Gardening can be a fulfilling hobby as well as a way to supplement your grocery budget. Look for easy ways to grow herbs, vegetables and flowers without taking up too much space in your yard. There are also simple ways that you can reduce maintenance and take the guesswork out of gardening, making the experience more pleasurable and less time-consuming.
Take advantage of self-watering solutions to make container gardening easier. Decorative solutions for self-watering plants include hand-blown glass bubbles with elongated stems to disperse the water as the plant needs it. You can easily make your own self-watering planter for any type container gardening using a plastic bucket, an aeration screen and supports, a fill tube and mulch cover. The water reservoir rests below the soil container, separated by the aeration screen. Self-watering gardening solutions eliminate the guess-work in the amount and frequency of watering your plants.
Create planter beds for growing shallow rooted or invasive plants. Most herbs, radishes, rhododendrons and green onions are among the types of plants with shallow root systems. Gardening with planter beds can prevent invasive plants, such as any cultivar in the mint family, from taking over your property. One of the easiest ways to make a planter bed is to puncture holes in the bottom of a wading pool, cover the holes with coffee filters and fill the pool with potting soil or other planting medium. Old box spring frames also work as planter beds, if you remove all of the fabric from the wooden sides. Container gardens are also easier to control and maintain.
Create an easy hanging garden to grow tomatoes and other thick, vine climbers using a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Drill a 1- to 2-inch hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket and/or on the sides, insert the plant's roots and fill the bucket with potting soil. Cheesecloth or a coffee filter inside the bucket around the hole will help keep the soil from escaping as you hang the plant. Upside down hanging planters are especially useful if you have limited gardening space. You can plant strawberries, herbs and vegetables in the top of the bucket as well as the sides and the bottom.
Weed Prevention and Control
One of the most time consuming and back-breaking aspects of gardening is weed management. Cover the ground with quality landscape fabric before you plant to help eliminate or reduce weed growth. A little effort in the beginning of the growing season will make your life easier to enjoy your vegetables, flowers and herbs. You can cut holes in the fabric wherever you plan to place a plant or seeds, or you can slit the fabric around existing plants.