Our gardens are there to be enjoyed – and they absolutely should be. The goal is to invest as little time as possible in hard graft, while reaping all the benefits of a lovely place to relax.
Consider planting shrubs and flowers that are low-maintenance; avoid trees or bushes that require extensive trimming. Overall, take a more relaxed approach to the design of your garden - did you know that dead leaves and general garden debris can be beneficial for wildlife, so don't sweat it if you're not outside raking every weekend.
These genius garden hacks will help you save time, energy and maybe even some money too...
1. PLANT WILDFLOWERS
Fill your garden with perennial wildflowers – they only need to be planted once and will grow for years. Choose varieties that attract bees and pollinators into your garden, too.
2. avoid containers
Although planting containers may seem like a good option for easy gardening, they actually require a huge amount of maintenance – repotting, feeding, planting up and watering. If you do invest in planters, opt for those with a large capacity, as the compost should dry out less quickly.
3. Don't start from scratch
Cut time and effort by planting plug plants and herbs, rather than starting from seed. Our potted herbs, for example, can be planted outside – just remember to separate out the roots to allow them enough space to grow.
4. Keep gardening tools together
Save time by keeping all your garden tools in one easy-to-reach place. No more running back into the house or digging around the shed to find the trowel or potting scoop. Designate an old toolkit or convert an old chest of drawers for all your gardening supplies. Need to dry gardening gloves? Hang them up with a wooden clothes pin.
5. Water less
Depending on where you live and what's in your garden, how much you'll need to water will vary. But as a general rule of thumb, most plants will actually benefit if you water them less often but for longer periods of time. Deep watering (giving plants 5cm once a week) encourages deeper and stronger roots. Translation? Happier, healthier plants!
6. Group plants together
Different plants have different water needs. Save time and energy by grouping plants together based on how much water they require. No more dragging the garden hose back and forth around the garden!
7. Invest in raised beds
Here's a handy tip – raised beds means lower maintenance. That's because raised beds will warm up faster in the spring, plus you can tend to them while sitting on the edge meaning you'll save time AND your joints.
8. Weed when soil is wet
The bad news is that there's no real magic fix to avoid weeds completely (sorry...). But the good news is that you can make the process easier and less time-consuming. Get rid of those pesky weeds by pulling while soil is moist – either from watering or after a rainfall. Weeds will surrender much more easily if soil is slightly damp.
9. Invest in mulch
Another brilliant tip to help fix those annoying weeds is covering soil with mulch like bark chips or compost, which not only feeds the soil and keeps it cool but also suppresses weeds.
10. Plant in double rows
Planting in double rows, also known as wide row planting, just means that instead of planting an individual row of seed or plants, you plant in strips. This works especially well with vegetables, as you'll be able to fit more into less space. It's also an effective way to minimise the amount of weeds, as closely planted greens will block out light once grown.
11. Keep plastic bags by the door for shoes
There's nothing more irritating than working in the garden and hearing your phone ring, or a knock at the door. Usually, your options are to trek through the house with muddy shoes or labour over getting them off for five minutes and then miss the call entirely. Here's a quick fix – leave some plastic bags by the door to cover your shoes with and then you can quickly run into the house, without leaving a mess.