Here’s five tips to make life in your garden easier.
Think about how long you've put off moving that concrete bird bath, or how many plants are still sitting in pots on your driveway because you didn't want to make one more trip. That’s why man invented the wheel. Get yourself at least one good garden cart or wheelbarrow and don't go out into the garden without it. You can tote your tools, move plants, harvest, toss weeds right into it and glide down to the compost heap. No matter how small your backyard is, you'll get more done with wheels.
Time Released Fertiliser and Water Polymers:
Container gardens are the exception to the Feed the Soil rule above. It's not practical to use compost or garden soil in containers and so some supplemental feeding is necessary to keep the plants going. Containers also dry out more quickly than garden bed soil, especially if the bed is mulched. So start your container gardening season by adding some slow release fertilizer pellets and some polymer crystals that grab, hold and slowly release water to the plant roots. Add both at planting time. Both products are widely available at garden centers.
Gardening consists of a lot of repetitive motion that can be very stressful on the joints, especially the wrists and back. Thankfully garden tool manufacturers have been coming out with better tools that work with the body, taking some of the bending and squeezing out of garden work. Look around for ratchet pruners, bent rakes, cushioned handles and trowels that don't require you to bend your wrist as much.
Another common sense tip that you will have heard many times. Not only does mulch make a garden look more attractive, but it also keeps the soil and plant roots at a more constant temperature, retains moisture so you can water less often, prevents weeds from seeing the light of day, and feeds the soil. Right there you've cut down on watering, weeding and fertilising time.
This isn’t as bad as it sounds! Show your kids and grandkids early in life how much fun and gardening is. They may never enjoy deadheading the plants, but planting, harvesting, learning what's a weed, collecting insects – these are all activities that will get them out into the garden. All right, maybe it won't lessen the work load, but some good company can make it seem so.