There are two ways to do things…there’s the right way, and then there’s my way. The right way is to have the proper tools and necessary objects ready for the task at hand. Then, there’s my way. A little…how shall we say? Macgyver-ish? Using duct tape and a paper clip, the job gets done using what’s on hand. The end results are always good, but the process could go smoother with a little more planning.
The perfect example would be the following, (unfortunately), true scenario… it’s a beautiful spring morning, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, all is right with the world. Without hesitation, my head starts the lineup for the day. Get the garden tilled, herbs planted, prune the rose bushes, patch the bare spots in the lawn…and the list goes on.
So I’m off! Grab a pair of gardening gloves – oh, but wait! They were left in the garden shed all winter, and what if something’s living in them?! Forget the gloves. Ok, let’s till the veggie garden. First, these leaves need to be raked up. But, where did I put that rake? Oh yeah, I broke it in January using it to get the snow off the roof. No matter, the roses can easily be pruned…as my dull pruners gnaw through the canes. By this time, I’ve wasted half a day chasing my tail!
With just a little preparation and thought, YOU can have a much smoother gardening experience.
Here is a spring checklist to help get you started in the right direction:
Hoses – check to see if rubber rings need to be replaced. Nothing worse than water running down your arm on chilly mornings. Do you have enough hose to reach your gardens? Is the wand or nozzle in working condition?
Soaker Hoses – what plants will need the most water? Lay soaker hoses out BEFORE you plant, or BEFORE the plants get too tall. This will save a world of frustration in the long run. Trust me.
Pruners & Loppers – where are they? When was the last time they were sharpened? Don’t double your time by gnawing your plants instead of pruning.
Tomato Cages– Install them when you plant the tomatoes! Don’t wait until you have to wrestle them over the plants.
Bird Netting – Who did you plant those strawberries and blueberries for? Bird Netting to the rescue. Not only that, but it also helps keep cats out of newly planted areas until the plants are big enough to survive their tromps through the garden.
Twine – One can NEVER have enough twine. Have several balls of twine on hand and keep them in different locations so it’s there when you need it. It’s a good idea to keep scissors tucked right inside the ball of twine too.
Plant Labels – You might remember which tomato is Brandwine, and which is Beefsteak….that would make you better than me! Labels save the guessing. A nice little basket of plant labels and a marker makes one feel prepared.
Soil Amendments – New plantings? Coast of Maine Compost in every hole. Blueberries or Holly Bushes? Holly Tone. Tomato plants? Every plant gets a handful of Neptune’s Harvest Crabshell to prevent blossom end rot. Whatever you have planted in your gardens, know what they like and keep it on hand.
Hopefully you can benefit from this little bit of garden wisdom, sprinkled from a gardener who is learning every day, just like I hope you are. Plan ahead, and don’t get caught with your ‘plants’ down, spring is here my friends – Let’s Get Growing!
See you in the greenhouse!