With us being told to stay at home in light of the current Corona Virus, now is the time to give your garden some attention and get your gardening hats on!
So take a deep breath, put down the remote and get busy outside. Here is a list of 7 garden chores that can help save your sanity now and make the coming months much more pleasant. We guarantee a solid smugness if you can get even half this list accomplished.
The recent rains have provided ample moisture for weeds to now thrive in the Spring sun. Any weeding done now will save you tons of misery later this year. If you haven’t got one, invest in a hula hoe (also known as an oscillating hoe). This handy tool will save your back and tons of weeding time, while leaving the roots of the weeds behind to slowly decompose and nourish the soil. If the weeds haven’t gone to seed, throw them on your compost heap.
2. Start A Compost Heap
Collect dried leaves, twigs, grass clippings, stable bedding or straw, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, shredded newspapers, even old potting soil, and get composting. Aim for a balance of carbon items, such as dried leaves and shredded newspapers, with nitrogen “green” items such as kitchen scraps and lawn clippings. Moisten the layers as you add them (the pile should be damp, like a wrung-out sponge, not dripping), and keep it turned. The more often you turn the pile, the faster it will transform to a rich, crumbly, sweet-smelling amendment.
3. Inventory Your Tools and Supplies
Does your wheelbarrow have a flat tire? Is your hand trowel bent or blunt from hacking at roots or rocks? Are there holes in the fingers of your garden gloves? Now is a great time to check out your garden gear and get it ready for a busy spring. If you check all of this off now, you will have what you need as the season progresses.
4. Create A Plant Swap
Ask your neighbors if they’re interested in a plant swap. If they’ve been to the nursery, they may have more vegetable plants than they need, and perhaps they’d like to swap you for some onion starts or that lion’s tail, marjoram or cilantro that came up on its own.
5. Enrich Your Garden Soil
Feed your garden bed with bags of organic potting soil, compost, aged steer manure or other organic amendments. Water it well, then let it sit for a week or two while the organisms break down the ingredients and “cook.” Give this mix a week or two to cool down, since planting right away could “burn” or kill tender seedlings.
6. Create A Handy Herb Garden
Find a sunny spot as close as possible to your kitchen door and plant an herb garden, either in a large pot or tub (with plenty of drainage) or in a garden bed. Keep drought-loving herbs like rosemary, sage and lavender separate from more water-hungry herbs like basil, and water with a lighter hand. Add a variety of mint to your herb collection, but consider planting it in pots, since many mint plants are invasive and will take over your bed.
7. Finally Get Those Projects Done
If your garage is littered with cobweb-covered garden projects, like lights that never got hung or the raised bed boxes gathering dust. With everyone home, set a time to get the family involved in finally installing those well-intentioned purchases that never got out the box.