Are you an increasingly busy plant parent (also known as a Plantito or a Plantita!) this season? Many gardeners we talk to bemoan how there just aren't enough hours in a day to get everything done in the garden. It’s true that gardening demands plenty of time, but, if you are feeling just a little too busy, there are a few gardening hints and tips that you can apply to save yourself time.
1. Map it Out
Thinking takes time. Therefore, planning ahead to work out what you want to do with your garden is one of the best time-saving gardening tips. Working in your garden without a clear plan will cost you extra time thinking about what to do and how to do it.
2. Grow Plants with Similar Requirements Together
Group together all plants that have the same growth requirements. For example, plants that prefer a shady spot should be planted together, and plants that need direct sunlight exposure should be planted together. This is a very important factor not only to gain time, but also to help your plants grow better. Growing plants that don’t require much watering with plants that require moist soil will take more time and ultimately hinder efficient growth.
3. Raise Vegetables in Bags
This tip is very useful. It will save you time as well as money and space. Planters, bags and grow bags are perfect for growing vegetables.
4. Use Time-Based Fertilizers
Fertilizing also takes time. If you are a busy gardener, you won’t want to spend most of your time fertilizing your plants. The best way to avoid constant fertilizing is to apply time-based or slow-release fertilizers in your garden.
5. Select the Right Plants
Selecting the right plants to grow is one of the most effective time-saving gardening tips. For example, if you choose to grow disease-resistant plants, you won’t need to spend so much time tending to them.
6. Use Self-Watering Containers
If you have container gardens, you’ll know that they require a lot of time and frequent watering. To save that time, you should grow your plants in self-watering containers, or make use of something like a greenhouse irrigation system.
7. Plant Close to a Source of Water
Watering your plant is an activity that takes up lots of time (especially if you have a large garden). Therefore, make sure that you have a water source close to your plants. An outside water tap will be very useful. It will save you time and make watering your plants an easy task.
8. Have Tools Closer
You should store your gardening tools near to or in your garden. This way, you’ll save a lot of time looking for them, and making trips to get them.
9. Let Your Crops Self-Seed
Growing self-seeding plants is great. Firstly, it will save you money. You don’t need to buy seeds every year since they’ll come up again and again. Secondly, you don’t need to plant them, as they will grow by themselves. However, choose self-seeding plants carefully, as some species are very invasive.
10. Avoid Plants that Require Different Growing Conditions
Maintenance requires time. Therefore, growing low-maintenance plants will save you time. You can also reduce maintenance time if you grow perennials, or avoid growing plants that have different growing requirements.
11. Do Mulching
This is one of the easiest time-saving gardening tips. Mulching is good for your plants and garden. Mulching materials will decompose into your garden’s soil, providing it with organic matter and nutrients. Most importantly, mulching will prevent the growth of weeds (and removing weeds takes time!).
12. Keep it Simple
A tip that’s mostly for beginner gardeners: you should keep your garden as simple as possible. When you first start your garden, don’t grow too many plants, but rather grow a few plants that you’re comfortable with. This way you won’t spend a lot of time researching them.
13. Get Your Staking Done Earlier
You should avoid letting your plants spread all over the place. You should stake them before they start sprawling and tangling. This way, you will avoid spending time bundling plants.
14. Look Around
You should always take inspiration from other gardeners. Look around and see what your neighbors are growing in their gardens. Borrow some of those ideas! This way, you’ll save a lot of time thinking what to grow and how to grow it.
15. Put Pruning on Hold Until Later in the Season
This is one of the simplest time-saving gardening tips. You should wait until the growing season is over and prune all your plants together. This way, you will only prune your plants once a year, rather than twice. You could also grow plants that do not require pruning. It’s an effective option if you don’t like to spend your time pruning your plants.
16. Weed Things Out in a Wise Manner
Removing the weeds from your garden is time-consuming. Therefore, you should do it wisely. The best time to remove weeds is when the soil is moist. Make sure that you pull out their roots too.
17. Avoid Having a Lawn
Only if you’re focused on saving time, of course! But a lawn needs maintenance, and maintenance takes time. This is also a good tip to save money.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to save a lot of time when gardening, and maximise the reward you get during that time. We hope these tips help you this season and save you time!