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The gardener's dilemma

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

When to act & when to observe

Gardening is a really lovely way to spend time.

For some people.

Where some people see the early buds on trees and can imagine the pretty blossom that’s yet to come.

Others see a stick.

True story.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely moments where you want to give up, you're tired, your BONES are sore and the aphids are slowly taking over five plants at a time.

However, like any art form, it requires a delicate balance between letting nature take its course and giving it your all.

So, let’s explore the art of gardening. If you let it be, will it grow?

Yes. The answer is always yes.

Whether it grows well or not... well that's another story...😂

The gardener's dilemma: When to let nature take the lead

The Seasons

Nature has its own timetable. The weather reminds us of that. Constantly.

As well equipped as we are now, greenhouses and the like. Sometimes it is just better to let nature dictate what you grow and do in the garden.

Autumn garden check-list

✅Plant spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses in the fall. This gives them time to establish roots before winter.

✅Harvest mature vegetables and fruits before the first frost. Preserve the harvest through canning, freezing, or drying.

✅Clean up fallen leaves, debris, and dead plants to reduce hiding spots for pests and diseases.

❌ Minimise soil disturbance in your garden beds during Autumn. Tilling or digging can disrupt soil structure and the beneficial microorganisms within it. Instead, apply a layer of compost on the surface.

Winter garden check-list

✅Opt for winter-friendly vegetables like kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and winter lettuce varieties. These plants can tolerate colder temperatures.

✅Prune dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs during the winter to encourage healthy growth in spring. Deadhead spent flowers to promote new blooms.

✅Use the winter months to plan your spring and summer garden. Order seeds, draw up garden layouts, and make a schedule for planting. Inside. Where it is warm.

While winter gardening involves less active work, it's essential to let your garden rest during the cold months.

Spring garden check-list

✅Check soil, add compost or organic matter in preparation for new plants

✅Plant cool-season vegetables and annuals early in the spring, such as lettuce, peas, and pansies. Transplant or sow seeds for perennials and warm-season annuals when the weather warms up.

✅Clean and prepare your garden tools for the season.

Check out this handy 6-step guide for transplanting seedlings

Enjoy the beauty of your garden as it comes to life in the spring.

Summer garden check-list

✅Monitor your garden regularly for signs of pests and diseases, and take appropriate action, including using organic pest control methods.

✅Water deeply and consistently, especially during dry spells. Early morning is the best time to water to reduce evaporation.

✅Mulch garden beds to retain soil moisture and reduce the need for frequent watering.

✅Harvest fruits and vegetables when they are ripe to maximise flavour and quality. Regularly pick herbs to encourage new growth.

Host outdoor gatherings and savour the beauty and bounty of your hard work.

When to Give it Your All

Preparation and Planning: Before planting, invest your energy in soil preparation. Good soil is the foundation of a successful garden. Add in compost, organic matter, and nutrients to ensure for the bountiest of crops. 🥗

Weeding and Maintenance: Regular weeding and maintenance are crucial to keeping your garden in top shape. Remove competing plants that might decide to take over your plants, your beds, even your house!

Finding the Balance: Gardener's Intuition

Learning from Experience: Over time, you'll develop a sense of when to step in and when to step back. Trust your instincts and learn from your successes and failures.

Observation is Key: Regularly survey your garden. Look for signs of distress, disease, or pests. Swift action can make all the difference. It's not quite singing to your plants, but a kind, encouraging word or two? Give it a go 😉

Flexibility: Be prepared to adjust your gardening approach based on the unique needs of your plants and the changing seasons. Gardening will make a patient and resilient person of you yet. 💪

Key Takeaways:

There you have it, the gardener's dilemma - when to act and when to observe.

  • Work with the seasons, even nature needs a rest every now and then

  • As with all great things, they start with a little bit of preparation and some ongoing maintenance. This is where you can really shine in the garden!

  • Don't forget that with practice and experience you will refine your intuition, able to respond and step back when needed. So, keep it up. You will be rewarded.

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Pink Parrot tulip bent in the rain


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