For many people, gardening is the ideal antidote to a busy day of meetings, phone calls, and seemingly endless hours of screen time. For one thing, gardening replenishes our capacity for directed attention, keeping us better focused at work. Moreover, working in the dirt has been shown to ease stress and anxiety. There are other benefits as well, such as fresh air and the satisfaction of creating something living and beautiful.
However, none of us have unlimited time to pursue our gardening interests. In fact, lack of time is an obstacle to many would-be gardeners who would probably benefit greatly from an hour or two working in the ground. So, here are eight quick ways to save time while gardening.
“Lack of time is an obstacle to many
would-be gardeners who would probably
benefit greatly from an hour or two
working in the ground.”
It’s rather ironic that an activity designed to give you a break from work has some very work-like aspects. However, when the clock is ticking, you may very well spend about half the time you have set aside for gardening thinking about what to garden.
This step involves both macro and micro-planning. There are a couple of more good work words. Think about what you will plant in the spring, fall and so on. Moreover, think about how you will spend your time that day. It may be a good idea to take a quick walk around the garden and see what areas need the most attention.
Similarly, don’t waste time fumbling around the garage for that pair of pruners or other tool that you need at that moment. Wear overalls with lots of pockets, or maybe a carpenter’s belt. Placing key tools in a large 5-gallon tub is a good idea as well. Those distressed-metal tubs look very cool as well.
Cut Off Weeds
Low-growing weeds, such as lamium, are a real headache for many gardeners, because they are very difficult to pull out one at a time. So, try a different approach.
Use a sharpened spade to slice underneath the weeds, and then simply bury them. As a bonus, the rotting weeds act as mulch.
Mulch It Up
To continue with this thought, use plenty of mulch. It adds nutrients to the soil, helping plants grow.
It’s best to use a flathead rake. The tined edge can spread and pull the mulch, and the flat side will even it out.
Use a Better Planter
Not everyone has an in-ground garden. For space reasons or simply due to personal preference, planters may work best.
Build Soil in the Garden
Instead of using a wheelbarrow to transport soil or mulch from Point A to Point B, put a pile over a newspaper right there in the garden.
This tip saves time, and also helps mulch the garden, because the newspaper decays into the soil over time.
Wash Your Bounty
Collect fresh produce into an old laundry basket, and then rinse it off outside. The basket is an easy strainer.
Keep Shoes On
This may seem like a little thing, but saving time while gardening, or doing anything else for that matter, is all about the little things.
Sometimes, you’ll have to go inside before your gardening is done. Keep a couple of plastic grocery bags near the door so you can wrap your shoes without taking them off and putting them back on.
The time you spend gardening is a wonderful investment, and there’s no reason not to get started straightaway.
What are your favorite time-saving gardening tips?
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