Does a stay-at-home mom with several kids really have time to garden like Martha? Actually, you can do it if you get more practical in the way you set up your landscaping. Check out these ideas to see how you can garden more efficiently to use your space better, create something beautiful and save time later:
Create a self-watering system.
Martha understands how badly you need to save time while keeping your garden gorgeous, so she's been talking about some excellent watering tips. Just pick up a little timer that connects to an automatic self-watering system that has a flow regulator, and you're good to go.
We recommend starting some beautiful flowers in our extra-large vinyl planter box that creates a little garden that you can move around outside whenever needed. Then all you need is a standard garden hose on your self-watering system to maintain it. No soaker hoses or drip lines are necessary unless you're watering a large area or a small tree. If you plant vegetables in this planter, they only need about one inch of water in a week. Annuals and perennials do best with an early morning watering of two inches total per week.
Plant a salad that you can grow vertically to save space!
One of Martha's most popular projects recently was the salad starter, where you grow all the ingredients you need for your favorite salad inside one planter. Most greens will last about two months, but some can last longer. Martha usually recommends drainage holes in your planter, but if you don't have them, just put a couple of inches of pine-bark chips in the bottom of the planter and use a soil-less potting mix instead. To make sure that you have plenty of greens to pick, over-plant! Your salad planter should stay outdoors in the sun, and you'll only need to water it when dry.
Now how can you fit more salad greens into a smaller space that's easier to maintain? The answer lies in taking Martha's handy tip and using it to make a vertical salad garden! Instead of limiting yourself to the traditional choices of kale, mesclun mix, cilantro, and spinach, pick edible vines too.
Using something like our vinyl Sheffield trellis with its attached planter box, plant everything that you need to make a quick salad in the same planter and let it climb up to five feet high for easy picking! We like these:
- Scarlet runner beans have edible leaves, and they do well in full-sun exposure. Their flowers are beautiful too.
- Brambles like raspberry and blackberry have edible leaves and berries with lovely white flowers in the spring.
- Chocolate vine, known as "Akebia quinata," has flowers that smell like chocolate, but don't eat these flowers! The good news is that everything else -- the fruit, shoots, and leaves -- is edible.
- Pea vine, or "Pisum sativum," has tasty flowers, peas, pods, leaves and young stems that are all edible. However, don't confuse it with sweet pea. That plant is toxic.
Get a romantic look by training roses to cover the corners of your home with the right trellis.
Martha loves the rose-covered cottage look, but who has time to trim roses and their wild, thorny branches? She found a shortcut by training roses to grow up in columns or on the corners of a home using a support system that you can recreate instantly with our vinyl 5-spoke trellis. It's slender enough to barely attract attention but strong enough to support a large rose bush. Just loosely tie the rose's stems to the wire using twine once in a while, and you won't even see the twine.