Gardening Made Simple: Time-Efficient Ways to Manage Your Garden
Gardening is a very rewarding hobby. Building a garden means you have your very own paradise to escape to – to relax and unwind.
As fulfilling as it is to have a paradise in your backyard, maintaining a garden requires devoting plenty of time. With our busy lives eating up a lot of our time, gardening can become challenging. And when plants are not taken care of, they either get out of control or die.
This is when a relaxing hobby like gardening turns into a demanding chore. The time that used to be spent to enjoy the surroundings becomes an un enjoyable pastime. Eventually, you will avoid gardening because it has become a stressful task or duty.
The good news is there are easier ways to manage your garden. You can make your beloved garden a hobby that does not need too much time for upkeep.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
When you started thinking of creating a garden, you had grand dreams and aspirations.
However, when your garden starts to become unmanageable, you will wish you have asked yourself the right questions before starting a garden.
- What size garden will I be able to take care of?
- How much time can I spend taking care of my garden?
- Do I have the right amount of resources to maintain my garden?
It is crucial, to be honest with yourself when you are planning to build a garden. Your garden should be easy to maintain and suit your lifestyle, not dampen it. However, if you have already started a garden, you should visually assess it and take note of the areas that require plenty of time. For example, a huge lawn that needs constant clipping will be a real-time and energy drain.
The best solution is to identify the parts of your garden that can be changed to make it more manageable. You can even remove different elements in the garden completely.
Don’t Mind the Lawn Too Much
One of the most time-consuming garden chores is mowing the lawn. But who will care if you let your lawn grow out before you decide to mow it again? Allowing more time between mowing is a time-saver.
You can allow your lawn to grow out just like a meadow. You can create a path in the middle of your lawn and plant wildflowers to complete the garden’s meadow look.
People spend a lot of time to edge their lawns. One way to work around this is by adding mowing strips to allow you to cut over it. Another low-maintenance trick is placing a row of bricks. You can also install plastic edging strips to mimic an invisible edge on the soil.
If your lawn looks patchy, you should infuse the lawn with fertiliser before the summer ends. The fertiliser will make the roots grow strong so that the grass is more resilient and tolerant of drought.
If your garden does not have a lawn, you can remove the grass and plant creeping thyme, chamomile, or other no-mow plants. These plants require almost no maintenance and the soft, green hue makes it suitable for small gardens.
Conquer the Weeds
Removing the weeds is one of the most time-consuming tasks in maintaining a garden. It is crucial to remove these invasive plants before they spread and get out of control. The best time to catch weeds is in the early part of spring, so you can get rid of them before they start spreading.
In the case of perennial weeds, you need to apply a weedkiller that eliminates the weed by applying it on the leaves. The weedkiller will travel to the roots and destroy them before they move on to other areas of your garden. The weedkiller will not affect other plants in your garden.
Driveways and paths to your garden will likely grow some weeds, too. A residual weedkiller is best for areas that are not cultivated. The best part is that they stay in the soil for a long time, so no weeds grow even for an entire season.
Weeds are smart – they will likely pop up in empty soil. The best way to prevent this is to avoid leaving any bare soil. Place gravel, a mulch, or weed-inhibiting fabric on top of bare soil, or place the ground cover plant.
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Mulch Your Garden
What is mulch, in the first place? It is any kind of material laid on top of the soil to cover it. Mulch may be solid material like gravel or bark chippings and compost if it is organic.
Mulch is not laid over the soil for decorative purposes. One of the benefits of mulch is that it can prevent the germination of weeds because mulch stifles or suffocates the soil. Mulch can also help retain moisture levels in soil because it reduces water evaporation. Using organic mulches like wood chippings and compost can make the soil more nutritious for your plants.
The right amount of mulch is about 2 inches or 5 cm. The mulch should be applied on bare soil especially around the borders. However, you should avoid placing organic mulches near the plants’ stem to prevent them from rotting.
To save time and effort watering, apply a layer on top of plant containers and pots.
Newly shredded back chippings must not utilise for mulching. Freshly cut wood ships will deplete the soil, extracting nitrogen from the ground. Fresh wood chippings can be placed on uncultivated areas and composted bark chippings should be laid on the borders.
Reduce Watering Time
Lugging around heavy cans of water to the garden is going to ruin your idea of relaxing gardening experience. However, plants need water to grow and thrive. Hanging baskets and containers require regular watering, especially during hotter months. One way to reduce watering time is to reduce the number of your plant pots. You should also move your existing plant pots to shaded areas during the summer.
Utilize watering slices and crystals to your plant pots. These crystals absorb water from the soil and moisturise the soil when it is about to dry. You should also try placing pots in one place and put a tray of water on top of them. This way, you simply need to fill up the tray and not the individual plant pots.
If you prefer to grow plants in pots instead of containers, select the biggest container that you have. The larger the pot, the more it can hold soil and water, so you will spend less time tending over them.
If you want to save time and energy in watering your garden, you can install an automatic sprinkler system on your lawn. A seep hose is another good idea especially if you have vegetable plots. Automatic watering systems are best turned on at night since the water will likely evaporate during the day because of the heat.
Control Your Hedges
Neat hedges look great but they also take up so much time to maintain. Fast-growing plant varieties get out of control fast if you do not tend to them regularly.
The best way to control hedges is by avoiding fast-growing plants from the very start. Choose slow-growing varieties like hornbeam ad yew instead.
If you want to avoid spending too much time to prune the hedges of your plants, let it grow shaggy. But basically, it’s about choosing the right varieties when you want to reduce hedging and pruning time.
Choose Low-Maintenance Plants
Just because you are creating a garden means you can choose whatever type of plant that comes to mind. If you want to have a low-maintenance garden, choose plants that will grow best in the type of soil present in your yard. You also have to consider the weather conditions and sunlight levels in your area.
If you live in a windy coastal area, you should avoid growing flimsy and tender plants. On the other hand, if your garden is in a shaded area, you should choose plants that can live in wet or cold conditions.
It is also a good idea to plant evergreens, which give your garden colour and shape throughout the year. Ivy and holly are shade-tolerant plant varieties that add a boost of colour in the dark corners of your garden. Suitable trees are Acers that grow quite slowly and are best for shaded areas.
A drought-tolerant garden is your best bet if you want a garden that’s easy to care for. Mediterranean plants such as geranium, rosemary, and sedum are recommended. Different kinds of grasses are also easy to care for. It is best to choose perennials that continue to grow throughout the seasons.
If you want your garden to be as low-maintenance as much as possible, different shrub varieties are excellent options because they require very little attention – even less than perennials. For gardens exposed to chilly weather, choose hardy varieties such as hydrangea and heather.
Avoid Cultivating Needy Plants
While tropical plants are lovely to look at, they are very hard to care for. They are quite challenging to grow in residential gardens. Also, tropical plants need a specific kind of weather to grow. So even if you dedicate most of your time in the garden, you will struggle to cultivate these plants if they are not built for that kind of weather.
It is best to avoid cultivating needy plants if you prefer not to spend too much time tending to it. It is best to choose plants that will grow well in the type of soil that you have and the weather that your area is blessed with.
For gardens with dry soil, plant drought-tolerant meadow flowers and geraniums instead – avoid annuals that are surface rooting.
You should also get rid of plants that are delicate that they require staking. Instead of delphiniums, opt for wigwams and alliums.
Following these tips will let you go back to enjoying your garden, instead of worrying about how you can handle the upkeep regularly.