If you just recently started taking gardening seriously or you constantly spend a lot of time in it, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. This is why you need to incorporate some of these timesaving tips for vegetable gardens.
It’s really time-consuming to spend hours, days, or even weeks reading plant books, watching catalogs, and strolling through nurseries gazing at gorgeous plants.
You imagine creating a beautiful garden admired by all guest that visits your home. But how can you do this without stressing too hard?
What are some of the best time-saving tips for your garden that will still produce the results you’re constantly thinking about?
After years of going through it the long and hard route, I have put together 13 effective time-saving tips for your vegetable garden.
Now you can create the look you want without going at it too hard and have more time to play. That’s right these tips mean less time spent weeding, watering, and tilling.
1. Map out your garden:
If you plan on growing a wide variety of vegetables or flowers don’t just stick them in any parts of the soil. Create a sketch and map out the things you need to be in your garden.
If you start planting without knowing what you’ll be planting, and where specific plants should be, it’ll take you much more time to correct the details.
2. Use grow bags for vegetables:
If your current garden is overloaded with plants and you don’t have the budget or space to extend, try using plant grow bags. These are bags used as growing containers and are a great substitute for pots and boxes.
They’re very flexible and will fit in small spaces like a balcony or terrace. It can be easily transported from different areas in your garden, as the bags are really lightweight.
Don’t feel like having a particular vegetable in that bag anymore? The planter bags are smoothly emptied and rolled up or down to hold more or less soil depending on the depths of different plants.
3. Try using organic slow-release fertilizers:
Using slow-release or time-based fertilizer in your garden reduces the amount of time you need to fertilize your plants during the growing season. They release small quantities of nutrients into the soil over a period of weeks, months, and even years.
Organic slow-release fertilizers release nutrients while it decomposes. This allows your fruits, vegetables, and other plants to grow at a uniform rate.
Hence the plant will have stronger roots and be better able to fight pests and diseases. Another amazing benefit is that plants are less likely to get burnt, and it’s great for the environment. It’s a win-win, with less time spent adding fertilizer and better distribution of nutrients for your plants.
4. Use self-watering containers:
No matter what little time you have in the day, watering certain types of plants is essential. Using self-watering containers will make this easier.
It has two parts, an inner pot that holds the soil with plants and an outer pot that contains water. These containers act as a reservoir, providing water for several days depending on the weather conditions.
You’ll be able to save time and water while nutrients in the soil are preserved. This is because the containers are enclosed, so the nutrients aren’t washed away.
The water is balanced so weeds are stopped from sprouting and taking over the pot. The time you’d spend constantly weeding would almost be over. Can you describe a better solution?
5. Choose low maintenance vegetables:
When choosing crops to grow in your garden, picking the easy ones is sure to save time spent tending to them. Plus, you will still be able to reap them with great quality.
I’m talking about vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, spicy peppers, beans, and lettuce. Other crops like broccoli and eggplant take more work to grow under good conditions. If you’re interested to learn more about growing tomatoes and lettuce, feel free to read my other posts.
6. Plant perennial crops:
Unlike some crops that have to be replanted every year, perennial crops that live year after year are here to save your time.
Their roots are more capable of accessing deep soil water reserves limiting the need for excessive watering.
With a strong root system growing as far as 8 to 10 inches in depth, they also prevent the soil from breaking or eroding.
Healthy perennials block weeds from becoming rooted by denying ground space and sunlight to weed seeds. Perennial crops will also save you the expense of purchasing and applying pesticides and herbicides.
7. Have your garden tools close by:
Don’t leave your tools in multiple locations. Finding a corner or building a shed to store your gardening tools saves you the time spent searching for them when needed. If the shed or storage area is closer to your plants, that’s even better.
8. Group plants with similar characteristics:
Grow each plant that requires similar care or with familiar characteristics together. Plants that need partial shade can be grown in a particular area of your garden that is shaded for most hours of the day.
Plants that grow best with the full sun can be grouped at a spot that receives most of the sunlight throughout the daytime.
Some plants require a lot of moisture to grow healthy. They should not be paired with others that should maintain moderately dry soil.
9. Mulch, mulch, and more mulch:
Spreading compost over the ground between crops will keep weeds from sprouting. Mulch prevents erosion and the evaporation of water on those days the sun seems to be punishing the earth with excessive heat.
Straw, mushroom compost, shredded leaves, or any other natural mulch will decompose and leave a lot of humus on the soil. It’s a really good strategy to try.
10. Grow plants near your water source:
On a hot day, hauling a hose from the back of your house where your water source is can be stressful. Even if you choose to use a watering can, it takes a lot of energy and time to walk and refill to hydrate your plants. Not to mention if you’re tending to a very large garden, you will need to make so many trips!
Whew, the effort it takes to get the job done. Installing a tap by your garden or growing vegetables and plants close to your water source is a clear idea to save time.
11. Focus on what you know:
Sure, you want to have the best garden, but don’t rush. Trying to cram all the knowledge you can about gardening in a short period of time will do more harm than good.
I know it’s exciting to learn everything you can as soon as possible, but starting with the basics will help you appreciate the process.
Are you an expert on a few simpler plants? Well start from there, and then slowly read into growing and taking care of the more complex vegetables and plants you like.
This way you’ll save yourself the time and frustration of not getting a few things right the first try, or wasting resources without the right information on how to get the best results. You’ll get there, just take it slow.
12. Weed wisely:
The moment those invasive weeds sprout and begin to take over the spacious areas in your garden, it can be really annoying, I know! Even though yanking them out can be very therapeutic, ensure that the soil is moist as you do so.
It makes it easier to remove them and if they seem to be stuck, simply lift or turn the soil with your shovel. Try not to let the weeds mature, because by that time they would have spread their roots, and started to spill seeds. This creates an even bigger problem.
If you’re short on time, a simple trick is to cover the weeds with a rug or plastic for two or three weeks. They will die from the heat and darkness. Vinegar is also an effective weed killer that will have you mumbling, good riddance!
13. Get self-seeding plants:
If you prefer not to be in your garden constantly replanting your favorite flowers after they die, get self-seeding plants. There are many that remain quite beautiful and need little attention as they will grow again every season.
Many of them however tend to be very invasive though they’re easy to grow so choose wisely. Sea oats, scallion, morning glory, and mint are a few of these.
If you have no issue with this however and your main goal is to have more ground cover, then there’s no need to worry.
14. No more digging, get straw bales:
Strawbale gardening is somewhat similar to raised bed gardening, only there’s no need for you to build a raised bed (If you’d like to learn more, check out my recent post about raised bed gardens).
Straw bales will act as the growing material for your plants so there’s no need for soil. As the straws decompose, they create warmth for plant roots. This enables the growing season to last from early spring to late fall.
Please leave a comment to let me know your feedback!
Other related gardening articles:
- Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow
- How To Start Organic Farming
- How To Grow Lettuce
- Herb Gardening For Beginners
- 10 Organic Gardening Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier
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