30 Minutes Every Day


Since I started my little garden, I have spent between 15-30 minutes with it almost every day!  It seriously is like a child that never grows up... or a puppy.  It needs attention and care or else it will die.  Some people might ask what it is I'm doing out there for that long everyday.  They also might wonder what they should be doing in their gardens everyday, or how much time they should be spending with their baby.

When I first started my seeds, I watered them twice a day.  They were in little cups and the drainage was crazy amazing, but coupled with our warm temperatures, the soil would completely dry up in about 10 hours.  So, every morning before work I would deeply water them for about 5 minutes.  And as soon as I got home from work, I would water them again.  I did this until just 2 weeks ago.  I noticed that a few of my plants were starting to look really bad, and realized it is because they were getting over watered: twice a day, plus our sprinkler system that runs three-times every other day, was too much.  So I stopped watering.

Now, I just let the sprinklers do their thing, and it is really working out well.  This is the reason I haven't installed an irrigation system, with the sprinklers, I just don't need one.  Even without watering I am spending about 15-30 minutes tending my garden.  Below are some things I do, and things you can do to ensure your garden stays healthy and  works for you.
  • I check the soil moisture around every.single.plant with a moisture meter every two days
  • I add any compost from the kitchen compost bin to my big daddy-o compost bin every day
  • I mix and water my compost every 2-3 days
  • I inspect every.single.plant everyday.  I really get in and look, and move things around, Inspector Gadget style.  What do I look for?
    • I make sure the plant looks like it's growing.  If it isn't I need to figure out why
    • I check for holes in the leaves- if there are holes, bugs are eating my plants and I need to stop and prevent it from happening again
    • I check underneath the leaves to see if there any aphids or insect egg sacs that will eventually damage my plants
    • I check the condition and color of leaves, again to see if the plant is diseased or needs more nutrition
    • I talk to them and tell them I love them and tell them how big they're getting (so creepy, but that's what you do with babies & puppies... and plants)
    • I look for fruit or flowers
  • I take pictures of each plant and the whole garden bed about once a week
  • I log my plants measurements on a custom growth chart once a week
  • I ammend the soil as necessary about once every 2 weeks
  • I log important stuff in my garden journal (i.e. this blog)


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