We all want a beautiful, organic garden, but some of us have less time than others to make it happen. Whether you have young children to tend to, run a small business, or just feel pulled in too many directions, the last thing you want is to spend endless hours outside tending to your garden when you’re just worn out.
Luckily, there are ways to garden organically that don’t require putting in part-time hours on top of your regular schedule, so don’t sweat it — just use our 5 garden hacks for the time-challenged!
1. Skip the compost pile. I don’t mean to tell you not to compost, just don’t do it in a pile. Instead, take your kitchen scraps — carrot peels, apple cores, overripe berries — and head out to the garden. Dig small holes here and there, then deposit your scraps in the holes and cover them up. The scraps will decompose and add valuable nutrients to the soil in the process.
2. Create a lasagne garden. While the lasagne gardening method is a bit of work in the beginning (but trust me, not that much), the amount of back-breaking work it saves later on down the road is amazing. Say you want to start a veggie garden in a space that has grass and weeds. Rather than painstakingly digging out all those roots, simply layer organic materials down over them and then just wait. Layers of cardboard, newspaper, leaves, compost, straw, and grass clippings suppress weeds and break down to amend the soil — no digging required!
3. Don’t bag grass clippings. Instead of bagging them, just let the clippings stay on the grass surface. The clippings break down into the soil and work wonders by adding valuable nutrients back in.
4. Store and clean your tools in one move. We all know we should clean, sharpen, and oil our tools regularly to keep them in shape, and this hack does it all at once. Get a 5-gallon bucket, fill it ¾ of the way with sand, and add some mineral oil to it. Mix it up, and when you’re done using your tools (shovels, pruners, saws), rinse off the dirt and plunge them into the oiled sand. The sand cleans and sharpens while the oil lubricates. Bam!
5. Dig a hole once and be done with it. I love this hack and see it often in public places like amusement parks. Dig a hole slightly bigger than your 1-gallon pot, put an empty pot in it, then slip your planted pot inside the first one. When you need to change out plants seasonally, simply remove the planted pot and slip in a new one — ta-da!