Historically, for most of us American gardeners, the homestead was a place where we worked hard to obtain crops. But the days of total scarcity and lining up for primary produce are long gone.
I believe that all of the above makes sense if you enjoy the process and if the garden is your favorite hobby. Now answer yourself honestly – does it really?
For example, growing vegetables does not bring me joy. Especially potatoes. And many readers of ThumbGarden, judging by the comments on why I don’t grow potatoes anymore, my arguments against growing potatoes are seen as a sign of laziness.
To some extent, this is true. I am a “lazy” gardener. And in this article, I’ll tell you why I like it.
NO VEGETABLE GARDEN
I have land. There are 30 acres near the house. But there is no traditional vegetable garden, so to speak. Well, I don’t like to grow vegetables. In my opinion, there are two good reasons why a person can keep a vegetable garden if he doesn’t have a special soul.
The desire to have his own “chemical-free”, non-GMO, natural, and tasty products.
- A stereotype: if you don’t grow potatoes, you are lazy and don’t respect the work of farmers.” We grow, grow, and will grow” is a variation of this stereotype.
There is no point in arguing with the second option, and readers of this article can stop reading at this place if they feel that way.
The first variant deserves a separate treatment. Suppose you manage to grow a bumper crop of vegetables without using chemical treatments and fertilizers (organic farming works wonders).
But after all, you will be entertaining it with vegetable oil, meat, and bread, all based on crops stuffed with tons of chemicals.
Sunflowers, for example, have high requirements for the availability of easily absorbed forms of nutrients in the soil. The fields are first “seeded” with mineral fertilizers, and then the fields are “seeded” with sunflowers. I usually keep quiet about the flowers we buy at the store.
This also applies to many of the products on our tables that we don’t grow, but buy. Therefore, unless we move completely to organic farming, we will not be able to eat “pure” food. Are you ready?
About the good stuff. There is always an alternative to the supermarket. Have a market or, even better, be unafraid to “make social sense” – give the job to your neighbors who like and know how to grow potatoes or cucumbers.
So, instead of killing two birds with one stone, you will be killing three. First, you will get a “clean” product (under your control).
Second, raise the importance of people who love working the land, because they will bring you real benefits.
Third, you will give them the opportunity to make money doing what they love – growing vegetables.
So, the first thing I gave up when I lived in the countryside was the vegetable garden. But!!! It wasn’t all that bad and hopeless.
I have several seedbeds to grow their vegetables: lettuce, parsley, dill, basil, spinach, radishes, and different herbs. I sow them 3 times a year: in spring, at the end of August, and in winter.
It’s like a kind of green conveyor belt. And there is no care! Arrange once properly to lay a raised bed (high somewhere, opposite somewhere, deepen), water sometimes and you have a harvest”.
from which a good and high-quality harvest will require a lot of effort. To me, this is an axiom.
Proper agricultural techniques for growing most fruit and berry crops include consistent watering and fertilization, as well as fertilization (on the roots and leaves), pest and disease control, proper pruning, and shaping.
And most importantly – consistent and careful control of each tree or shrub. The slightest hesitation and you will lose your harvest.
Without proper agricultural techniques, you will never see the harvest, and fat, uncut or diseased trees will torment your conscience (unfinished work). No, I don’t need it!
By the way, crops that have been harvested should somehow be unpacked in jars and made into cans. This is after the workday, as a rule, in the heat.
However, there is an advantage here. Sometimes it happens that an apple tree (in my case, three apricots and a Hungarian plum) grows, and everything suits it perfectly.
And it is abandoned, not watered, not fertilized, not sprayed, she knows herself and regularly, from the beginning to the end of the year has a good yield. Of course, it is worthwhile to “grow” this plant in your garden, thanks to the opportunity.
What kind of gardener would I be if I didn’t grow fruit? I would. But only those without which, despite my efforts, “life would not be pleasant”: grapes, figs, quince, persimmons, zinnias.
Their valuable properties are no worse than apples, pears, and currants. In many ways, even better.
Would you say that they require no less attention than the “standard set” of apples and pears in the garden? Absolutely. Maybe even more so.
I’m the only one who likes to grow these very crops. I don’t like apple trees. It’s easier for me to buy apples from my neighbors.
MODIFYING THE GARDEN
Sure, flowers adorn our gardens, but remember how many times you sighed, “Another tulip, gladiolus, crocus, hyacinth to dig up (put in storage, process, plant, etc.)”. Lazy people don’t belong in flower beds at all!
And these annual petunias dangle so beautifully and intelligently from the gazebo pots (in someone else’s photo).
The hard work behind all of this! And it’s every day. Planting the seedlings, watering them twice a day in the summer, feeding them every other day, and methodically removing the petals every day. Not a day goes by without attention!
Popular perennial flowering plants also require you to constantly monitor and care for them.
Here again, you should listen to your heart, not your head. Like me, do you like hydrangeas and roses?
Sowing, watering, plowing, fertilizing – that’s love Even when we come home from work tired, we go to our favorites, some of us even talk to them.
AN INDIE SONG – THE LAWN
I mean a real lawn, not just a plain green lawn. A lawn is a beautiful picture, but it requires a lot of hard work.
For him, the area must be carefully aligned, and then the right grass must be selected and purchased. Seeds are sown, regularly watered, and fed. Then, when, the grass, finally grows, the real marathon begins.
If you want to have a good look on your lawn, then live with it – every 5-10 days (which depends entirely on the climate and season) the grass needs to be mowed. A lawnmower is a heavy thing and is a great alternative to going to the gym.
Not only that but this lawn should be aerated, cleaned of dead debris, fertilized, and watered regularly. Yes, by the way, it’s worth remembering about nerves – dandelions can be very annoying and spoil the view of your lawn.
You’ll find a solution quickly – weed killer. So many clean potatoes. They grow right next to each other.
So what does that mean, rip it all out, chop it up, and lay it down? Why so drastic?
It’s possible to create a garden for lazy (or working) gardeners who like to grow plants and enjoy doing that, but can’t (or don’t want to) do it in all their free time.
WHAT DOES A LAZY GARDEN LOOK LIKE?
There are many plants that require minimal care (so you won’t be cut off from garden work), but will still keep you happy, even all year round. First, and most importantly, these are conifers.
They are frost-resistant, can easily withstand drought, and can actually do without fertilizers and chemical treatments.
Yes, anything can happen, and you can’t help but control sanitation here. But these tasks cannot be compared to caring for fruit trees. And there are many choices of conifers for any climate.
Although buying and planting conifers on your plot, it is worth first checking its “technical” parameters, what it needs and how it will grow.
For example, thuja has a very shallow root system and still needs watering. Some species and varieties need shade in late winter and early spring so that the needles don’t get burnt.
Some, on the other hand, will grow into huge 65-foot (20-meter) monsters that look ridiculous on your 6-acre lot, and they can shade badly, preventing other plants from growing.
There are unpretentious and very decorative trees and shrubs. They look great and come in different colors of foliage – yellow, green, or red varieties. There is also colorful and unpretentious barberry.
There are various types of turrets, snowberry, and elderberry. There are willows with twisted branches, rustic hostas, barberry, amaranth, ferns, ornamental grasses, and more.
For interest, go to your nearest garden center and see how big the list of ornamental plants they offer is. More often than not, there are many more than fruit and berry plants. Why? Simply because people today want more beauty rather than submission. It is the demand of the times!
There is another option that requires your time and knowledge – try to create some kind of sustainable plant system on your plot that “works” without human intervention.
This topic is very fashionable and popular right now, and it is widely discussed in online publications. There is a lot of literature on the subject and many documentaries have been produced.
The symbiosis of forest and traditional fruit crops can bring incredible results. Such a forest garden requires minimal care, is more or less free of pests and diseases (completely – unlikely), but is also very high in terms of yield.
But, as I said, it requires a lot of work to choose the right plants and plant them in a certain way. In such a garden, with the right arrangement, there is no place for even weeds.
But there will be a lot of birds and maybe even animals (do not be afraid, I mean hedgehogs and lizards).
By the way, some seedlings for such a garden variant you can not buy, but have to take from the wild. Just do not think that I am calling for robbing the forest.
Usually, they grow in a self-seeding way on roadsides and woodlands, with little chance of survival among large trees.
But a young seedling of Dica pear will delight you with its magnificent flowers in spring, and self-seeded elm, glezman, or lime trees can be used to form hedges or attractive forms.
Generally speaking, if you have a plot of land, there is always work to be done no matter what you plant on it. It’s just that I prefer to “take the blinders off” and look around.
What do I see? A huge variety of plant life, and in the variety you need to choose, what’s closer to you.
Do you like growing potatoes? God help me, I would love to buy them from you. I like to grow plants that are simple and pleasing to the eye. We don’t do it for the garden, but the garden is for us!
What are you growing vegetables for? Is it for the hard work, or for the enjoyment of uncomplicated or even creative work? For me, the answer has long been obvious. I’m a “lazy” gardener and I like it that way.
Have a great harvest. What am I talking about? I think it’s best to say: love yourself in the garden!”.