I am a morning person. It is no surprise to me that I do my gardening first thing in the morning, but it may be surprising to others that I do it in my pajamas. Pajamas are comfortable. They do not get in the way of bending, stretching or reaching. They allow the contortions I put myself through to avoid stepping in garden beds lest I compact the soil.
I start my pajama-clad gardening by taking kitchen scraps and coffee grounds to the compost tumbler, or by watering flowerpots, or by checking on recently planted seeds. Like many gardeners, I can easily get distracted in the garden. This is fine when I do not have to be anywhere anytime soon.
For gardeners with a tighter schedule, here are five quick garden tasks to do before you start your day to maintain a beautiful garden on a busy lifestyle. They go together hand in hand and follow a theme. Gardening is considered exercise by some (by my chiropractor, anyway—I am to stretch before I garden), and exercise is a sport, right? What is good in sports? A good offense! This also applies in the garden. A good offense is necessary to maintain a beautiful garden.
So, grab your morning beverage, and head outside to begin your good offense. It starts with a walk to enjoy the garden and to survey what is happening in the yard. While you are walking:
- Check your plants to ensure they are getting the right amount of water and that your irrigation system is working as expected.
- Examine plants for pest insects. For example, check zucchini plant leaves for hideous squash bugs. If you are not sure if an insect is a pest or a beneficial, check with your local Cooperative Extension office.
- Look at your soil. Is it a dark rich brown? Does it smell? I turn my compost tumbler and sometimes feed my red wiggler worms. The promise of worm castings or rich dark compost as an amendment to my beds is exciting.
- Remove any debris, broken limbs, branches or stems. I will even pluck a weed or two while I am at it.
- Ensure that tomato cages, walls of water and plant stakes are in their proper position to support your plants.
This routine enables me to accomplish several garden tasks in a relatively short time and gets me on with my day. If I happen to have a little extra time in the morning, you will find me in my garden. Perhaps I will be wearing a gardening hat, since I was not planning on being out there long enough to bother with sunscreen. But, I will more than likely be in my pajamas, garden clogs and gloves.
One final pointer—don’t wear the dirty pajamas you’ve been gardening in to bed.
Liz Morrow is a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer with University of Cooperative Extension. For questions about gardening and landscaping in Nevada, contact a Master Gardener at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-336-0265.