Gardening 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.

Filed under Annual Flowers by landscapeliving.
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November 12, 2006

Planting a Thanksgiving Garden

Thanksgiving GardenPlanting a Thanksgiving garden can mean one of two things. You are interested in a vegetable garden that will harvest in time to provide Thanksgiving foods to share with your family or you are interested in a plant and flower garden that will still display beautiful colors as your guests arrive. Whichever you are looking for, both can be accomplished with a little patience and knowledge of the temperatures in your climate zone.

Understanding Your Climate Zone

Understanding the climate zone temperatures is especially important when it comes to preparing either a Thanksgiving vegetable or flower garden. Climate zones consider the average annual minimum temperature and also take into consideration when those cold and hot temperatures will arrive. For gardeners living in climate zones 1-6, establishing a late season vegetable garden or flower garden for Thanksgiving may be a little more difficult than for those living in climate zones 7-11.

The difference is that while it may get below freezing in climate zones 7-10, it probably won’t reach a heavy freeze until long after the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. As well, because temperatures are actually cooler in the fall months in these climate zones, many vegetables and flowers will grow better than they may have during the blasting hot summer months. With this in mind, a Thanksgiving vegetable or flower garden of annuals can be planted as late as mid to end of summer in order to have a display or a harvest ready for Thanksgiving.

For those in cooler climate zones, having a vegetable harvest ready or annual flower garden blooming on [Thanksgiving] may mean limiting your choices. There are cool season annual blooming flowers and vegetables that will do well in climate zones 1-6 until the end of November, even with a light frost. Most of the cool season annuals that will do well for a Thanksgiving garden are those that also do well in the early spring.

Cool Season Annual Flowers

Cool season annual flowers that are great in a Thanksgiving garden include petunias, violas, pansy, dianthus, snapdragon, larkspur and poppies. These Thanksgiving annual flowers can be planted in the ground or in flower pots as late as early September and will continue to show until the first heavy freeze. For those who want to enjoy cool season annuals in the spring and late fall, cut back annuals right after they begin to die off in the late spring. Keeping them well groomed and watered will allow them to rebloom in the fall.

As far as planting a Thanksgiving vegetable garden, gardeners should begin planting around late July through the middle of August. This will give approximately 10-12 weeks for a harvest right before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately corn, beans, squash and pumpkin should be harvested by September or early October, so these will not be on the list for a Thanksgiving garden, although once these vegetables are harvested they can be stored or canned for later use at the Thanksgiving meal.

Cool Season Garden Vegetables

Cool season annual vegetables that will work great in a Thanksgiving garden include all root vegetables, such as beets, radishes, onions and carrots, as well as potatoes, which also includes sweet potatoes. Other good Thanksgiving garden vegetables include almost all leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach and cabbage. These will work great in a Thanksgiving salad.

Keep in mind that a Thanksgiving garden may mean a little extra time and attention, especially keeping an eye on the weather for an early freeze. A freeze does not have to ruin a fall Thanksgiving garden as long as proper care is taken to cover and protect the plants.

Filed under Annual Flowers by landscapeliving.
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