The first year we moved into our home, I had these big dreams of planting gardens all around our property. I even wanted a vegetable garden back behind the garage. All I needed to do was plot it all out.
So, I stayed up late one evening to do a little gardening research — and, of course, design what my new gardens were going to look like. Little did I know how much work a garden (or multiple gardens, at that) would be, especially with a new baby.
Sadly, only a few of those big dreams came true, and I look at our plotted vegetable garden with the hope that one day I’ll have time to grow my own vegetables. Until then, I figured it was only right to share a few tricks I learned along the way:
- Build a “fourth” room. Consider building paver patio or deck. Top either one with a pergola. The more structures you have, the less plants you have to keep alive. It’s also much more fun to entertain outside.
- Fill in with mulch. Surround any beds with mulch instead of grass. Mulch breaks down and fertilizes plants, while preventing weed growth and minimizing upkeep. It also helps direct water straight to the plants. Just replace it each spring.
- Think lavender. Lavender comes back year after year and only needs to be watered once or twice a week. It’s also a natural bug repellent — and who couldn’t use a little of that in the Midwest?
- Pot some plants. Just think about it: you get to add color to your yard but can move them anywhere you want. Coordinate and mix colors according to the season. Plus, there’ll be no more getting on your knees to pull weeds.
- Go “native” with your selection. If you live in Minnesota, don’t buy tropical plants that constantly need 80-degree weather. We only get that for a short time. Keep it easy and buy plants that thrive in our climate.
Of course, the one thing I’ve learned from my garden dreaming is to keep it real. In other words, only plant want you think you can handle, otherwise not much will make it out alive.
Here’s hoping to the long life of our plants this summer!