Top five hacks for summering more and choring less

Most of us garden for the love of it, but sometimes with busy family schedules, the garden becomes as much of a chore as a joy. Garden’s Grace has these top five tricks to ensure that your summer time is spent enjoying your garden as well as puttering in it!

preen-garden 1) Reapply pre-emergent control–Preen, corn gluten and other pre-emergents used in the garden do wear out–especially when heavy rains tend to dissolve and wash them away. Pre-emergents keep weed seeds from germinating–and if the seed doesn’t germinate, you never have to dig or pull it!

Now is a good time to reapply to keep your weed seedlings at bay!


2) Newspapers and mulchThe famous 18th century French scientist Lavoisier said that “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything transforms.” In the garden, we all know that composting is just one way we complete the cycle of nature. Another is a great way to put old newspapers to work, improve your soil quality and create a healthy barrier for weed seedlings. Putting a four to eight page layer  of newspaper beneath the mulch can even be used to organically create spaces for new and future garden beds. If you’d like a step by step visit this blog at A Garden for the House.

Three young women sitting at table in a garden. Process print after Kate Greenaway. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

3) Pop bottle watering–If there is one thing that practically everyone has laying about the house, it is empty beverage bottles. While they can be returned for a nickle, they can also be life-savers for your garden plants, especially if you are going on a vacation or will be gone for several days. Using the simple laws of hydrology, you can put the bottle upside down in the soil next to plants you know may dry out while you are gone. (No, you don’t need one of those fancy spiky things to screw on the top!) Fill as needed–the water will only drain when the soil has dried out sufficiently to create pore space for the water for enter. If you’d like to see a how-to, visit here.


timer_cropped-691x557 4) “Timing” is everything–Why spend time hand watering when a good sprinkler and a timer can handle the job for you? You could be sipping some yummy beverage on your porch while a simple timer is doing the job for you to remember to shut the water off after 30 or 40 minutes.

There are many good quality timers out there–one of my favorites is the Nelson timer, with large, easy to maneuver connectors and sturdy design. Check it out here.

5) Treat yourself to help while you’re gone on vacation–So you are heading out for a trip to visit friends or family or have a vacation. One client called us last year with a great idea–he asked that we arrive at their home the day after he and his wife had been on an extended trip overseas to give he wife–the head gardener of the family–a hand with getting things back under control. She was happy because she was faced with a gargantuan task of “catch-up” but it all got done in a morning because she had extra hands on deck to get things back into their customary order. Sound like a great idea to you? Then contact Garden’s Grace and we’ll line up a crew to take the hurt out of a long summer absence!