How to Save Time in the Garden

This website will show you how to cut down on the time and labour spent on making and caring for your garden, without sacrificing interest and beauty. In fact, many of the short cuts described here will result in a marked improvement in its appearance.

No garden worthy of the name, however, has been made or maintained without a certain amount of hard work, and it would be foolish, and indeed dishonest, to claim otherwise. As Rudyard Kipling wrote: ‘Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh! How beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.’ Everyone who wants an attractive garden should realize that there are certain basic routine jobs that cannot be avoided. I have tried to show you how to carry out these tasks with minimum effort and maximum efficiency.

For this purpose, a new approach to gardening is needed, ranging right through from the initial planning to planting and maintenance. We must avoid tackling garden chores in a certain way because ‘that’s the way they have always been done’. Careful planning is of particular importance, and some time spent on this will save many hours work later, as it is far easier to introduce new features to a garden than to get rid of established ones.

Even in the smallest of gardens, the work load can be greatly lightened by taking advantage of the many labour-saving mechanized gardening tools now available. Power-driven mowers, hedge trimmers, cultivators and various other tools have all made a great contribution in this connection. It pays to buy the best quality tools you can afford, as these should not only last longer, but also be easier to use and require less maintenance.

Garden centres, with their takeaway container-grown material, have helped gardeners to appreciate the value of a whole new range of plants. Shrubs, in particular, are great labour-savers. They are long term, trouble-free garden investments that declare annual dividends in the shape of beautiful flowers, fruit and foliage. Perennials, chosen for their labour-saving qualities, provide colour throughout the seasons. Ground-cover plants will smother weeds while making their contribution to the overall beauty of the garden; like the perennials, they require little attention once established.

You can cut down on work in the kitchen garden by a suitable choice of crops. The section on vegetable growing lays special emphasis on vegetables that are relatively trouble-free, as well as those that provide supplies for the table over a long period without extra work being involved.

So, whether your spare time is restricted, or whether you are elderly, infirm or just plain lazy, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a garden of which you can be proud without spending more time and effort on its construction and upkeep than you want to.

The labour-intensive garden

•Narrow path between house and garden means that the edges of the lawn will become badly worn, particularly in bad weather, and mud and dirt will be tramped into the house.

•Not enough space to sit out on paved area when the grass is wet or to display plants in tubs attractively.

•Too many annuals and bedding plants which need constant attention.

•Too many small beds in the lawn make mowing difficult.

•Lawn edges need regular trimming.

•Grass round base of tree trunks will need hand clipping.

•Border plants overhanging the lawn make mowing difficult.

•Dead leaves, grass, weeds and debris will collect in space between path and lawn.

• Beech tree will grow much too large for this type of garden and the roots will take too many nutrients out of the soil. The overhanging branches will cast too much shade.

• Apple tree is too crowded in by other plants which will affect size of crop and increase risk of pests and diseases.

• Privet hedge will need regular trimming.

•Border plants grown so close to the wall will need extra watering, particularly in dry hot weather.

•Gaps between plants encourage weeds.

• Bare, exposed soil quickly dries out in hot or windy weather.

•Grass path creates unnecessary work and provides insufficient access to crops; it also becomes worn and muddy in wet weather.

•No proper provision for crop rotation. Poor planning results in wasted effort and poor returns, as well as encouraging a build-up of pests and diseases.

•Fruit trees are poorly sited and take up valuable space; overhanging branches cast shade.

•Soft fruit bushes have no protection from birds.

• No compost heap.

• Nowhere to store garden tools.

27. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Gardening Ideas, Time Saving | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How to Save Time in the Garden

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