I’ve mentioned the scary state of my landscaping
before and the resulting inertia from even sticking my head outside to look at it. It’s totally overwhelming. When we bought this house, we put in every garden bed, tree and ornamental grass in the yard, err, acreage. That included planting three, six-foot white pines without the assistance of machines. I used to love it and keep up with it each season. So I decided last week that instead of just packing and moving to a yard-free condo, I will tackle this mess after two years of neglect. I mean it.Mulch and Garden Tool Rules
Being a relatively experienced gardener, I’ve learned that you can’t skimp on the right tools, organic soil additives or mulch. Get the good stuff. It’s also really important to do your garden prep. Sticking plants in hard, clay soil like we have is almost a guarantee they won’t thrive. Here’re some other gardening rules I’ve learned the hard way.
– Sure you can buy an inexpensive shovel, but don’t be surprised when the handle breaks or falls off in the middle of your task. It helps, too, if you can remember where you put your favorite spade at the end of last season.
--Clean and store your stuff
–By July, I’m usually losing interest and energy fast and tend to just toss the tools in the shed. If you don’t clean tools, they can rust. And if you leave a roll of landscape fabric in the corner, unwrapped, don’t be surprised if mice decide to move in and party.
--Multiply your mulch
– Here’s a quick calculation to help you determine how much mulch (or topsoil, etc.) you’ll need: Decide the amount and triple or quadruple it. Buying it in bulk is much cheaper, but unless you can afford the delivery charge, factor in that it will take you a chunk of time getting it out of your truck bed. Even then, you will never have enough. Trust me.Forget pretty or fancy attire
– I recently caught myself checking out some cute, pink herringbone (I know!) clog-style muck boots. They were $79.00. I momentarily forgot how much mud would cling to them and obscure their cuteness. I have five-year-old serious high-top work boots that do the trick. Not pretty, but functional.Wear a hat
– Not the floppy garden hats you see in perfume ads. Ball caps with brims are good. Anything that keeps the sun off your face and catches sweat is best. Gloves
– Other women might be shopping online for Jimmy Choo shoes, but I’m on the hunt for the best garden gloves I can find/afford. Forget having a manicure doing gardening season - waste of money.Pace Yourself
I have gardening-onset attention deficit disorder. When I start pulling weeds, it becomes a battle to the death – hopefully theirs. But instead of confining myself to one manageable area, I stray into another space and take on those weeds. After a couple hours of this, my finished product is patchy and looks like a herd of goats went through.
I’ve decided for now to confine my work to only areas I can see from my front porch or deck while sitting. If I stand up, I’m going after that giant weed…