Joe and i spent most of the day yesterday cleaning and prepping our garden for planting season. april is not usually this nice and we had a great weekend of 60 degree weather. it felt soo good to be outside in light weight clothing with the sun on our face. we made quite a bit of progress. all of the weeds are pulled, garden beds are cleared and raked. we just have to get some fill dirt, fresh stone for the pathways and to finish clearing the brush out of the way. we have some major projects planned for the garden but last years model is ready to go. we are adding on an additional patio area, perennial beds, small orchard, outside sink and kids garden area for otto. as i was working this weekend i was trying to think of three investments that i would make for a first garden (or 10 year garden). what three things do i think are worth the money. because like any hobby there are a million accessories that can be used and not all of them are worth it. it’s like an avocado pitter. if you are not eating an avocado a day what is the sense in letting a pitter take up real estate in your kitchen. i feel the same about garden supplies. some are in my opinion useless and some are a golden invention by God and worth the investment.
the barebones Japanese weeder. if you are using garden beds this tool will save you SO much time weeding. I did not use it in my row plantings because I used tarp to get rid of those weeds. this is a $24 investment that saves you time and back ache. a gentle graze around the weeds in your bed and this thing slices them off at the root. i could weed 8, 4×8 foot garden beds in a little under 45 minutes, once a week. it is the most used garden tool in my shed. i wish i would have found it years ago.
irrigation with a timer – ask me how many times i watered my garden last year…. 0. that is write zero. i used a cheap drip irrigation ($50) and a timer ($40) and never had to worry about going out to water the garden. i used a split to have a sprinkler attached to one side of the split and on the other side the hose to my drip irrigation. the sprinkler covered all of my garden beds so i didn’t have to have tubing covering my paths. the drip irrigation went up and down my tarped rows of plants. i set the timer for 6am every morning and every morning my plants got a little drink. and I didn’t have to do a thing except for set it up.
weed tarp – this one was a debate between the raised garden beds and the weed tarp. however if you are going to have a larger garden starting out.. i would plant directly into the ground and use weed tarp. it’s an investment at first about $80 for 300 feet. it’s not only a financial investment it’s a time investment. cutting the holes for your plants is a time consuming project but i had about 300 feet of plants last year and i think it took me maybe an hour or so a week to pull weeds from around the base of my plants. i would highly suggest if you are planing an in ground garden that you make the investment of weed tarp. it allows you more time to enjoy the best part of gardening..sitting in it and having coffee.
for more tips on how to have a maintenance free garden see my full break down of my 2018 garden here.