10 Gardening Shortcuts That Save Time, Money and Effort

Plant vegetables in clear sight

Plant vegetables and herbs near your back or front door. Since you’ll see them often, you’ll remember to keep them watered. And they’ll be nearby when you need dinner fixings.

Start your garden with good soil

Work in compost, manure or dried peat moss for nutrient-rich planting beds. Amended soil is lighter, drains well, makes for easy weeding and allows roots to establish themselves more quickly.

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Shrink the size of your lawn

One of the best gardening tips that landscapers can offer is to shrink the size of your lawn. You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save on lawn chores simply by reducing the grass-covered areas in your yard. Combine trees, shrubs, boulders and decorative mulches to fashion eye-catching, maintenance-free island beds in your front and back yards.

Keep garden tools handy

Stash a spare set of hand tools and garden twine in a waterproof container in your garden. That way, when you spot weeds, broken rose canes or a stem that needs tying up, you won’t have to run to the garage or potting shed for supplies.

Play in the rain

There’s no better time to visit a garden centre than during a cloudburst. Nurseries are less crowded, lines are shorter and staff members are more available to answer your questions. Once the rain eases, go out and pull weeds—even clumps of crabgrass and deep-rooted dandelions pull easily out of wet soil.

Grow a container garden

When you can’t get anything to grow beneath trees or along fences, set up a multitiered container garden in the shady location. Plant shade-loving perennials and compact shrubs in appropriately sized containers; set the containers on stands in varying heights. Or use simple green pots that blend into the background, and won’t compete with the flowering show.

See what works in your neighbour’s garden

When walking or driving, take note of interesting plants and plant combinations. Write them down and take the list with you to the nursery—having an itemized list will speed up your shopping trips and reduce the urge to impulse-buy.

Fertilize smarter—not harder

Nourish gardens and containers with time-release fertilizers that continue feeding for long periods of time. That way, you won’t have to fertilize as frequently.

Prune evergreens later in the season

Wait to prune evergreens such as yews and boxwood until they’ve produced most of their new growth. As a result, you won’t have to prune them again until next year.

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