Let’s face it, even the most keen gardeners among us don’t want to spend much time outside in this unpredictable weather. Not just that, but we are all still in the final stages of catching up with life after Christmas, which means that we don’t actually have a lot of spare time. However, we don’t want the appearance of our garden to go completely downhill, which means it is important to make things as easy as possible for ourselves and to save as much time as we can. Here are some of our favourite ways to save time in the garden without compromising on its appearance.
Surely it makes more sense to choose plants that will last more than one season in your garden, than to have to plant new ones every few months. Choosing perennial plants means that you don’t need to spend time choosing new plants every year, or time digging out the old ones and planting in the new. Perennials also tend to require very little maintenance, too, so it is a win-win situation!
Compost, Compost, Compost
Compost can be a huge time saver in the garden for many reasons. Firstly, a thick layer of compost will suffocate weeds, meaning you need to spend less time outside removing them. Compost also means your plants will be stronger and healthier, meaning that they will require less attention (and time) from you.
Use Slow Release Fertilisers
Whilst the word ‘slow’ may seem to contradict the idea of saving time, slow release fertilisers are actually more economical. Whereas other fertilisers need to be applied every two weeks, slow release fertilisers need only one or two applications in total. Also, slowly providing plants with growth minerals means they are likely to grow stronger and healthier, needing less attention from you.
Choose ‘Independant’ Plants
This means choosing plants and flowers that aren’t completely reliable on you to grow. Plants that need pruning, deadheading, staking and other general fussing over are huge time-hoggers. Instead, choose more wild flowers that look after themselves a little more, such as Shasta daisies.
Contain Your Plants
It is much easier, and quicker, to keep something looking neat and tidy if it is in a smaller, contained space. Plant trickier flowers in hanging baskets and plant pots and containers in order to control the area in which they can grow and thus the area that you need to tend to. This also means that they won’t interfere with any of your other plants.
Water Less Often
This sounds counterproductive: yes it may save time, but surely it would be at the detriment of your plants? Wrong! It is actually more effective to give your plants a more thorough, deep watering once a week than it is to give them a light sprinkling every other day. Also, it rains an awful lot in England, which means that, depending on the recent weather, you may be able to skip a day!
Unfortunately, it is the case that you must be prepared to spend some time in the garden if you wish for it to look good (without hiring a gardener). However, these tips will definitely save some time!