Lazy Backyard Garden Tips

So you want to have a backyard garden, but you're afraid it will be too much work.  Good news! With a little initial investment of time, you can sit back and relax all summer and enjoy your crop with these easy tips.

1. Find plants that are more like cats than dogs.  Ones that don't need much attention and can kind of do their own thing.  My favorites are:

  • Kale: Kale pretty much just needs water, sun, and enough space to grow, about a foot between it and other plants.  If you see leaves with white lines in the leaves, just pull them and discard in another part of your yard.  Once established I've been known to ignore my kale plants and they just keep on giving.  We eat salty kale chips all summer long.
  • Green beans: Green beans just need water, sun, and something to climb.  I haven't ever had issues with pests on green beans.
  • Cherry tomatoes:  I find cherry tomatoes to be way more forgiving than regular ones.  They need water, sun, and some kind of support to grow.  If leaves get splotchy, I pinch them off.  
  • Lettuces: One year, my mom planted a bunch of lettuce seeds and then went out of town.  She came home to a full crop of lush lettuces.  They just need water and sun.

2.  Add compost: It's like vitamins for plants.  No, you don't need chemicals...seriously.  Growing up my family always had amazing backyard gardens and I don't think we every used chemicals, just compost!

3. Install Drip Irrigation: Seriously, this piece is key.  Probably more important than the other two tips.  If I had to chose just one piece of advice it would be to install drip irrigation.  It means way less work for you all summer, the plants like it better, and it uses less water than soaking everything with a hose.  If you'd like to invest in drip irrigation, check out the kits from Drip Irrigation.  

That's my lazy wisdom for now.  Stay tuned for more gardening tips throughout the spring and summer so you can keep your local garden growing!