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How to Make Your Gardening Easier

Updated on May 25, 2009

Gardening is enjoyable, rewarding, relaxing hard work. There is always something to do - watering, weeding, planting, harvesting...

Most gardeners enjoy the time they spend working in their gardens, but there comes a point when garden tasks can pile up, making you can just a little overwhelmed. Here are some gardening and planning tips can put you a little ahead of the game.

Most are common sense (you've heard them before, but just haven't got around to implementing them), and some may seem like more work. But implementing them will make gardening easier for you, leaving you more time to sit back with a cool drink and just enjoy your creations.

Feed the Soil

Start with great soil and you'll wind up with great plants. Healthy plants get fewer diseases, attract fewer pests and need less water. Right there, you'll save time!

Begin by getting a soil analysis kit from your local plant nursery, and test your soil.  If your soil is deficient in any minerals or nutrients, take steps to amend the soil with slow release organics. Then keep adding organic matter, such as compost, seaweed extracts, or well-rotted manure regularly.

Avoid synthetic fertilizers that can actually destroy the beneficial organisms and organic matter in the soil. They are just a short fix.

How to Make Compost

Group Plants by Their Needs

We're not just talking about the right plant for the right spot. Naturally, you'll put sun lovers in the sun and ground covers where they can roam. But Instead of hauling that hose around from place to place, why not put allyour water-lovers in one place?

If you've got flowers that require a lot of deadheading, put them close together. You can still mix in different bloom times or variations in color and height. But try to reduce the time of the maintenance chores.

Plant Low Maintenance Perennials

Make low-maintenance perennials  the backbone of your flower garden.  These are plants that can take care of themselves, and require little in the way of deadheading, staking, pinching or pruning throughout the growing season.

Here are some low maintenance perennials to consider:

  • Peony (Paeonia) zones 3-8
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis) zones 3-8
  • Black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia "Goldsturm") zones 3-8
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) zones 3-8
  • Stonecrop (Sedum) zones 3-8
  • Coral Bells (Heuchera) zones 3-8
  • Hosts zones 3 - 9

Check out what works best for your area, soil type, climate and personal preference.

Some Perennials With Low Maintenance

Hostas come in all shades of green, and in many varieties.
Hostas come in all shades of green, and in many varieties.
Double pink peony - beautiful flowers, great fragrance, and when the flowers are over, an attractive foliage.
Double pink peony - beautiful flowers, great fragrance, and when the flowers are over, an attractive foliage.
Heuchera - a silvery leaf variety.
Heuchera - a silvery leaf variety.
Daylilies are hardy and extremely low maintenance. Huge flowers in several varieties.
Daylilies are hardy and extremely low maintenance. Huge flowers in several varieties.

Raised Beds & Containers

Containers and raised beds give your garden boundaries, providing the ultimate in control. In containers, you control the soil, water, exposure and even limit the growth of the plants.

Raised beds separate the garden beds from their surroundings. You have the same controls as in container gardening, just on a larger scale; and you'll be saving your back from some bending.

Choosing Containers

Install Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation sounds like it might be a chore to install, and it does take time - measuring, purchasing, and installing, but it really has been reduced to a tinker toy level.

Unless you rely on rain to water your gardens, you will actually save money in the long run. Drip irrigation is far more efficient than any other type of watering. And it has the money saving advantage of putting the water right where your plants need it. By installing a timer, you won't even have to take the time to turn it on.

How to Install Drip Irrigation

Mulch

Mulch not only makes a garden look more attractive, but it also keeps the soil and plant roots cool, retains moisture so you can water less often, prevents weed seeds from seeing the light of day and sprouting and feeds the soil.

Right there you've cut down on watering, weeding and fertilizing time. Mulch. Do it.

Wood Mulch

Enlist Your Children

Teach your children and grandkids early in life how much fun gardening is.

Planting, harvesting, learning what's a weed, collecting insects - these are all activities that will get them out into the garden. They may not like pulling weeds or deadheading the flowers, but what child doesn't like picking and eating fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries?

Well, maybe it won't lessen your work load, but you just may be training a future gardener!

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