12 time savers for gardeners

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A garden is a place to relax and unwind. If yours sometimes feels more like a chore, here are twelve ways you can make your garden less time consuming.

1 Start well. Before planting, prepare the ground thoroughly and be sure to get rid of all perennial weeds, especially if you are planting groundcovers. For effective weed eradication on larger areas, glysophate (aka Roundup) is one of the best time savers there is. For difficult woody weeds ask advice at your garden centre or go to www.weedbusters.co.nz.
2 Cover the ground with mulch or mat forming plants to keep the weeds down and conserve water. Top up with organic mulch every spring.
3 Choose plants that suit your soil and climate. Take a walk around the neighbourhood and observe what grows well.
4 Select disease resistant varieties for an ever-healthy garden that never needs to be sprayed. For example if you like roses, choose disease resistant Flower Carpet roses.
5 Plant mainly trees and shrubs. As their roots grow deeper into the ground, trees and shrubs grow more and more self sufficient with age, surviving the summer with little or no water watering. Take care to choose those that will not outgrow their space in your time frame.
6 Patience pays. Beware of plants that grow so quickly that they need constant trimming or replacing after a short time. Plant lots of slow growing evergreens that only need trimming once every few years, if at all.
7 Raise the height of garden beds, especially vege beds. This not only makes for easier maintenance, but also improves drainage.
8 Invest in quality tools and maintain them well. Many garden centres offer a tool sharpening service.
9 Grow flowering annuals in pots instead of garden beds. A few big pots are easier to care for than lots of little ones.
10 Invest in hard surfaces. A well-designed and constructed patio or deck takes a lot less work than an expanse of lawn.
11 Install a watering system, ideally with a timer. It will help save water, as well as time. Plan it so the water is directed to the plants roots not the leaves.
12 Keep it simple. When designing a garden, avoid complicated wiggly edges. Straight lines and bold sweeping curves are easier to maintain. Small areas of lawn that are tricky to access may be less work if mass planted in easy-care groundcovers.


Look for these products, tips and advice at a Go Gardening Store near you.



Dig out perennial weeds before planting

Install a watering system