Sure, you love working in your garden, but isn’t it also wonderful to have the time to enjoy the fruits (or veggies!) of your labor? To help you carve out time for alfresco dining and lounging in your outdoor space, we compiled a bunch of ways to save time (and money) so you can garden smarter, not harder.
1. Choose plants that are easy to grow
Pick perennials such as foxglove, poppies or verbena, which not only come back every year without any effort on your part, but they will also self-seed. Just make sure you avoid invasive varieties, which can quickly take over your flowerbeds. Opt for hardy, disease-resistant plants that require pruning. Easy-to-grow annual veggies like cherry tomatoes, salad greens, zucchini and potatoes will require very little maintenance. Perennial produce and herbs include sage, thyme, lemon balm, asparagus and rhubarb.
2. Start your seedlings indoors
You’re more likely to get a successful crop of plants if you start them early and then transplant an already flourishing variety into your garden. Make sure to keep your seedlings moist and well aerated. Tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon – a natural antifungal and antimicrobial – on top of your soil to prevent fungus growth.
3. Grow vegetables in raised beds or in bags
Short on space? We’re big fans of vertical gardening, and growing veggies in planter bags is a fantastic way to maximize every inch. Raised beds allow you to grow more produce while also saving your back, and there are lots of ways to incorporate them into your yard. For great tips about raised bed and veggie gardening, check out these books.
4. Group plants with similar needs together
You already know that some plants require full sun or shade, but have you thought about ones that require moist soil versus ones that prefer a drier home? Plant varieties that need the same things together, so you don’t have to remember which ones need extra watering, for example. Bonus: You’ll save water!
5. Pile on the mulch
We mention this often, but layering on mulch – either cedar shavings, shredded leaves or straw – keeps weeds down and conserves soil moisture. That means less watering! One less chore to keep on top of.
6. Keep your gardening tools in tip-top shape
Maintaining your tools is a great way to save time and money. Having clean, sharp tools at the ready means you always have what you need at hand.
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