 2020 list including soil testing, raised beds, arborvitae/topiary, a Belgian Fence, straighten out the two other parts of our front turf and a bunch of others.  Some of those are important and they'll survive to this list.  Also, along the way, I've posted a bunch of things in my [2020 to-do list] tag including battling wild onions, work on compost aeration, build a garden chair and a 'gate' among others. 

So, having gone through all of that, let's get to the 2020 list.  It is sitting at 25 items that I think are measurable and accomplishable.   More than double 2019's initial list.  And 32% longer (8 items) than the combined 2019 lists.

1.  I called my shot recently from a backyard planting priority set.  That means that getting the planting in for Area #1 (south fence line) is on the list.  Oak Leaf Hydrangeas at least.

2.  Build the 'bridge' in Priority Area #2 - between the Hornbeams and Mighty Oak.

3. Get the walkway installed/spec'd in behind the Yews along with some other plantings.  Or start it on the north side behind the Mighty Oak.

4.  Do another round of soil tests to see if I've moved the needle.

5.  Wage battle against the Wild Onions.  Remove what I can.  And hopefully have it better this year.

6.  Install aeration in my 3-bin compost pile.  And get better about kitchen waste and composting it.  Likely involves a dedicated receptacle.

7.  Grow some vegetables.  Ideally in a raised bed.  But, if not, just grow something we can eat.

8.  Find cheap fruit trees (that include pollinators) and plant a Belgian Fence (somewhere).

9.  Work on the turf in the front.  Main = same as last year.  Parkway/northside of drive = improve.

10.  Go down the Cocoa Bean Mulch route and expand usage.

11.  Build something.  A garden chairA Versailles box.  A Raised bed.  Insect houses.  A Wattle Fence.  A bird nesting box/platform that I posted about two days ago.

12.   Paint the patio container box.

13.  Replace the lost Weeping Cedar with another Weeping tree.  Or a contorted tree.

14.  Plant a couple of patio trees (Maybe redbuds?) and/or figure out the 'focal point' and garden nook.

15.  Sort (definitively) Walnuts from invasive trees in the backyard.

16.  Protect our front boxwoods from Winter damage.

17.  Try growing flowers from seed, harden them off and, ultimately, plant outside in the beds.

18.  Add a front yard tree.

19.  Connect a bed or two together.  Like the Linden Espalier with foundation bed and add flagstone steppers or connect the Yew hedge bed to (at least one) side(s) and mulch it.

20.  Figure out the north side walkway/pavers.

21.  Buy an Arborvitae and begin training it for topiary.

22.  Add a large(r) conifer tree that can handle some shade.  Or a deciduous tree.  Likely behind the 2nd largest Oak on the south fence line.

23.  Relocate Foster plants from Naperville.

24.  Add a columnar tree.  Could be front or back.

25. Place the dream backyard pizza oven footprint and/or dream backyard pond (and maybe river??) footprint.
By category, I seem to have identified items that fall into one of these five categories:

Planting:  1, 2, 3, 7, 17, 21, 23
Lawn:  4, 5, 9
Trees: 8, 13, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24
Beds: 10, 19
Build: 11, 16, 20, 25

Planting areas and new trees are tied with seven (7) items on the list.   There are four (4) 'builds' or 'dos' on the list.  Followed by three (3) turf/lawn items.  And two bed-related items.  Much of the items in the 'planting' category deal with beds, so there's some overlap.

I'll see where I net out here as Spring approaches, but I'm thinking this list of 25 is a pretty strong (and long) list to focus on this year.

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