As many of you know I am all about efficiency in the garden so I can spend more time enjoying it and less time working in it.
My overall goal is not to eliminate the time in my garden but to spend the same amount of time just doing things I enjoy more. This week my father and I were again busy harvesting crushing and pressing apples and we have been enjoying fresh tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, carrots with a lot more on the way including my family heirloom grapes that are starting to turn but are usually best after the first frost in the fall.
As I was thinking about this week’s video I realized I have shown you everything that is going on already. So the thought came to me to show you some quick ways I reduce the level of effort in the garden in order to spend more time simply enjoying it.
Low maintenance perennials
A large part of my garden is perennials that once established do not really require a lot of work but produce on their own. For instance the grapes I mentioned earlier although they lost some fruit in the hail storm I spoke about in my last Vlog the rest are doing fine and the next thing I have to do for them is prune them next spring before the buds break.
The perennials that take up about 50% of my garden space are very low maintenance. All I have to do is give them a healthy dose of mulch in the spring and occasional prune. In return they produce a lot of food with very little effort.
Mulching to reduce effort
The same mulch I use to continue to add nutrients to the soil during the growing season also helps to reduce the amount of work I need to do in the garden.
A thick layer of organic material on top of the soil helps suppress weeds. When weeds are able to germinate they are often lanky as they try to grow through the mulch making them much easier to pull. If weeds cannot get established then weeding takes a matter of moments as I do other things in the garden and is far less of a choir.
Mulch also helps prevent evaporation of water for the surface of the soil. Paired with the consistent rain we have had this year I have been able to save a tone of time as I have only needed to water the garden once since installing my rain barrels.
High density planting
The other thing I have done is cram a lot of plants into a small area. High density planting out competes weeds and helps prevent evaporation from any exposed mulch or soil as the sun this time of year is rarely able to get down to the soil.
With a little help from Mother Nature’s consistent rain and the low effort methods to reduce the chores in the garden I will just continue to spend time enjoying the garden and not needing to work harder than I really have to have to.
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