How to Make Gardening Easier: My 9 Top Methods

Make Gardening Easier With These 9 Tips

We gardeners are always searching for ways to make gardening easier. Gardening is enjoyable, rewarding, relaxing… and hard work . There is always something to do – planning, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting…

make gardening easier

Most gardeners enjoy the time they spend working in their gardens, but there comes a point when garden tasks can pile up, making you can just a little overwhelmed. Here are some gardening and planning tips that I’ve found can put you a little ahead of the game.

Most are common sense (you’ve heard them before, but maybe haven’t got around to implementing them), and some may seem like more work. But implementing them will make gardening easier for you in the long run, leaving you more time to sit back with a cool drink and just enjoy your creations.

My top 9 ways to make gardening easier and more fun

1. Feed the Soil
Start with great soil and you’ll wind up with great plants. Healthy plants get fewer diseases, attract fewer pests and need less water. Right there, you’ll save time!

Begin by purchasing a soil analysis kit and test your soil. If your soil is deficient in any minerals or nutrients, take steps to amend the soil with slow release organics. Then keep adding organic matter, such as compost, seaweed extracts, bone meal, fish fertilizers (we call it ‘fish and chips” here on the west coast) or well-rotted manure regularly. Once you’ve added these organic amendments over three or four years, you can slow down on this type of soil feeding – perhaps adding freshly matured compost every second year.

Avoid any reliance on synthetic fertilizers that can actually destroy the beneficial organisms and organic matter in the soil. They are generally a short-term fix.

2. Group Plants by Their Needs
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Right plant for the right spot.” That’s the beginning of the equation. Of course you’re going to want to put sun lovers in the sun and ground covers where they can roam. But consider how efficient it would be if you put all your water hogs together so you could just turn on the sprinklers or drag the hose to one area and be done with watering.

3. Choose Lower Maintenance Perennials
Make low-maintenance perennials the backbone of your flower garden. These are plants that can take care of themselves, and require little in the way of deadheading, staking, pinching or pruning throughout the growing season.

Plant perennials to make gardening easier

Perennials like daylilies, sedum, peonies, coneflower and heuchera make gardening easier.

Here are some low maintenance perennials to consider:

  • Peony (Paeonia) zones 3-8 – I love these gloriously scented and long-lived perennials. Even the bushy foliage looks good. Remember to surround them with a support, as the huge flower heads can be heavy enough to droop to the ground.
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis) zones 3-8 – Sure, you’ll have to remove the spent flower heads, but that’s a small price to pay for a plant that requires little attention otherwise. Daylilies are another long-lived and hardy perennial.
  • Black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia “Goldsturm”) zones 3-8 – This bright gold flower is a native North American. Its masses of gold blooms make any border come alive, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) zones 3-8 – This is another North American native, blooming throughout the summer. It makes a lovely cut flower, with its coned heads surrounded by pink-purple petals. It’s another butterfly magnet.
  • Stonecrop (Sedum) zones 3-8 – These succulents are ideal for the more arid sections of your garden. There are over 300 varieties of sedums to choose from, and all are low maintenance.
  • Coral Bells (Heuchera) zones 3-8 – Another native plant, coral bells have an airy spray of tiny flowers rising high above lush and colourful pinnate foliage. Many varieties with leaves ranging in color from pale green through bronze, red, purples and deep green will add lots of color to shadier areas of the yard.
  • Hostas zones 2 – 9 – These hardy perennials are one of the most popular garden ornamentals. Mainly grown for their foliage, the varieties range from specimens with blue, green, yellow and white foliage combinations. As well, there are now varieties with flat, curled, cupped, wavy, puckered, embossed, ruffled, wrinkled and pleated leaves.

Research what works best for your area, soil type, climate and personal preference. Your local garden shops should carry most of these perennials.

4. Raised Beds and Containers
Containers and raised beds give your garden boundaries, providing the ultimate in control, and can really make gardening easier. In containers, you control the soil, water, exposure and even limit the horizontal growth of the plants.

Make gardening easier by planting in raised beds

Planting in raised beds has many benefits that save you time and effort.

Raised beds separate the garden beds from their surroundings, so keep weeds from the garden soil. You have the same controls as in container gardening, just on a larger scale; and you’ll be saving your back from some bending.

5. Install Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation sounds like it might be a chore to install, and it does take time – measuring, purchasing, and installing, but it has been reduced to a tinker toy level.

Unless you rely on rain to water your gardens, you will actually save money in the long run. Drip irrigation is far more efficient than any other type of watering. As a plus, it has the advantage of putting the water right where your plants need it. Since the water is slowly directed to the soil right around the plants, and not sprinkled on the foliage, plant diseases are kept to a minimum. By installing a timer, you won’t even have to take the time to turn it on.

6. Mulch Again
Mulching is common sense and something you’ve heard a thousand times. Yet many gardeners only view mulch as decoration. Mulch does make a garden look more attractive, but it also allows you to cut down on watering, weeding and fertilizing time, simplifying your job and again – making gardening easier!

Organic mulches – matured compost, bark chips, clean straw, dry grass clippings and chipped wood – all encourage the proliferation of beneficial organisms in the soil. They will slowly decompose, further enriching the soil. Keep mulches a couple of inches away from plant stems. Here’s a great video that gives you a lot more information abou

7. Get Some Wheels
One good garden cart border= or wheelbarrow can ease the carrying, lifting and moving you have to do in the garden. Don’t go out into the garden without it. You can tote your tools, move plants, harvest, toss weeds right into it down to the compost heap. No matter what size, you’ll get more done, with less stress on your body, with wheels.

8. Learn From Experience

Journaling can make gardening easier

A garden journal and logbook for recording your plantings, successes and problems for next year.

Keep a special journal just for gardening, and jot down notes every week so you have personal garden records for next year. For example, diagram where you planted each vegetable so you can rotate locations next year. Adding photos can be valuable. For example, take photos of spring blooming bulbs so you have a reference in the fall, and you know where you need to add more. I’ve found this is one of the most important ways I can keep organized and it definitely can make gardening easier the following year.

9. Enlist Your Children
Teach your children and grandkids early in life how much fun gardening can be. Tailor the gardening activities to their age: for the youngest gardeners, it may just be mucking around with soil and water. Show them bugs, worms, roots, sprouted seeds and remember – watering is more fun than weeding.

Planting, harvesting, learning what’s a weed and what’s not, spotting beneficial insects – these are all activities that will get them out into the garden. They may not like pulling weeds or deadheading the flowers at first, but what child doesn’t like picking and eating fresh strawberries, raspberries or blueberries?

Many schools now have a fenced garden plot as part of their curriculum. If the school your children attend does not, then why not approach them and discuss setting one up. You just may be part of training a future gardener!


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