Garden chores - What? Every day?

Garden Chores

I've been reading an article about some of the household jobs we are all supposed to complete every day, every week, every month and once a year. I get the whole 'feed the dishwasher every day' type of suggestion. I even, at a push, get the vacuum the mattress idea (to remove what exactly?). But wipe light bulbs? Come on. Light bulbs? Wipe? But it got me thinking about the same type of jobs in the garden. So, for the benefit of all gardeners needing guidance on what to do and how often in the garden you should do it, here we go:

 

Do it daily

  • Make time to walk round your garden. Look at the plants and enjoy their development. You'll also spot any nasties getting a hold, giving you time to plan your defence.
  • Always check the greenhouse and tend to plants wherever necessary. It may be nothing, it may only be a minute but it will keep things ticking over nicely.
  • Gross as it may seem (and is), squash any aphids populating and sucking your rose buds dry.

 

Do it weekly

  • Even though you think the weeding is done, it never is. Hand-weed your beds and borders. If weeds develop, flower and then set seed, you will be in for far more than a weekly chore. Annual weeds can go in the compost bin but perennial weeds are best gifted to the council in their green waste bins.
  • Never fail to flop in your favourite chair and take in what is happening in your plot. It's why you work so hard.

 

Do it monthly

  • Try to plant something. It could be some veg seeds, a bulb or two or even a shrub. If you do, chances are your rewards will return monthly – brilliant. Gone will be the days of a garden looking good for a week at most. It's the start of a 12 month of the year garden.
  • Obviously, your own garden is your main concern – but get out and visit a garden open to the public (as opposed to nipping over the wall of a good-looking plot and having a furtive scout about). You will learn lots, get loads of ideas and, of course, eat home-made cake. You can easily visit a different garden every month and most donate cash to charity. Everyone’s a winner.

 

Do it annually

  • Spend quality time with your mower: drain it, clean it, sharpen it, refill it with whatever lubricants it needs. Cherish it and it will serve you for years. It's a good way to spend a day out of the way giving something back. Good times.
  • Go to your local horticultural show. Hopefully yours is in a large marquee where the smell of crushed grass combines evocatively with the pure sound of a brass band drowning out the warning from a village elder shouting, 'Watch yourself on that low-slung bunting'. Or it could be in a purpose built 80's brick block – it doesn't matter – just go and support. Drink tea from the ubiquitous green cup and saucer (Woods pottery, Beryl style – I've done by homework you know!). It really will taste better. 50p for a slice of homemade coconut cake? Don't mind if I do! Even better, grow an onion, a super long carrot or back-breaking pumpkin and take on the usual cup winners. It only comes around once a year.