Plan to get more from your time gardening. That’s it; have a plan, and try these tips
The garden is a place of both leisure and work. We create a garden to enjoy, but sometimes we find it difficult to sit back and relax; instead we find numerous small jobs to do. We may go out in the garden to do one thing, but get sidetracked and start doing several things at once. If we are not careful we can spend a long time working in the garden but not change very much. These are some tips to increase your productivity in the garden.
1. Be Focused.
Decide on the most important task and then stick to that exclusively. If you want to weed a border; just concentrate on weeding. Don’t start splitting up plants or trimming bushes.
2. Economies of Scale.
Think how long it takes to get out the equipment and then put it back. It can easily be 10 minutes to get started and 10 minutes to pack up. Therefore, it is better to spend 1-2 hours working rather than several 15 minute sessions. Set aside an hour and then work really hard on that task; don’t waste time always getting started and putting things away.
3. Right Tools.
The right jobs can make a big difference. If you are pruning with a blunt pair of secateurs, everything will be harder work. Make sure you look after tools and if blades become blunt replace them, it will save time and make gardening more enjoyable in long run.
4. Choose Most Important Task
In any garden there are always a 100 different things that we can do. It is therefore important to prioritise. Start off with the most prominent border or place you want to look good; don’t worry about the odd weed behind the compost heap.
5. Create Time
Some jobs may be labour intensive meaning you don’t have time for more important tasks. For example, if you cut the grass every 4 days, you could cut it every 8 days and create an extra hour a week for weeding and planting.
6. Choose Low Maintenance Plants
Don’t choose plants which will just create work. For example, plant trees which will not outgrow your garden. There is no point in planting an oak tree if you have to cut it down in 5 years time. Choose a tree like a silver birch which is right for the size of the garden.
7. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
It is important to take a step back from the garden and realise the most important things to do. If you insist on pulling out every bit of moss from the grass, you may not have time to plant things in your border. Filling out borders with ground cover will also save you future weeding time.
8. Avoid Gardening in Your Slippers
This is a habit I often do. I walk into the garden in my slippers then a weed catches my eye so I pick it up. This leads to another weed, and before I know it I’ve spent 20 minutes gardening in my slippers. But, I’m always trying to not stand on the soil because I only have slippers. Make sure you are correctly dressed and well prepared for gardening; don’t garden half heartedly in your best clothes or slippers.
9. Water Carefully
There are various ways you can save water in the garden.
- use mulch
- plant appropriate plants like lavender.
- Water deeply and infrequently
See: Ways to save water in the garden
If you water properly you will save a lot of time.
10. Look After Plants.
If you are going to plant something, make sure you do it properly. Give it enough space, water well in initial period. By looking after plants you avoid wasting time having to replace it in the future. Sometimes cutting corners means we lose plants and then become inefficient.
Photo: Botanical gardens, Oxford. By gardenerstips.co.uk/