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These 7 Simple Tips Make Gardening Easier (And More Fun!)

gardening tips

While it hasn’t necessarily felt like it due to some recent late-season snow flurries, it’s technically springtime which means I’ve got gardening on my mind! My domain includes the flower beds that surround our house on all sides and my collection of pots that I like to use for annuals, while my eldest son typically oversees the raised beds in our vegetable garden.

I can’t wait to get out there and start planting, and I’m sure I’m not the only one itching to my hands dirty! :-) So to help us all start this growing season out on the right food, I’ve put together a list of useful gardening tips to share with you in today’s post.

But these aren’t just any old gardening tips—they are all centered around planting and cultivating a garden that’s easy to maintain. With the help of these tips, you can spend less time and effort working on your garden and more time enjoying it! :-)

7 Gardening Tips That Will Save You Time And Energy

gardening tips

1. Choose The Right Plants

Wondering which plants to put in your garden? A good starting point is to find out which “Hardiness Zone” you live in, which you can do by entering your ZIP code into the USDA Hardiness Zone Finder. The USDA developed this system to help gardeners easily determine which plants will grow well in their particular climate.

You’ll also want to consider the growing conditions of the area you’ll be planting, including how much light it gets during the day, the soil conditions, etc. Each of these factors will have an impact on what you plant, so do your research and make use of local gardening resources.

gardening tips

2. Mulch, Mulch, And More Mulch

Mulch can make a nice visual addition to your garden, but it plays an important functional role as well. Covering the top of the soil with a layer of mulch helps keep your plant’s roots cool, helps the soil retain moisture, and can even discourage weeds from sprouting.

There are all sorts of types of mulch to choose from, like shredded bark, wood chips, pebbles, grass clippings, compost, cocoa hull, and even straw. Also, keep in mind that while inorganic mulches like pebbles can be long-lasting, they won’t feed your plants and soil like organic mulches can.

gardening tips

3. Water The Smart Way

Save time, energy, and money by using soaker hoses in your garden. Soaker hoses deliver water directly to the soil around your plants, minimizing water loss from wind and heat. Then hook your soaker hose up to an automatic timer to make your garden easier to maintain than ever!

gardening tips

4. Keep It Simple

When “spring fever” hits, it can be easy to go overboard and buy more plants than you can actually take care of. If you’re new to gardening, stick to a smaller space with a few productive plants at first. You can always scale up as you go!

gardening tips

5. Make It A Team Sport

Find a friend, neighbor, family member, or gardening buddy to team up with. As my mom used to say when she would make me go help weed her plot at the community garden when I was a girl, “Many hands make light work!” ;-)

Working together not only makes gardening easier, but it can make it more enjoyable too. Just be sure to treat yourselves to a refreshing drink or snack when you’re done!

no dig garden

6. Try A No-Dig Garden

If you’re looking for a low-effort and low-commitment way to start up a brand new garden plot, try a no-dig garden! Instead of ripping out grass or other plants in order to till the actual soil, you use the ground as the base layer of your new garden beds.

Layer some cardboard, compost, and mulch on top of the ground, and voila! Your no-dig garden will be ready to plant. Learn more about starting your own no-dig garden here.

gardening tips

7. Plant Trusty Perennials

Over the decades that I’ve been growing perennials, I’ve learned that no matter how much research you do about a new plant, there’s always a chance that it will shrivel up and die on you for no reason. And that can be a real blow to morale for those of us who like to try out new and unusual plants!

But you can lessen the blow by filling most of the space in your flower beds with easy-to-grow, tried-and-true perennials that do well in your area. That way you still have room to try out new and interesting plants, but if they die, it won’t have as much of a negative impact.

If you’re not sure which perennials grow well in your area and which don’t, take a walk around the neighborhood and see for yourself! Take note of any perennials that are thriving in multiple different yards, because they’ll likely do well in your yard too! :-)

Do you have any gardening tips that help you save time or effort?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • In the first pic it looks like you are about to plant just as you have taken the plant from the pot. Because the roots are pot bound, (growing in circles around the inside edge of the pot) the roots need to be loosened before planting. You can make a few cuts downwards with a knife or loosen with your fingers. If you don.t, the roots continue to grow in circles, choking the plant.

    • Hi Pat!
      While I am not sure what “bugs” you refer to, many people are repelled by them. Most are not harmful to either plants, nor humans. They serve many functions in our ecosystem, like pollination. Ladybugs love aphids, which you may find munching on the leaves of some of your plants. Ants are crucial in helping peony flower buds to open. Have you ever heard of companion planting? This a method of grouping particular plants together that support each other by, for example, warding off natural predatory critters. Tomatoes, marigolds and basil planted together is one popular grouping of familiar plants. There are websites that you can find online that provide lists of these groupings.
      Have fun and enjoy the fruits of you labor!
      Mary

  • For years now I have received compliments on my planters & garden. My neighbors have wanted to know how I have thick and healthy looking plants even when I have planted my plants after them. I have always taken half the root system off the plants before planting them. This forces the plant to reproduce the root system again in its new location.

  • Great basics, thanks! I’ve been guilty in the past of over-buying plants out of sheer zeal and excitement, but no more. I’m getting up there in years, and no longer have a “steel back with a hinge in it,” my father used to say.

    Question: what is the purpose of the grids in the photo?

  • In the first picture which shows a plant that has just been removed from the pot it was growing at in the garden center where you purchased it, it clearly shows the roots of the plant. they are growing in a circle the shape of the pot because they have nowhere else to go.
    It it recommended that you use a knife or sharp object to cut them in several places. This will prevent them from continuing to grow around and perhaps strangling the plant. It will also stimulate new root growth and allow them to grow outward.

  • This is excellent. I may have to show this to my folks. My Dad is our gardener. I had laugh abiut the snow in the forecast, one thing I don’t miss after living in Colorado was the crazy snow storms at this time of the year. In the Midwest where we live we have to worry about the wild life deers, wild rabbits, getting into the garden and eating stuff. As far as the Cat repellent, we haven’t had a cat for a few years. Our cats were smart enough not to mess with the garden. She only messed with the house plants. We’ll have to see if my Sister says anything about snow, since she lives in Utah.

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