At the beginning of every year we make New Year’s Resolutions. Many of them involve living a more healthy lifestyle. One of the ways you can improve your health, and have a positive impact on the ʻāina, is using your green thumb.

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Before you dispose of something that has “outlived its original purpose,” think if there is a way it can be repurposed & used in your garden. Tires, brinks & cinder blocks can be used to create self contained mini garden plots. 

Developing your own urban or suburban garden gets you out of the house, away technology temptations (i.e., TV, tablets, computers, etc.), gets you outside, moving, and breathing fresh air.

Here are a few ideas on how you can get gardening!


Backyard Garden: Nurturing plants and flowers supports the maintenance of our ecosystems and is good for your wallet. Growing your own fruits and vegetables saves you money at the grocery store. Growing flowers & plants provides you with foliage that can be made into lei or flower arrangements.

Hawaii Backyard Conservation: Ideas for Every Homeowner is a publication that provides its readers with information and tips on a number of topics including:

  • Composting
  • Mulching
  • Weed Control
  • Managing Nutrients, and
  • Water Conservation.

If you do not have a big yard, think about applying for a plot at one of Oahu’s 10 community garden sitesFor more than 40 years the program has provided Honolulu residents with an opportunity to garden in densely populated areas and encourages all aspects of gardening.
There are other ways for you to get your green thumb gardening even if you do not have a yard or are not interested in obtaining a community garden. Starting and maintaining a balcony or lanai garden does not take up that much space and reaps many of the same benefits that “yard gardening” does.


If you are inspired to start your own balcony or lanai garden, here are some resources to help your venture be a successful one:

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Vertical gardens are another way gardeners can create ecosystems in limited spaces. The concept i

s simple: instead of building your garden “out” you build it “up.” This is perfect for condominium dwellers or residents that have a tiny yard. For gardeners who have a yard, vertical gardens provides them with an option to possibly double the amount of plants they care for or have a greater variety.

If you are limited on space, or just want to be more creative in your gardening, here are some resources to help you garden “up” instead of “out.”

Container gardening is another option for apartment and condominium dwellers. Residents with even the smallest balcony can grow a good selection of vegetables with containers. While vegetables can thrive in containers, they can also be attractive when a colorful assortment of plants are selected, planted in interesting containers and laid out creatively. Below is a list of resources that can help you get creative with the creation of container garden.


Support your resolution to be healthier this year. Get your green thumb dirty!