Friday, September 17, 2010

Lazy Gardening: Frugal and Green!

September2010 247 Some of you may not be ready to discuss the impending change of season.  However, it is just around the corner; I already have leaves that are beginning to change color. Autumn is the when, whether you realize it or not, you lay the foundation for next year’s garden. It sounds like a lot of work, but this is a time when being lazy really pays off!

When a fellow gardener visited my home she asked if I mulched my hollyhocks over the winter. I confessed that since they are next to the fence, leaves collect there naturally providing them with all the insulation they need. I am too lazy to remove leaves only to lay down mulch. Plus the leaves are free and when they break down they add nutrients to the soil.

I let leaves collect around the base of all of my plants, including hardy perennials like the Russian Sage, and leave them there until after the last frost: September2010 241
I collect the leaves that fall on concrete and use them to mulch my berries. I have experimented and found that my berries are happier when mulched with leaves instead of straw.

I don’t rake the leaves that fall on the grass, I mow them, but as when mowing grass, I don’t bag the clippings. Instead, I let the clippings add nutrients to the soil. The clippings also help retain water during drought conditions.

When writing about chrysanthemums, I shared that I do not cut dead branches back until new growth has appeared in the spring. I apply this to most of my other plants as well. Besides if I cut back my hollyhocks after they were done blooming, what would my morning glories climb? September2010 228

I also leave my Day Lilly Stems intact. I do not remove them until I can do so effortlessly. Then I use the dried stems as stakes when starting climbing plants in the spring.September2010 245Sometimes we work harder and spend more money than necessary to keep our yards looking nice. Do your yard and your wallet a favor and embrace your inner lazy gardener!  Tomorrow I will share some of the gardening tasks that I do expend energy on.

This post is linked to Flaunt Your Flowers/Fertilizer Friday and Frugal Friday because I am frugally fertilizing my flowers through sheer laziness! :-) fertilizer Friday


Anonymous said...

Ahh good helpful hints -
I can definetly feel fall in the air and see it too. Pretty soon it will be wonderful to look at.

deb said...

Ah, a fellow lazy gardener :)
I let the leaves fall and insulate also. Great idea for the daylily stems!

Maureen said...

It took me awhile to figure it out but I like to leave the leaves in the garden to protect my plants during the winter. They do a wonderful job. Stopping my husband from raking them is another story.

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

I leave some stems just so I can remember that there's a lily/hollyhock/aster/whatever there the next spring.

The only plants I mulch are...well, actually I don't mulch any of them. Yep, truly laidback gardening!

Linda May said...

That is not lazy it is smart and common sense. Love it. I do the same with leaves. But my hubby likes to rake them up and take them away.

Karen said...

Very sound advice--- Leave the leaves! Mother Nature has it figured out, that's why forests have such rich soil.

What a great idea for a natural morning glory trellis! I have a friend who left a dead pine tree stand in his yard and every year it is transformed into a pillar of purple and blue with his morning glory and hyacinth bean vines.

Thank you for sharing good common sense with us!

agreenearth said...

Love what you are doing.

Am beginning to garden this way myself now.

It's about letting go of preconceived ideas and working with nature.

Quite a mind jump I am finding but also exciting.

Susie said...

I completely agree with this post! My neighbors spend time raking and burnng leaves but then go buy mulch and top soil. Duh...use what nature gave you!