Getting more out of your garden with less work

Josh Feyen offers gardening tips to reduce your work this spirng and summer.Ever since I called myself a “lazy gardener” earlier this spring, I’ve been wondering if the word “lazy” comes from the French “laissez faire,” or “deliberate abstention from direction or interference…” In my case, the less I have to interfere in my garden, the more time I have to prepare and eat the food from it.

Here are two more areas where I significantly decrease work, increase fun and grow more vegetables.

Succession planting
Some vegetables are harvested or die mid-summer. Succession planting can make sure your valuable garden space doesn’t go to waste for the rest of the season.

  • Create a planting scheduled so you don’t forget to get those seeds in on time.
  • Watch the maturity time on seed packets. It’s no fun planting 50-day beets 30 days before the first frost.
  • Plant fast-growing plants near slower growing ones. For example, plant garlic (fast) near peppers (slower) - after your mid-July garlic harvest, the peppers will fill out and take up the empty space.
  • In late July or early August, plant beets, carrots or radishes, all of which will grow before the first frost hits them.
  • In September, plant lettuce.
  • In October, plant garlic for harvest next season.

Water once a week, even when it’s dry:

  • If your garden is well-mulched, plants only need water once a week. Take rain into consideration.
  • When watering, soak the plant for 30 seconds to a minute per plant on a low to medium water flow. The point is to deeply water occasionally rather than shallow water frequently.
  • Stick your fingers under the mulch, if it’s moist, your plants are happy – no need to water that day.
  • Overwatering can drain soil fertility, cause erosion and in many cases, makes for unhappy plants.
  • When watering, avoid wetting leaves or watering in the evening. Damp leaves lead to sunburn during the day, and fungal disease when damp overnight.

Editor's note: If you garden, consider taking the American Family Insurance Pledge to Plant a Row to Fight Hunger. Go to our Facebook page, take the pledge to plant a row of vegetables in your home or community garden. When they're ripe, donate them to your local food bank. For every pledge received, American Family will donate $1 to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. 

by Josh Feyen on Tue, Jun 04 2013 4:23 pm
Posted by Josh Feyen on Tue, Jun 04 2013 4:23 pm

1 Comment

Sparky said on Aug 22, 2013
If your arielcts are always this helpful, "I'll be back."

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