May 2, 2008

Gardening for the Lazy Gardener:

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lazy GardenerGardening for the lazy gardener does not mean the person creating the garden is lazy. It does mean that the lazy gardener wants to work smarter instead of harder. Many people who simply love to garden can not perform the tasks of digging, shoveling, bending, weeding, and other physical tasks. Other lazy gardeners simply have better things to do with their time — like sitting in the shade and enjoying the fruits of their labor with friends and family members.

First, let’s look at the elements which make up a beautiful, lush garden, whether in a flower bed, herb garden, colorful shades of green and gold non-flowering plants, or whatever the lazy gardener loves best. The requirements are:

Rich, nutritious soil,

A weed-free environment,

Mulch to hold moisture,

Drainage to allow excess moisture to flow away from the plants.

This can be created by digging out a bed, pulling all the weeds and unwanted growth by hand, spending hours working enrichment into the soil, and digging holes for plants. Then, a layer of mulch is placed over the garden. Sounds like lots of work, doesn’t it? Well, it really is, especially for someone with back problems, knee problems, and other physical issues.

The solution is so simple and easy, you’ll wonder why everyone hasn’t been using this technique for years. The plants will have all the same elements, but almost all the shovel and spade work will be removed from the process.

The simple answer for the lazy gardener is no big secret. Instead of planting your garden into the ground, plant directly into biodegradable bags of potting soil! Let’s look at how to successfully garden using this method.

Choose a location for your garden and measure how long and wide the space you wish to plant is in all dimensions. Just get a general idea at this point, because you’ll adjust your measurements slightly later to make things as easy as possible.

Next, take the measurements of a bag of potting soil in the largest size you can successfully manage to move into your wheelbarrow and from there onto the ground. You will want to adjust your plot measurements to allow the width of the garden to fit the bags. In other words, if you had thought a garden 3 1/2 feet wide would be nice, but the bag of soil you wish to use is only 3 feet wide, simply adjust your plot. If you truly need that extra one-half foot covered, you can cover it with mulch in the final steps of the process.

Purchase the number of bags of potting soil needed to fit your plot. Wheel them to the area you wish to plant. Line them up on the ground, about one bag width from the back edge of the place you wish the plotting soil bag to lay for the planting.

Use a knife, shears, or other sharp implement to puncture each bag of potting soil on the side that will be next to the ground in at least six small places. Puncture the bag up to 12 times if you need extra drainage for the type of plant you plant to grow.

Now, simply flip the bags of soil so that they lay where you wish to plant your plants. You may have to drag them a bit to get each in perfect position. Lay the bags end-to-end along the length of the planting area. Add another row of bags if needed to fit your plot.

Again, use your knife or other sharp implement to slit the top of each bag of soil from end-to-end. Use a small gardener’s hand spade to create a hole for each plant and insert the plant into the hole, using the same techniques you would in a traditional planting. Press the soil around the plant firmly. This work will go amazingly quickly since you are not digging into hard ground.

After you have planted your garden, cover the entire garden with a layer of mulch. This helps prevent weeds from invading the rich soil. The unwanted plants under the potting soil bags will simply die and become enrichment for the soil.

The potting soil bags will biodegrade over a period of time. During the early months of gardening using this method, reduce supplemental watering slightly because the partial cover on the bag bottom will help hold moisture around the plant roots.

Next season, you can simply perform the same [lazy gardener] process if you are a seasonal gardener. If you have chosen plants which will last for years, simply begin fertilizing by late fall and again in early spring.

Anyone, even a lazy gardener, really can have a beautiful garden without ever digging. This same method can be used in planters and window boxes using smaller bags of soil.

Tags: Annual Flowers

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Filed under Annual Flowers by landscapeliving.
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May 5, 2008

Mark said:

This is an over simplistic explanation of the process. This process requires alternate watering techniques as rain water does not penetrate the bags. Over watering if the drain holes are not adequate will cause root rot and other fugal problems. Maybe this is for the lazy at pulling weeds around the plants, but you better be able to hit a home run when it comes to soil condition and watering practices, as you are taking complete control. You'll also have to weed eat around the bags as you mower will not be able to get close enough. Not a true easy out as the others situations created will bite you in the butt. Put your whole bag of soil you large (well drained) pot or trough you can easily monitor and place the on some used roofing metal (can be found very cheap or free) and your mover will let one wheel ride on the metal and no weed eating or trimming is necessary. Peters 20-20-20 or Miracle Gro tomato food works best.

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