We all lead busy lives, and as life returns to normal it seems like there is a lot to do. But vegetable gardeners who began a produce garden over the hiatus don’t want all of their hard work to go to waste. That is why we have assembled these time saving tips – designed to reduce the amount of time spent toiling in the garden while still ensuring a full and healthy harvest.
Vegetable gardeners rejoice – whether you are maintaining a garden or starting a new one, you can’t go wrong with these timely tips.
- Grow in raised beds. By building raised beds and filling them with rich potting soil, you can grow veggies despite the quality of your natural soil (especially since most of our soil is acidic and sandy). Adding a lining of landscape fabric deters weed growth while maintaining excellent drainage.
- Keep the size of your garden manageable. Huge yards flourishing with lush vegetables and fruits take an enormous amount of time and effort to maintain. A bed about 100 square feet in size will keep beginner vegetable gardeners busy all season.
- Start with healthy soil. Add compost to your soil before planting at the beginning of the season so that plentiful nutrients and moisture are already there to greet your veggies. Starting off with nutritious and healthy soil decreases your need to fertilize throughout the season.
- Grow low maintenance veggies. Some vegetables are needy and picky with the conditions they require. If you are looking for an easy, hands off harvest, consider planting bush beans, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, spinach or lettuce. These vegetables are relatively no-fuss and also rarely fall victim to pest invasions.
- Use mulch and compost. Mixing compost into the soil and covering with mulch provide many benefits to your vegetable garden. Both help the soil retain moisture–that is a big deal for us South Floridians because of our high temperatures and sandy soil. And when moisture is held in the soil longer, that means you can wait longer between waterings. Mulching also deters weed growth so that you save time, energy, and can avoid breaking your back with constant weeding.
- Plant more perennials. Perennials go dormant and then grow back each year, meaning you don’t need to replant with each new season. Vegetables such as asparagus, lovage, ‘Kosmic’ kale, and sorrel or herbs like thyme, sage, and lemon balm will all return for a few years in a row. Many herbs are also self-seeding, and will grow new plants each year. If you make your own compost, some seeds of vegetables you cooked for dinner may end up in your garden as well and are a nice surprise when they sprout!
- Keep your tools organized. Knowing exactly where your tools are stored saves you both time and frustration, so that you can keep your gardening momentum going. Organizer pouches that hang from walls or doors free up space on the floor and shelves while providing a convenient way to store any trowels, gloves, hoes, and hand rakes.
- Keep your body healthy. Use knee pads or foam boards on which to kneel, create higher raised beds to reduce the amount of bending and leaning you need to do, and lift heavy objects with your legs versus your back. A pulled muscle or sore joint can keep you away from the garden for days or even weeks. As your veggies’ caretaker, you need to keep yourself healthy as well as your plants.
Shop Big Earth Landscape Supply online for all of the garden tools, soil, mulch or other tools you require for your lawn and garden. If you live close by, we invite you to stop by one of our 4 area locations in Sarasota, Palmetto, Bradenton and Tampa.