Simple Tips To Find Time To Garden

Finding time to garden may seem like a challenge when you already have so much going on with family life. You first have to decide the benefits of having a garden are worth giving some time to. Once you determine that having a garden is worth the time investment you will need to approach it with the mindset that it is a new hobby. Learning a new hobby and making space for it to be integrated into your life may take a little while to get used to and you may need to try different ways to approach it until you find what works for you. Think about a hobby you have and how you have made time for it, those same things can help you with your garden. I am here to tell you that you can find the time, let these simple tips help guide you. Take what works for you and soon gardening will be a part of your life.

Start Small – When you are short on time or new to gardening start small. Grow in containers or a small raised bed, maybe a 4’x4’ bed. Starting with a smaller garden means you will need less time to tend it. I know this may be hard to think about and often once someone gets bit by the garden bug they want the largest garden possible. This can become overwhelming if done too soon, unless you have hours and hours to dedicate each week. You can grow your garden little by little each season as you find pockets of time you can devote to it.

Do A Time Audit – You can do this by writing down tasks over a week. You can keep track on your phone or in a notebook. Take the time to note what an average week looks like for you time wise. How much time are you spending doing daily activities? How much time are you on social media? How much time are you spending on house chores, etc? Is there something you are doing that someone else can do while you garden? Really looking at your time spent can shine a light on time leaks you have throughout the day.

Break Up Garden Tasks – You definitely don’t have to get it all done at once. In fact I suggest spending 10-15 minutes each day in your garden. This will help you really connect with your garden and everything growing in it. You will be able to spot any issues that pop up a lot sooner than a once a week tending session. It is also great for overall wellness to get outside and be in nature daily. The 10 – 15 minutes each day will add up and you will be surprised by how much you can get done in that amount of time. 

Make It A Family Affair – Getting all of the family to help with the garden means you can get more done in less time. If you have younger children give them easy tasks that they can do on their own once shown how to do it. You can keep an eye on them as you work along side them doing something else. There are so many benefits when you include your kids in creating and tending the garden. Gardening is a great opportunity to learn patience and perseverance. One day they will hopefully have fond memories of gardening with you as they tend their own gardens and share their experiences with others.

Make It Simple -Start with a simple plan and your goals for the season. The simpler you keep it the easier it will be to reach these goals and stay on track. If you are short on time for watering your garden, install irrigation to handle that for you. Use tools that will make your time gardening easier. Utilize row covers to help minimize pest damage that you would otherwise have to deal with, taking up your time. These issues will happen at some point for every gardener and are a natural part of gardening, but using tools to help keep them at bay is a good way to minimize the damage. Use some sort of mulch to retain moisture and help with soil borne diseases. (I like to use compost as mulch, but you can use other materials like straw.) You can make gardening as simple or as complex as you like, I prefer a simple approach.

No matter how busy you are, you can find small sections of time each day to tend to your garden. You may find early mornings work best or evenings after dinner, whatever time you find that works for you, know that the benefits of gardening are so worth it. If you have other tips to find/make time for gardening, please share them in the comments. We can all learn from each other. 

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