There is a really busy time coming up very soon in the garden. Prepping the beds, planting, weeding, watering: there is a lot of work to do and so it is a good time to think about how to do it all smarter not harder.
Here are a few things I have discovered to make gardening easier.
- No-Dig beds are a lot of work to establish, but once done they are done – for decades!
- Transplanting with a long-handled dibbler is incredibly easier than using a shovel or hoe. Seedlings must be planted in plug trays such that the plug fits into the dibbler hole, i.e. about a 2 inch diameter max.
- An electric golf cart is the best gardening tool ever, a lawn chair is the next best and a long-handled dibbler comes in third. It is a tool that is simple to use and simple to make from a discarded rake or shovel handle.
- Transplanting ensures there is germination but direct seeding into dry soil may be safer than transplanting into dry soil. Watering new transplants is lots of work. Consider not putting transplants out until it rains, if at all possible.
- Carrying things in a pail at my side is easier than carrying things in a box in front of my body.
- Carrying two small pails is easier than carrying one big one.
- Choose what is planted based on workload in harvesting. Here are a couple examples for Carol Deppe.
- Squash and sweet potatoes occupy somewhat the same flavor and use niche. We grow lots of squash and no sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes don’t keep well under the conditions we have. That’s one factor. But in addition, sweet potatoes have to be dug. Squash plants are considerate enough to put their bounty up there above the ground where all we have to do is pick it up.
- Picking pole beans can be done from a comfortable standing position. Picking bush beans requires much squatting or bending.
- Late fall Pre-Seeding of crops to germinate in the spring makes better use of snow melt moisture than spring seeding those same crops.
- Raised beds require a lot more watering than level beds, but raised beds that are wicking beds require less frequent watering.
An idea to try:
- Save a lot of bending or kneeling by using a long piece of pipe when planting. Drop seeds into the pipe whose other end is in the spot I want the seed.