Finding Time to Weed the Garden
Let’s face it- we are some really busy people in today’s world. I cannot speak for everyone, but finding time to do anything that is not absolutely necessary is getting more and more difficult each day. Between a full-time job, keeping house, making meals, shopping, spending time with friends, yard work, gardening, canning, and other projects, there just never seems to be enough time to do ANYTHING!
Keeping up with my beautiful garden during the summer saves me so much time and energy during the winter months (when there is less to get done- how does this happen?) so I try to make time every week to just go out and clean everything up.
Yep, that dreaded “To-Do” list.
Honestly, once you get in the habit of making a little time each day, it gets a lot easier to get it all cleaned up when you do set aside an hour or two on a day off.
Let me explain a little about my methods
First of all, I have 6 4’x8’ raised bed gardens devoted to my crops. This helps me in both function and practical ways. Two of these beds are devoted specifically to perennial crops- one strawberry patch and one asparagus patch. Not a whole lot of work between them. So essentially, I only have 4 beds to worry about. Now, I do have another small raised bed with my carrots, lettuce and green onions planted near the patio. This bed gets a lot of care because of the convenience factor. Again, this bed does not have a lot to focus on during my “planned” time.
I also have a bulk amount of my tomatoes in planters this year on the front patio; so once again, I keep up with these well because they are right there. The only truly awful space that I have is the tilled up area for the corn, sunflowers, and watermelon. I did not have a lot of raised bed space left, and instead of crowding it all in, as I have done in past years, I rototilled up more of the yard to accommodate these crops.
Finding Time to Weed
After the obvious problem areas are identified, I have an area that needs specific time devoted to it. I am sure that your situation is different yet similar, so I hope that these ideas help you also.
Maintain during small trips.
We all have a tendency to want to walk through the garden and check if there is any fruit or veggies that can be used. I think I wander through the garden 2 or 3 times a day. Taking a glove with me, and a bowl or bucket, as I look through the garden for food. I also keep an eye out for bigger weeds that may be lurking. Just quickly pulling these out as I go saves me time later. On my last trip of the evening, I take a bucket with me to gather all of the weeds I have thrown out into the yard and then take them to one of the compost piles.
Plan ahead- Make “Zones”.
I have the obvious benefit of a few raised beds. You could easily zone out the area you have by corner or row to be able to stay on top of things. I mentally know what day of the week I should check each bed for weeds, pest infestation or any other problem that may arise (this year I’m under siege by rabbits!) and act accordingly. Trying to stay in a “clockwise” motion, the first bed I weed is the front left side of the tomato patch. Then, I move clockwise around the garden until I am back to where I began.
Plan ahead- Schedule.
I am a big fan of early morning weed pulling. It is not too hot and the bugs seem to be at their minimal first thing in the morning. If you water in the morning, pull weeds first to avoid dealing with sliding or crawling around in the mud. Or wait until evening to pull out weeds. Focus on your problem areas first. I tend to set a timer or turn on my iPod to a playlist that takes about an hour. You can plan as much or as little time as you have free!
Keeping on top of the little things makes life easier, makes the garden more aesthetically pleasing. Honestly, I feel so accomplished when I show off my beautiful crops!!
Good luck in all of your endeavors!!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!! I am happy to help you with any situation or clarify my methods for you.