Many people are worried about starting a food producing garden because they worry that they do not have the time. But even when you don’t have much time to tend a garden, it is still important to remember that you can still grow plenty of food. Low maintenance gardens can certainly still be both beautiful and productive.
Today, I thought I would create a simple list to help those who are new to low maintenance, eco-friendly gardening. This is a sort of check list for those who are interested in growing food while still maintaining a low maintenance space:
- Choose plants suited to your location and conditions where you live. The better suited the plants are to the conditions in your garden, the easier they will be to maintain. Buy seeds and plants as locally as possible, so they are appropriate for planting where you live. Look to include plenty of native plants.
- Select as wide variety of plants to grow as possible. More diverse planting schemes (like forest gardens/ food forests are more stable and resilient, and even when one thing does not go according to plan, there will still be plenty thriving in your garden.
- Diverse planting schemes and diverse habitats will also attract wildlife to your garden. And the more beneficial wildlife you welcome in, the easier it will be to manage pests and garden organically.
- Focus on perennials – these generally require far less effort than annual crops, and will shorten the length of gardening chores lists each year.
- Plant relatively densely and generally avoid bare soil – nature abhors a vacuum and bare soil means plants may crop up that you do not want in your garden. Fill gaps in planting for more control. And take care of the soil from the very beginning, and it will take care of you.
- Solve problems in design from the outset. For example, think about which areas may need more shade, or protection from winds. The right planting up front can save you a lot of time and effort down the line.
- Set up systems (composting, rainwater management) that allow you to make your garden a closed loop system. Setting up effective systems up front will also help you make a lower maintenance garden. (As well as saving you money over the years.) These things take time initially, but will save you having to spend time on watering and fertility later on.
If you would like a low-maintenance, eco-friendly garden design, please do get in touch. I can help you to develop the perfect scheme and determine the perfect strategies for your situation and where you live.