April, is supposed to be rather busy on the whole garden front but I’m finding that I’m spending more time out of it than in it at the moment.
Why? Mostly because of April weather (it’s been mostly typical showers in the past week or so), but also because time is also a bit short at the moment with working, exercising and training Mouse my JRT!
All in all time spent is rather sporadic and I’m finding it rather a challenge to keep up with what I should be doing against what I am actually doing.
So I’ve found a few garden related hints and tips which are tending to help me keep on track, and so I thought I’d share them with you.
- Make plans – if you haven’t already got a plan for your garden/cultivation space then then it’s always a good idea to start one. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Mine is rather a rough pencil and ruler jobby which tells me which crops are going to be going in which bed. You could also extend this to pots, planters, even grow bags. By having a plan it helps you remember what needs to be planted and when.
- Planting calendar – find a good calendar that is useful for you. It might just be a list, or a spreadsheet, or just your seed packets in order of sowing. Whatever works but just make sure you have a trigger for going to look at the calendar so you know what to sow next. I have tended to work from sheer guess work and luck in the past and while it usually works out okay it has meant I’ve often missed getting plants (strawberry runners for example) at the wrong time thus meaning I’ve had to change my plans, or spend more money buying bigger plants to catch up.
- Sometimes it’s just better to buy the plants. Growing doesn’t start and end at sowing seeds. If you haven’t the space or the time to grow plants from seeds consider buying either bare rooted plants or waiting until you can buy the plants in pots. Although my tip above says the plants are usually more expensive to buy this way it depends on how you consider the cost against your time. I’d much rather be growing something than nothing at all.
- Weeding. This is beginning to take a fair bit of time to do now in the garden. Conquer it well by just taking one section at a time (just 20 mins can make a big impact) and using the right tools (a patio weeder is worth it’s weight in gold). Then once it’s done help yourself for next time by covering large sections of bare soil (that won’t be used, such as round new hedges or round perennials) in chipped bark, weed suppressant membrane, or cover it with a sprinkling of wild flowers and let nature do the rest. Weeds between concrete are the worst kind of weeds but before you reach for the spray bottle consider whether the weeds are a nuisance or whether you can just leave those dandelions for the bees to use? Just be sure to take the heads off the dandelions after flowering so the seed pods don’t develop and spread everywhere.
Remember gardening should never be difficult, only fun (or at the very least enjoyable), if it’s not then something is amiss. Your cultivation space is just that – you’re creative area.
What do you do with your weeds? Keep them, ditch them or pretend they never exist in your garden?