Gardening with Laurie: Garden with ease, efficiency

By Laurie Garretson
Jan. 16, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 15, 2014 at 7:16 p.m.

This week, I continue last week's article about planning easy efficient gardens. Let us consider what you will grow in these garden spots.

The conditions (sunny/shady/damp/dry) of your garden areas should dictate what plants you choose. No matter how much you might like a certain plant, if it's not growing in an area that is conducive with its growing requirements, then it will never be at its best.

You will spend more time and maintenance to keep it healthy. Easy, efficient gardens need to grow plants that require little upkeep.

If your landscape has large areas of lawn grass, consider ground covers, pavers, mulch or crushed granite. Lawn grasses require mowing and watering, so unless you have a lawn crew, think about reducing the size of your lawn area or do away with the grass altogether.

Garden areas should have easy access and be convenient for the resident gardener. Garden paths are usually about 2 to 3 feet wide. If a walker or wheelchair is needed, the paths should be at least 3 to 4 feet wide.

If limited on space, make two 3-foot paths that meet in a T. This will allow room for a wheelchair or walker to easily turn around. All pathway materials should be packed firm and level.

Keeping potting soil, fertilizers and compost in wheeled, plastic containers, so it will be easier to move to planting areas when necessary. Work aprons or backpacks are handy to keep garden hand tools in.

Garden hoses should be available for each water faucet. Easy access to a hose means easier watering. If there are not enough faucets in garden areas, lay out a hose from the closest faucet and leave it there for your convenience when it is time to water.

Raised beds are a great option for gardeners who cannot easily bend over or kneel. Measure the distance that is most comfortable for the gardener to reach and use this distance to determine the width of the raised beds. If it's not within easy reach, it can not be planted or weeded.

Homebound gardeners can use seed catalogs to do most of their garden shopping from their home. Computer-savvy gardeners never have to leave their gardens when in need of something. I think just about anything is now available online.

Gardening can be such a wonderful activity - especially when it is suited to the gardeners' own capabilities.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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