Gardening is not supposed to be depressing. I felt like a garden slacker;
I could only see the jobs I hadn’t finished, and it wasn’t fun anymore.
Until I Found the Cure in Three Easy Steps!
By Dottie Love, Master Gardener Intern
STEP ONE: Clean it up!
Jump up and spray the patio down. Instant gratification!
Gather your trash can collection, cardboard recycling pile, fertilizer bags, empty black pots, and garden ornaments you’re sure you’ll use someday, and take them away. Or stack them behind a tree. A big tree.
Hide the mop. Twirl all the hoses into pretty spirals (it makes people think you have patience).
Arrange empty pots so they look quaint. Don’t ask me how, I can never accomplish that. So behind the tree they go.
Where do all your shovels ‘n’ stuff live? They need to be invisible but accessible. Is there still room behind that tree?
STEP TWO: The Green Things
Mow if necessary.
Edge. You may think of edging as just trimming the grass between the lawn and the driveway, or weed eating around stones or bricks. What I mean when I say “edge” is: create a definite division, a demarcation between ground and plant. Don’t let either blur the boundaries.
I guarantee your garden’s look will improve instantly with this structure of defined shapes. Now, you may want to have a cute little ground cover curling over the hardscape or lawn. That’s fine! It gives the impression of spontaneity and a relaxed feel. What I like to do is lift the tendrils and sweep or hose the dirt from under them.
STEP THREE: Bedtime
Now, weed. There are two approaches: permanent removal, and they-gotta-be-gone-today. If you begin by simply pulling weeds, you’ll cut your hands on Bermuda grass or get pricked by a thistle. If you plunge into a mass of Johnson grass, you’ll get stung by a wasp. Been there, done that. And, oh—if you notice the dirt suddenly warmer—your hand’s in a fire ant nest. Instead, cut the weeds with shears or even scissors. Yeah, I just said that. Do pull up the spurge and purslane though; they’re fun.
I know: all those weeds will be back in no time. Remind yourself that you’re in Garden Panic Mode: this is the “feel-better-quick” solution. Once Garden Guilt no longer defines you, you can calmly evaluate weed control options and begin to implement them. And, before you know it you’ll reach Serene Supreme Steward Mode, where weeds wilt at your glance, you never lose your pruning shears, your rakes aren’t rusty and fall over all the time, your hose never leaks, and you never, ever, step on a slug barefoot.