How to Create a Low Maintenance Garden

A garden cannot compete for convenience with grab-and-go produce markets and fruit stands. However, having a garden is a great way to ensure you know exactly where your produce has been and what, if any, chemicals have been put on it. For those who do not have much time, or would rather spend their time doing something else, follow steps to low maintenance gardening. Remember that even a low maintenance garden requires a little work. It is possible, though, to benefit from a garden without having to do an enormous amount of work by utilizing some low-maintenance gardening tips.


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    Consider the size of your garden. When it comes to gardening, the size of your garden is proportionate to how much work will need to be done.
    • Small gardens are more manageable than larger ones. A lot of garden means a lot of things to take care of. Preparation, weed and pest control, watering and harvesting can consume your time and make your garden more of a chore than a pleasure.
    • Consider planting a container garden. When you plant in containers, you reduce the amount of time it takes to water since the pot can only hold so much liquid. You also make gardening easier since the containers provide a more controlled area for maintaining weeds. You can place your containers indoors or outside at a height that is comfortable for you.
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    Give your garden what it needs to grow from the very beginning. A little effort from the start, setting up your garden in a good location and providing the right growing conditions it needs to flourish, will give your garden a boost and leave you watching the plants grow with little more effort on your part.
    • Select an ideal location for your garden. Plants like sun--they need it to grow. But too much sun can kill them. Choose a mostly sunny location as too little sun inhibits growth.
    • Plant in good soil. When we eat good food, we are healthier. Plants are the same way, and the soil they grow in is where they get their nutrition. Mix fertilizer, compost or nutrient-rich soil in your garden bed so the plants can get the nourishment they need. Also make sure the garden is in an area where the soil drains well. Too much water can rot plants.
    • Make watering simple. You could go out to the garden every evening with the garden hose and browse the progress while watering the plants. To make the chore of watering the plants less cumbersome, plan ahead by installing an irrigation system. Attach drip or soaker hoses at the spigot and leave them in place in the garden so all you have to do is turn the water on and off at watering time. Make this even easier by attaching a timer to the hose so it turns on and off automatically.
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    Design your garden so it is easy to maintain.
    • Divide your rows into sections. Make the sections about 4 ft (1.2 m) wide. At this width, you can access all parts of the garden to water, weed and harvest from the sideline without having to jungle through the plants.
    • Pathways will help you navigate your garden easily. Top the paths with paving stones or straw, which will prevent weeds from growing. Make the paths so they surround each section.
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    Select sturdy plants and fresh seeds. When you begin with healthy and strong plants, and continue to care for them properly, your garden will benefit with better plant growth and a better crop.
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    Eliminate the need to weed.
    • Pull weeds often. Though it sounds like more work, it is actually not. It is easier to pluck a few small weeds here and there than to tackle a jungle of weeds if you wait until they are larger.
    • Mulch the beds of your garden with hay, straw, newspaper or commercial weed barrier to reduce or prevent weeds from growing in with your plants.
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    Protect your garden from predators. Your garden may look like a buffet to insects and hungry wildlife. You can keep them away from the start with a prevention method or wait and see if any predators attack your garden and handle the issue at that time.
    • Deter larger pests like rabbits and deer from your garden by setting up a mesh or chicken wire fence around the perimeter. Planting peppermint, a spreading perennial, is also effective at repelling rabbits and rodents.
    • Spread natural or store-bought pesticides to keep the bugs away. The problem with many insecticides is that in the process of killing the bad bugs, they also terminate the bugs that are good for your garden, so use them selectively.
    • Think about planting certain plants that keep pests away naturally. Marigolds are said to keep away rabbits and deer. Garlic plants deter many invasive insects. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth over the soil helps get rid of snails and slugs. A mixture of 1 tbsp. (14.8 ml) canola oil, 1 tsp. (5 ml) liquid dish soap and 1 quart (4 cups) of water sprayed on the plant's leaves is effective at keeping away most other harmful insects.
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    Get more people involved. The more hands at work, the less work each person will have to do.
    • Start a community garden. Gather nearby friends and neighbors and break ground for a garden in a neutral, agreed upon location. Each interested party should share equally in the gardening efforts, volunteering a little time and energy.
    • Work together with family members to get the garden started, and then delegate daily gardening maintenance tasks.

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Categories: Gardening