Lazy Gardening Tips
1. Choose the right home
When choosing a home, select one with a ready-made garden or at least some mature trees and shrubs. It’s easier to hire a decorator or refit a kitchen than it is to create a garden.
2. Selecting plants for minimum aftercare
When buying plants or plant seeds, check reviews and opt for disease resistant, slow-growing shrubs like hebe, whose density inhibits undergrowth, or hardy perennial plants with a long flowering period. This will keep your garden colourful and will help you avoid having to replace plants after hard winters.
Plants grown in nurseries often don’t cope with local conditions, so when possible, ask friends and neighbours for cuttings and watch for rooted plants on Gumtree and Freegle.
3. Let others do the work
Rather than dig up stray seedlings, suckers and rooted trailers - offer them on Freegle or Gumtree for people to come to retrieve themselves. Ask them to bring some potting compost so they don’t pinch too much topsoil.
Try joining a Timeshare or LETS scheme, where you might find gardening friends to share the load.
5. How to avoid weeding
Spread broken slates, wood chippings or mulches over soil to inhibit deep weeds. You can cover slates with soil and allow self seeders with shallow roots such as forget-me-nots & aquilegia etc. to spread over. In May, just lift off anything you don’t want.
4. Set up a garden caddy
4. Fill a caddy, shoulderbag or trolley with things you’ll need as you go around the garden:
- gardening gloves
- secateurs or ratchet pruners
- pond net
- plant ties
- labels & pen
- spray bottles for weed/disease control/sterilising
- plastic bags;
- vaseline; sun screen ;disinfectant / baby wipes, first aid kit, etc.
6. How to get garden helpers for free
Aim for a sustainable wildlife garden..Rather than poisoning with slug pellets, choose plants which can cope with slugs and leave log piles around the garden which might attract hedgehogs and toads, which prey on slugs and snails, or consider building a little pond (with sloping sides) which might attract frogs - another predator.
Many plants attract nature's pollinators: the bees and butterflies:
- hardy lavender
- ground geraniums
Other plants which will attract beneficial insects such as bees, lacewings and ladybirds to your garden are:
- the daisy family
- herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme, dill, fennel and mint
7. Transform waste ground with copiously flowering self-seeders
If you simply want to cover as much ground as possible and don't mind things heavily-rooted things seeding and spreading, then try:
- ground geraniums
- asters (michaelmas daisies), which bloom late into September.
All are beloved of bumble bees.
Learn to love your weeds - dandelions feed birds and butterflies when other food is scarce - they’re also totally edible from flower to root.
8.Companion planting & creating optimal conditions
Find out which plants might benefit your particular garden problems.. e.g. nasturiums are useful when planted around fruit and vegetables because they repel whitefly, woolly aphids and ants, while tansy repels fruit moths. Chives are useful to plant near roses because they repel aphids and have a fungicidal quality that protects against black spot and mildew.
Appropriate conditions for plants help them to stay disease free too. Roses need full sunshine and foliage around the roots to protect them from fungal disease; plant Mediterranean herbs like rosemary in well-drained, sandy soil in tubs.
9. Easy edible plants
Everyone loves to eat food from their garden, but rather than fighting a losing battle over the slugs here are some edible plants which will thrive with very little help, support, digging or watering:
- apple, elderberry, plum, rowan and hazel trees
- blackcurrants, strawberries, wild strawberries, roses (hips), raspberries, blueberries
- sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, lemon balm, marjoram
- rhubarb, sorrel, wild garlic, borage, dandelion and dock.
9. Those autumn leaves...
In the autumn, fallen leaves can be left as a mulch for the garden, and don’t cut back the stems of flowers once they’ve finished blooming, to allow insects to hibernate in them. The following year, they’ll be brittle and you can snap them off in seconds.
Invest in some good tools which will make light work of the autumn pruning: good ratchet pruners, extendable loppers and electric hedge cutters. Buy or hire a chipper so that you can shred everything to spread as a mulch on the borders.
10. Make your garden abound with life throughout the winter.
Don't forget to invite birds to the garden with a bird bath or pond, bird houses, feeders and fruit, nut and berry trees. The garden will be full of life, even in the depths of winter.
Check out my other gardening page on Hub pages