Are there times when your garden seems to be nagging you?
When you step outside, do you feel like every planting bed and every plant cries out for attention.
Weed me! Water me! Fertilize me!
Mow me, trim me, mulch me!
Dig here, hoe there, rake everywhere! Prune that, deadhead this, lop off that. Move a plant over there, plant two plants over here, and dig and divide those three plants over there!
When we get really busy and just don’t have enough time for gardening, the nagging seems to get louder and louder. It gets to the point where you feel like every sunny hour you should be out in the garden, quieting things down a bit, tending to all those plants crying for attention. You almost wish for a rainy day, so you can just ignore the nagging for awhile without feeling guilty or worrying that someone will come by and hear the nagging, too, and wonder why you don’t do something about it.
Fortunately there are some ways to keep a garden from nagging you. Here are five of them.
Mulch to control weeds and conserve water. Mulching is one of those gardening activities that takes some time initially, but once done, it really does help control weeds and conserve moisture so you don’t have to weed and water all the time.
Plant reliably hardy tree, shrubs and perennials. When you try to grow plants that are not suitable for your hardiness zone, or grow water loving plants in dry environments, they take more time in general to care for them, to baby them along.
Avoid planting aggressive plants or self sowing flowers. There’s nothing that seems like a greater waste of time than weeding out something you knowingly planted in the garden because you convinced yourself that you could control it. If you inherited a garden with self-sowing flowers or just fell in love with some and couldn’t help yourself, be diligent about dead heading.
Hire out some of the gardening to be done. I know it is shocking that I would suggest this, having done all my own gardening. But sometimes there just isn’t time to get it all done. If that’s your situation, figure out what you really don’t like to do in the garden, maybe it is remulching beds or unbelievably, mowing, and hire someone else to do that for you.
Size the garden to match the resources that you have to give to it. This may mean that you hold off digging up new beds until you have the current beds under control. Or maybe you’ll plant fewer containers. How big of a garden you can keep from nagging you will vary depending on your life circumstances, age, ability, and how much of what you have, your resources of both time and money, you want to put into the garden.
The point is, we are Not Always Gardening, and have to plan accordingly, to keep the nagging down to some manageable list of what really needs to be done in the garden.
After all, we don’t want the nagging to drown out the other sounds of a garden, like that of the double flowering blood root, Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’ which finally opened up, almost, when the sun came out today.
Can you hear it?