Time-Saving Tips for Vegetable Gardeners
You love bringing in armloads of fresh vegetables. You enjoy nourishing your loved ones with vitamin-rich veggies grown right in the backyard. You just might not love the time that it takes to produce those homegrown vegetables.
Even if you love spending time in the vegetable garden and learning how to grow fresh produce, the time commitment can feel overwhelming at times. Simply having the right gardening accessories and growing equipment on hand can save some time, but we have a few additional tips that will help.
Don’t Neglect the Mulch
Mulch is your vegetable garden’s best friend. It helps trap in moisture so that you spend less time watering. It can also slow the growth of weeds, which means you will spend less time pulling those weeds out to protect your plants.
The type of mulch you use depends on what works best and is readily available in your area. Some of the most common options include pine needles, mushroom compost, straw, or compost. You can even use the leaves that naturally drop from your trees in the fall.
Cover the Ground
If you take the time to cover the ground of your vegetable garden with black plastic or newspaper, you can limit the amount of time you spend weeding throughout the growing season. Plastic is more efficient at preventing weed growth because it deprives weed roots from the sunlight they need to grow.
Respect the Stakes
Many gardeners put off staking plants until they have started to sprawl across the garden floor. By that time, it’s like working a puzzle as you try to untangle the plants without breaking off shoots or otherwise damaging the plants.
You can avoid this problem by staking plants earlier in the season. Staking may seem like a time-consuming task in itself, but it’s a necessary job for a successful vegetable growing season. The earlier you stake, the less time you will spend pulling plants apart in order to get the stakes in place.
Install a Drip-Irrigation System
Drip irrigation systems place hoses directly in the vegetable garden, allowing the water to soak the ground but not the plants themselves. When installed properly, you will do nothing more than turn the water on and off to ensure your plants are properly watered. If you add timers, you might not even have to do that.
With the right growing equipment, you can create an efficient irrigation system that saves you a significant amount of time. Planting vegetables that require less water is another option, but an irrigation system will allow you to hydrate even the thirstiest plants without spending a lot of time in the vegetable garden.
Consider Container Gardening or Raised Beds
Planting directly in the ground is the most time-consuming method of vegetable gardening. It’s harder to dig into the ground, especially if you have a lot of tree roots, grass, and weeds already in the soil. You may also need to spend time and money amending the soil to ensure proper growing medium for your plants.
With a few added gardening accessories, you can learn how to grow vegetable plants in raised beds or even containers. You’ll have more control over the growing medium and will spend far less time installing and maintaining your above-ground vegetable garden.