10 Tips to Save Time for Busy Gardeners
Anyone who has a garden knows: your garden can take as many hours as you can give it.
There are times that endless gardening is the thing to do: the light is beautiful, the garden is blooming, the sun is nice. However, not always do we have unlimited time to potter around in our gardens.
So, create some time for other fun things in life, and consider these 10 time-saving gardening tips which you can use throughout the year.
1. Mind your moments. Every time you wait for your child to get ready to go out, do a bit of weeding or pruning.
For this purpose, you might like to hide a pair of gardening gloves and a clipper in a plastic bag near your front door.
2. Choose right. Set yourself up for success and low maintenance. For ornamental gardens, pick native plants and shrubs that typically require less maintenance. For your produce garden, choose fool-proof, climate-befitting flowers and veggies, that shower and produce without much ado.
3. Plan. Not only is planning fun (dreaming over plant magazines over a cup of tea in your chair), it leads to better garden design that is more enjoyable to look at and live in. It avoids you having to replant shrubs which subsequently need extra LTC to revive in a better location.
Layer your plan. Not only decide on what goes where, but what goes where, when short-lived plants wither. Consider light/dark garden areas, wet/dry patches, early/late bloomers.
4. Prepare flower & fruit beds the easy way. For example: simply flip the turf over, cover with a few inches of wood chips, and wait a month.
5. Make compost walkways between flowerbeds. You have a couple of options: You can grow mow-able grass in the walkways, or bury produce scraps & garden spoil in you pathway soil. Cover soil with newspaper or straw to avoid mud. You choose what works best for you and what looks best in your garden.
6. Transform weed directly into compost. Slice your spade under chickweed and other low growing weeds. Tip it over, ensuring that you cover all the leaves so the weed doesn’t continue to grow. Easy.
7. Wise watering. In the long run, create a drought-resistant garden. It’s not only time saving, it will be necessary in the (near) future. 36 US states are projecting water shortages in the next 10 years.
In the short run, start with slowly soaking your garden by leaving your watering hoses on low pressure, in the evening. Train your garden to not require daily watering. Read up on draught-resistant gardening to get the total formula right for your garden’s locality.
8. Get yourself a couple of hose-winders. Need I say more?! No more dragging and untangling hoses in your life. This tip does not only safe time, it also saves aggravation.
9. Bulk wash harvest. Someone just handed me this tip, and I love this: use holey plastic laundry baskets for collecting and washing produce from your garden. It’s fun, fast and effective.
10. Keep garden tools close to hand, where you need them. This saves you time “to” and “from”. Also, keep your tools in good order, so they work better, making the work done faster.