As you know from my last post, my garden duty each day is based around harvesting. At the same time, harvesting also takes care of checking the overall garden, pest control, and seeing what has to be done in the days ahead.
The next step is to complete at least one task that I’ve designated as a have-to-do-today task.
And finally, I work at least 30 minutes on a major job I’m trying to complete.
If it’s a day that I’m really having a lot of trouble making myself work, I’ll stick to harvesting as my starting point. But if it’s a day I’m itching to work, it’s no problem to mix up the order of things.
One of the benefits about these two steps of performing pre-planned tasks is that it keeps you from “being all over the place” as Toni mentioned in her comment at the end of the Checklist post.
You’ll ALWAYS have stuff that can be done in a garden. Without a plan it’s very easy to be all over the place. (Ask me how I know. 😉 )
You might find you save lots of time (and keep your sanity as well) by planning the previous night what you want to accomplish in the garden each day.
Quirk of Being Human
Most of the time the above plan works well for me.
Then there are those days that no matter what my feelings were when I planned my day, I just don’t want to work on the tasks that I’ve designated for the day.
I had one of those days Monday.
My assigned task was to dig out some invasive roots that come into the garden from trees on the neighboring property. My “gut” was so against the task that I had one heck of a time even getting myself outside.
Those trees were not there when we moved here 18 years ago. Conditions were just about perfect for the garden until they were allowed to grow uncontrolled.
I’ll write about it in detail sooner or later, but for now I’ll just say that it’s one of those things I can do nothing about in spite of the impact it has on my life. For more than 6 years I’ve been trying to move past the negativeness of it all and focus on what I CAN do.
Not a New Feeling
That “gut” feeling of mine that rebels against everything I’m “suppose” to be doing is not new to me. I’ve fought it all my life.
And in order to get around it, I have all kinds of strategies and mental tricks that allow work to get done in spite of myself.
One of My Favorite Strategies and Some of its Benefits
I call it grazing. It can be applied in so many situations.
- I get lots accomplished.
- That horrible feeling goes away.
- I enjoy my time outside.
- I end up feeling good about myself for the day.
- And the other task has just been postponed for what amounts to 24 or 48 hours.
If you’re like me and end up using this strategy, you’ll find that many times the same task that was not appealing on your have-to-do-today list can be very enjoyable when grazing.
An Example of what I mean in the paragraph above:
My back border has been neglected for the past two years so I’m trying to get it back in shape. Early in the year I had that on my list several times as a designated 30 minute task for the day.
Didn’t want to do it.
But, whenever my grazing strategy took me back there, I really enjoyed it.
How the Grazing Strategy Works
First I make sure to go prepared to do whatever comes along that I might want to work on. Definitely don’t want to waste time going back to get a tool.
So my garden basket has my “digger”, my snips, my gloves, and whatever else I might need.
I start either by walking my borders or my garden. (Which ever I feel drawn to.)
As I go along, I do whatever I feel like doing.
Examples of What I Might Do
I do whatever needs to be done BUT at the same time appeals to me. That may be
- digging out a poke weed that has sprouted up,
- pulling out creeping charlie,
- digging out a piece of Johnson Grass that has taken hold
- edging the borders where they need it most as I go along
- pulling out a morning glory vine
- preparing a bed to be ready to receive my lettuce seedlings on Friday
- moving a plant I’ve wanted to move
- weed the front walk way
- dead head roses for more bloom this fall
- cut back helianthus that has finished blooming and has discolored with mildew
- cut back a bush I want to take out
- pull up some wild solidago (golden rod) (Some is nice; too much is not.)
By the time I finish my “walk around” I’ve accomplished a lot!
After grazing yesterday, I ended up back at the garden. Spent an hour digging roots I had previously not wanted to dig. Harvested my tomatoes and peppers to last two days. Covered my flats of lettuce seedlings to protect them from the rain that was expected. Went in the house about 45 minutes after dark. Felt great!
Another Use for Grazing
Grazing is also great for big projects because it doesn’t seem like a “job”.
Example – If you have a big area that’s out of hand and you’re trying to get it in shape, try my grazing strategy.
Start your project by just moving through that area. Remain only a few minutes in any one spot and work as you go over the entire area; or however much you feel like covering.
Repeat the process over time and you’ll have the spot in shape without realizing you’ve even done the job.
My back border was like that. First “move throughs” involved taking out unwanted little trees that came up; removing poke weed and wild solidago. All the tall stuff.
After numerous times, I started removing wire grass, etc. Straw goes on as ground is cleared.
Most, if not all of us, have days that we don’t want to do anything we’re suppose to do.
Why not give grazing a try. It just might make your day more enjoyable and at the same time enable you to accomplish a lot that had to be done anyway.
All content including photos is copyright by TendingMyGarden.com. All Rights Reserved.