Gardening For Busy People

From planting and weeding to pest control and pruning, there’s always something to do in the garden. If you have a busy lifestyle, finding the time to tend to your garden is a challenge, but a few smart short cuts mean you can have a beautiful garden without giving up every minute of your spare time.

Choose plants carefully

Forget high-maintenance plants. You need plants that will take care of themselves. Read the labels before selecting plants for your garden to determine which ones need the least work. Plants that need lots of protection from pests, or require regular watering are best avoided if you don’t have time to tend to them daily.

When planting fruit and vegetables, the same applies. For example, peas and beans often need checking once or twice a day to protect them from pests, but potatoes are more self-reliant as they grow underground. When it comes to growing fruit, use the same principle. An apple tree looks after itself – the only busy time is harvesting the apples when they are ready to eat. But soft fruits are more labour intensive as prompt picking is essential to stop them spoiling or getting chomped by birds.

Finally, when selecting plants; choose perennials, which will come back year after year, rather than annuals, that you have to replace every year.

Lawn or pave large areas

If you have a large area in your garden, consider what you will find most timesaving while still providing a garden you can enjoy. For example, if you don’t particularly like caring for plants but love entertaining, creating a decked area could help you save valuable time while still giving you an attractive outdoor space. Alternatively, consider creating a lawn if you will have time during summer months to mow it regularly. A lawn can be less maintenance than tending flowerbeds or vegetable patches.

Take a relaxed approach

If you don’t have much time, there’s no point trying to create a pristine show garden filled with neat rows of flowers. Instead, embrace a natural, informal scheme.

Little and often

If you’re busy, the trick is to do a little work on a regular basis rather than letting your garden get to the stage where it will take several days to sort out. For example, spend just 10 minutes each day pulling weeds as they appear.

Pay an expert

There are some jobs that are less fun and take more time than others so if you can afford to, pay a professional to do those jobs you hate. Whether it’s painting the shed, fixing the fence, mowing the lawn or trimming the hedge; if there’s a particular job you don’t have time for, get someone else to do it. Then you’ll have more time to focus on the more pleasurable jobs you enjoy.

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