Our contemporary lifestyle, crammed schedules and crushing workloads tend to make gardening a threatened pastime. Especially if you have a long commute to and from work, you’ll start whining if your precious time is consumed by running around trying to maintain your garden. Pruning land mowers, pulling out weeds, tilling and fertilizing, trimming grass and sweating away can really sound nightmarish, if you don’t have a proper gardening plan. Done right, gardening isn’t really such a strenuous work and the results you get are worth the efforts. A few restful hours soaking in the beauty of a lovely garden can really lift your spirits and rejuvenate you when you’re stressed out. Not mentioning the joy you get when folks compliment you on its possession. So how do you get about creating your corner of sanctuary in a low maintenance manner? Here are some tips to get you going:
Analysis: The first thing you should do is to logically analyze your existing property. Which area catches your fancy and also requires less care? Which area has a higher weeding problem? Which area is more difficult to mow? You don’t want to run out of breath mowing uphill! Is there any area that requires too much care already? You may need to compromise a bit if your favorite areas require more maintenance than expected. So take notes on your examination and write down the garden activities that you prefer the least, and the ones you enjoy doing the most. We all have our own choices.
Goals: Next comes the goal. What exactly is your goal? Are you planning to have a vegetable garden to provide pesticide-free food for yourself and your family? Or are you planning to have a flower garden just to relax and add to the charm? Or you want both? Perhaps your goal is to increase the value of your property? Perhaps you want to create more privacy by blocking the view with thick plants? Or you want to beam with pride when your friends and neighbors applaud on your skills? Make a note of all your gardening goals.
Planning: Once you’re ready with your goals, you now have to plan it out. Be as realistic as possible, don’t go by emotions and don’t be adamant. Run your imagination and formulate your ideas by drawing it out on paper. Make compromises willingly, not grudgingly. Berry gardens are great but you may make do with some flowery trees. Ditto for a vegetable garden to a salad garden. There are several plants that hardly need any care. You can have a wild flower garden to replace a shade garden. Understand the limitations of your property, your budget and your time. We all have our own dreams, so save them in a little corner of your heart – you never know when they will come true in future!
Tips: First of all, you need to accept that gardening takes its own sweet time. If you try to hurry things up, you will not have anything done at all. Worse, you may end up creating more problems for yourself. So take things slowly, take up one area / job at a time and don’t be over enthusiastic.
Next, begin with plants that are suited to your climate, soil, temperature and moisture in which you are planning to grow them. Else you will end up wasting your time.
Formal hedges can be converted into naturally shaped informally pruned hedges, which require very less maintenance.
If you plan to have a lawn, exclude areas which has too many slopes, surface root interference, and where there are many trees or plants, where trimming around the trunks is difficult. Avoid the fence and low hanging trees where you need to stoop a lot. Also avoid shady areas.
Use electric shears to trim hedges instead of the two handled regular shear. You will require less energy to get the job done. You can also use them for dried stalks and ornamental grasses.
Leaves and grass clippings can be transformed into compost and used as mulch. They can also be burnt but this pollutes the air and is also against the law in some places. Remember to shred the leaves first – this will speed up the compost process.