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Roger Doiron
How do you save time in the garden?

Question details

What are your green pearls of wisdom for cutting down on the time required for certain less rewarding garden tasks so that you have more time for the fun stuff?

Mulching saves sooo much time that would be spent pulling weeds.  Half finished compost, chopped leaves, ground tree trimmings, even shredded newspaper and /or cardboard make excellent mulch.  Mulching also helps retain moisture in the soil and keeps the temperature more even.  Earthworms thrive under it and it is constantly decomposing, adding additional nutrients to the ground below.  That's about all Ruth Stout ever did to her garden.  4-6" seems to be about right for me. Intensive planting that forms a shade canopy will also cut down on weeds. Stay natural, David
AMAN, David. Next to mulching, raised beds save space, therefore saves walking up & down long narrow rows. Which saves time & enegry, when planting, weeding, & harvesting. Next is plant support.
I agree! I learned how to do this from Edward C. Smith's book "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible". Its an excellent book on weed-free gardening. You can get it on Amazon. The best gardening book that really changed my garden how to's.
For me, Soaker Hoses and a Timer. On our city lot, we end up cultivating all over our yard but the main vegetable garden is in the back and we rig soaker hoses and hook them up to a timer for watering.  This frees me up to water the smaller beds in the front and side yards by hand, often directly from our rain barrel.  Also, it avoids the mistake of leaving a hose on all night and overwatering. Then, as the above comments already mention, some good mulching keeps all of that moisture where it needs to be, in the soil. -Johanna
To save time I always carry a garden knife/tool on a string tied around my waist so if I see a little weed or such I don't have to go looking for a tool I always have one with me, it has oddly saved me much time over the season! Digging
I make my time in the garden count in this way: When I'm in the mood - I list all the things I want to get done in the garden according to how much time they will take. Typically I might have a list for 5 minutes, 15 minutes,  1/2 hour, 1-2 hours & 1/2 day. I can easily pour out a long list for each of those time-categories & more. This feels very virtuous. Then, when I take a break or have a few extra minutes, I glance at my list & go - without giving it a second thought! This feels very care-free! If I had to think about what to do every time it would take up half a short time & make me feel overly care-ful rather than care-free. For health & well-being, I do make a point of taking regular breaks during my work day. Small breaks can really add up to getting a lot of work done. Of course, "work" does not begin to describe the refreshment of taking a break in the garden. When a task is completed I give it a big star ~ 1/8" in black pen, minimum! I enjoy seeing all those stars! 
Hello Milica Sekulic, What a marvelous question! Where do you hale from? At the end of each day I sit on my garden bench and review and critique all that I have done, should, & could have done. That garden bench is my most powerful gardening tool. I religiously write my ideas down in a small notebook, which along with a stubby pencil I carry with me at all times. Instead of trying to remember things until I get back to the house, garden shed or, God forbid, in the midst of traffic, I stop immediately and "jot the thought" down. I can't measure the amount of time this has saved but I know it is considerable. I often reject ill conceived ideas before they become a waste of time. I have conceived of some of my best design ideas while sitting there. Originally, it was on my sister's front porch and she and my brother-in-law hated it. I painted the bench slats turquoise and pruned out the branches of my lodgepole pine stand so it nestles back in. It makes an absolutely marvelous birdwatching spot. For some reason, birds don't even notice that I am there until I move or they try and land on me. I buy pocket sized notebooks by the dozen at the beginning of the year and use extra large (3/8" diameter) pencils for other things. Once the pencils become shorter, they fit nicely in my pocket, without stabbing me in the leg. Otherwise, it seems that I remember the random thought at the most inconvenient of times. That's what I do & I have been known to take a can of beer out there to the garden bench as well. Mike DeLate Tetonia, Idaho USA
I found having two wheelbarrows, one with the tools, mulch, broom etc. and one for the refuse materials which can be easily wheeled to the compost bin and emptied, and then get more compost if needed, saves a lot of time for me. Joan



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