6 Time Saving Tips For Gardening

Garden

It’s officially that time of the year to start getting busy with planting and preparing your garden for harvest. If you haven’t already started growing your indoor buds, now is the perfect time to check your soil outside and see if the temperature is warm and dry enough to work with. Don’t have a lot of time to start a garden? Don’t sweat it! Here are 6 time saving tips for gardening that’ll get you up and running in no time at all.

Start with a plan

For anyone looking to save time and be efficient, planning ahead is always the best option when doing virtually anything. Specifically with gardening, having a thought out plan can save you time trying to decide where you want each plant to go while you’re working outside. For additional productivity, make a decision regarding what you plan on replacing the short-lived plants with, such as lettuce and spinach.

Keep tools close

Rather than running around when you finally find time to get outside to work on the garden looking for your tools, have a designated area close to the garden where you store them. A lot of gardeners lose time outside when they are disorganized, and this is something you can easily change. Whether you have a bucket full of your commonly used tools or you have a belt with all of them attached, use whatever method that will save you the most time.

Cut off weeds

One of the most annoying parts of preparing a garden for the spring is the process of getting rid of all of the dead plants from the previous year and any weeds that have grown since then. A time saving trick is to chop any low-growing weeds all at once as opposed to plucking each one individually. Use a sharp blade to slice beneath weeds and then turn them over to completely bury the leaves. As the leaves begin to rot, weeds can help to nourish the soil and act as a green manure.

Mulch it up

Spreading mulch is a no-brainer, but most importantly you need to make sure you spread it efficiently and evenly. Using the tined edge of a rake, you can pull and spread the mulch. Then by flipping the rake over, even out the mulch on the bed.

Water water water

Plants need water to grow, and without water, you will be wasting your time trying to grow yourself a garden. With that said, invest in a soaker hose rather than a traditional watering can so that you can water with ease. The great thing about these hoses is that the water can be left on for many hours, giving you the opportunity to work on something else.

Take small steps

No garden is going to grow overnight, and it’s important to keep that mind set as opposed to pushing a garden to grow faster. A huge mistake a lot of us make is that we get impatient with the process and rather than letting your garden take the time it needs, we over-water and spend too much time monitoring the process. Take a step back and let your garden grow and you’ll be pleased with the results by the time summer rolls around!

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Ann Michaels is a freelance writer and gardening advocate. She loves making her garden look as beautiful as possible, which is why she buys religious garden statues to improve the overall look. She loves offering tips and tricks to other gardening advocates and hopes her suggestions help!

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How Does Your Garden Grow – An Introduction To Raised Beds

The push towards a “green” lifestyle has inspired many people to consider growing their own food. The growing cost of groceries plays are part as well, and besides, it’s just healthier to eat fresh, organic food. Whatever your particular reason for wanting to grow your own food, there are some things to consider when it comes to building a raised bed.

Not all Beds Are Built Alike

I’ve seen some gorgeous garden arrangements, and I’ve seen some slapdash beds that look so unstable I worried about planting lettuce in them. Wood rot is going to happen, as is some settling, so plan for these when designing your bed. Wet soil with giant cabbages growing it in is considerably heavy, legs built from 2×4’s are going to need some bolstering.

Whether built a few feet off the ground for comfortable sitting, or built at waist height for less bending, the width of your bed should be no more than your arm’s can reach easily. Tending the garden becomes a tedious chore when it cannot be accomplished with comfort and serenity.

Raised Bed Gardening From the Ground Up

  • Use Recycled and Reclaimed Materials – Shopping local for materials which still have plenty of life in them is a cost-effective alternative to buying something which may be treated with toxic chemicals. From wood to marble, there are plenty of attractive options for the garden retreat of your dreams.
  • Use Your Resources – Building a raised bed out of discarded wooden pallets results in a bed that is solid, and attractive. Instructional videos for building different styles of raised beds out of wooden pallets are numerous on Youtube and people practically give pallets away on Craigslist.
  • Create Your Own Compost – Landfills are overfilled as it is, and your garden sure would love to devour the rest of that orange if you’re just going to toss it out. While you’re at it, toss in some coffee grounds, eggshells, lawn clippings, paper waste, and anything made of natural materials (think yellow pages and cotton t-shirts). No animal products like bones, and meat, please, this just invites flies and those are never fun.
  • Plant What You Love – Talk to the experienced growers at your local farmer’s market or community garden to find out what grows best in your region, as well as the ideal time to plant. Plant those things you love to eat, but also plant a variety of different regional favorites. Zucchini is known to be a prolific grower, for example, a few seeds go a long way.
  • Plant What’s Expensive – It’s okay to plant some exotic goodies too, especially if they cost a pretty penny at the market. You may need to put in a little extra effort in the form of shielding plants from the sun, or extreme temperature changes, but it will be well worth it when it comes time to harvest.
  • Keyhole gardens, Ultimate in Efficiency -Recently I’ve become enamored with keyhole gardens. This particular form of raised garden takes advantage of water-shortage situations by using a central composting pit for most of the hydration and nutrients for the plants growing within. The keyhole refers to the little notch in the circular garden that allows easy-access to the compost deposit. Three standard-size keyhole gardens (less than 6” in diameter) will feed a small family comfortably.
  • Or Start Small – Not quite ready for the commitment of a fully-fledged raised bed or keyhole garden? It’s okay, it takes time to develop a green thumb. Build up some confidence by planting some herbs in decorative containers. Not only do herbs smell fantastic, they also taste great in a variety of recipes and they are very forgiving plants.

Water Efficiently

It can be tempting to water your garden beds till the soil is like mud, and that’s okay for some, but it’s also a potential waste of water. In some Florida towns like Clearwater, gutters are important for collecting enough water to keep a garden. There’s nothing better than rain water for hydrating your garden. Growing your own food is not only essential for optimal health, it’s good for the environment too, since it saves from making frequent trips to the grocery store.  

Rachel Cook is a sustainable living enthusiast who loves to pitch in and volunteer her time at organic farms around Hawaii. When Rachel needs inspiration for low-cost maintenance projects that extend a home’s value while remaining eco-friendly, she browses sites like www.raincontrolaluminuminc.com.






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Things To Consider Before Setting Up Your Home Garden

Having home grown vegetables is a nice perk. Not only are they delicious, and you are able to know exactly how they were grown, growing your own vegetables can help you live healthier and help keep your pocketbook a little fuller.

The idea of having a garden is commendable, but there are some things to consider before you get started on your home vegetable garden. By thinking these things through ahead of time, you will be able to build, plant and grown a garden that fits perfectly in your lifestyle.

1. Location
The first thing to consider is do you have a location for a garden? Do you have an area that the sun hits for at least six to eight hours a day? How much space is this area? It all matters, especially when you figure out what fruits and vegetables you want to grow.

2. Harvest
Once you decide on the location of your home garden, now is the time to figure out what you will grow. If you are limited in space, potatoes, tomatoes and other large plants may not be your best bet, but smaller crops of peppers and strawberries may workout just perfectly. Would you rather have a dense supply of one to two plants or a small wide variety of plants with just one or two of each? You will also need to consider how you will plant your garden. If you have large plants in front of small plants, they may cast shadow and diminish the much needed sunlight for the smaller plants. There are also some plants that grow well near each other and vice versa – all things you should consider before planting.

3. Preparation
Before planting, it is a good idea to prep the soil and plan an irrigating system. Will you grow your fruits and vegetables organically? The richness of the soil will also help your plants. If you do not live in an area with good soil, you may have to purchase some. Either way, remember fruits and vegetables are best grown with a nutrient-rich soil and need plenty of water. Speaking of water – will you run a base line irrigation hose throughout your plants or simply run sprinklers? When planning your irrigation method, make sure you plan a way for the water to run off as well – plants do not do well if they are not drained properly.

4. Boarders
Adding a fence around your garden is a good idea to keep away critters who may want to harvest your garden before you are ready. By taking this extra precaution, you will be saving your hard work by keeping rabbits, raccoons and other animals out.

Now that you know what items you should consider before setting up your home garden, you can begin tackling these tasks and get your home prepped for a prosperous harvest come this summer. Happy growing!

Kathryn Thompson, health advocate and assistant to Susan Wright DVM who is the staff expert for Dog training Collars , devotes part of her time providing encouraging advice regarding life changes and healthy living that make a difference.

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