Today’s guest post comes from Tee Riddle, Author of Veggie Gardener.
Saving Time In The Garden
Just about every gardener faces a few battles while growing their favorite vegetables or flowers. Two of the most difficult battles always seem to be time and space. It is difficult to do anything about the size of your property, but there are some things you can do to save time when maintaining your garden. Whether you are retired, or a mom on the go, here are ten tips to help you save precious time in the garden.
- Don’t Start Too Big – You may have dreams of a huge garden filled with your favorite flowers and vegetables, but take into account that the larger the garden the more maintenance it will require. Try not to grow a garden that takes up more time than you can commit.
- Be Prepared – Make sure that you have all the tools and supplies you need before the growing season begins. Stock up on garden gloves, compost, and fertilizers when items are on sale during the fall or winter. When spring rolls around you will have everything you need, saving countless trips to the garden center.
- Purchase Brightly Colored Tools – Purchase tools with brightly colored handles. This can save you a ton of time looking for them while working in the garden. The bright handles will be easier to spot laying under a plant or mulch.
- Organize Your Tools – It pays time-saving dividends to have your tool shed, or tool box, neatly organized before and after working in your garden. You can easily build a rack or shelving to arrange your tools in an easy-to-find fashion.
- Place Containers Together – If you use containers for your gardening, try to place them in one location. This will make tasks like watering and fertilizing much easier.
- Grow Your Garden In A Convenient Location – Plant vegetables or flowers in a location that is easily accessible. Grow them near the home, a frequently used walkway, or patio. The easier the garden is to access, the more time you will save when maintaining it. Also, the more the garden is in your sight, the more it will be on your mind. This can serve as a daily reminder of what tasks you need to perform in the garden.
- Great Soil, Great Results – Start your garden with the best soil possible. Add compost and other organic amendments for a nutrient-rich soil. Starting out with great soil will help to prevent problems down the road, saving you valuable time and money.
- Mulch It – Use hay, wheat straw, or untreated grass clippings as a mulch in your garden. A 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch will cut your weeding down dramatically. Mulch will also help to keep moisture in the soil, reducing the need for watering. The mulch will also slowly decompose adding valuable nutrients to the soil.You can cut down on watering and prevent weeds in one quick step – it’s a win-win situation.
- Go Walk About – Walk through your garden at least once every other day. Check plants for any signs of pest or disease damage. Doing a frequent spot-check of your garden can help you detect issues before they get out of hand. It only takes a couple minutes, and can save you lots of time and heartache later on.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder – Use ergonomically designed tools, knee pads, or roll-around stools when working in the garden. This will lessen the strain on muscles and joints. Lift items using your knees, not your back. Keeping your body pain-free will mean you will work much more efficiently and happily in the garden.
Implementing these time-saving tips will give you greater enjoyment in the garden – not to mention more time for relaxing in the hammock!
Tee Riddle is obsessed with growing great organic vegetables. He even tried growing butter beans in the bed of his truck once. You can read more of his gardening tips at his vegetable gardening blog, Veggie Gardener.