In my part of Pennsylvania, Mother’s Day marks the official start of gardening season. The danger of frost is past, and seedlings and flowers can finally go into the ground. Hooray!
Since I love flowers and vegetables, but am a very imperfect gardener, I’m offering seven tips for lazy gardeners like me. You can fake your way through this, folks!
- If you’re slow to get started with your vegetable garden, you might get some volunteers from last year. Weed around them and leave them in. No work, fresh vegetables . . . like this lettuce that grew up among my weeds. Yum!
- Go for early crops. It’s not too late to plant snow peas and lettuce, and they’ll reward you quickly, before you get even lazier and more bored with gardening. Lettuce is supposed to bolt and be neglected by midsummer.
- Okay, you forgot to weed the stretch in front of your house, and now it’s overgrown. Don’t weed; camouflage! Grab a couple of hanging baskets at the garden store. They’re on sale now that everyone’s done their Mother’s Day
shopping. Choose the wild, overflowing ones and your weeds will blend right in!
- And while you’re at it, pick up some artificial plants and flowers from the craft store—they’re on sale at this time of year, too. No upkeep required, and really, can you tell which of the flowers in the picture to the left are fake?
- Remember, gardening is exercise. If you can’t get motivated to dig in your garden, try thinking of it as a workout. When I was dieting, I was amazed at how many calories gardening burned. Log it into your Weight Watchers or Spark People account, or check it out on your FitBit. If you garden, you can skip the gym!
- If you really want to spend the summer on the couch, start a compost bin. You can earn the respect of any serious gardener by explaining that you’re taking time to “condition the soil” before you start your garden.
- Finally . . . get outside and enjoy! If you set up your chair or hammock near a neglected garden spot, chances are you’ll pull a weed or tuck in a plant just out of proximity . . . and soon you’ll be on your way to a bigger gardening experience.
In my novel, Engaged to the Single Mom, the heroine has an important conversation with her spiritual mentor while the two of them are weeding the vegetable garden. Angelica is worried about her upcoming visit to the country club, because she’s sure to meet the her ex-fiance’s family for the first time since the breakup they all blame on her.
She decides to take fresh vegetables as a peace offering, and it works! Well, after a big argument . . .
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