Three inexpensive ways to make gardening easier and more enjoyable- even when space is limited.
Despite the fact that some parts of the country still have snow on the ground (c'mon Colorado- seriously?!), many people have begun planning or planting their summer gardens. No matter how big a space you have available, there are easy ways to grow your own lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and a whole smorgasbord of other fresh stuff. Some people are afraid of the gardening time commitment, so here are three easy ways to minimize the time spent maintaining your garden, and maximize the time spent enjoying it.
1. Why Water?
Forgetting to water your plants, even the ones in containers, can spell disaster for a garden. Thankfully, there is more than one way to get your plants to water themselves! Check out this Instructable for creating your own self-watering plant container, or check out You Grow Girl's plan for a pop bottle drip irrigation system.
Lazy Gardener's Tip: If you love the idea of self-watering but hate the DIY part, the patented Earth Box is a virtually maintenance-free system for growing food in any location.
Because renters don't always have the freedom of turning over the yards for a garden, or cluttering the balcony with potted plants. But who say's you can't make use of all that space floating around above the ground? Here's a great set of instructions for creating your own upside down planter, and while tomatoes are growing down out of the bottom, there's plenty of room to grow herbs or flowers up out of the top!
3. Mulch Master
If you feel like you're watering your garden every two seconds, and would rather pluck your eyes out than dig up another weed, the easiest solution might be to add mulch. Mulch adds a protective layer of material to the surface of the soil helping to suppress weeds, conserve moisture, prevent erosion, and improve soil structure and fertility.
Things that can be collected and used as mulch:
- Alfalfa hay
- Cocoa beans shells
- Corncobs (ground up into small pieces)
- Grass clippings
- Shredded leaves
- Peat moss
- Straw - easy to find and use
- Newspaper or brown paper bags
Lazy Gardener's Tip: Pick up a sack of organic mulch from your nearest garden supply store.