Looking at a year in gardening, the best question to ask is, "What would Maynard G. Krebs do?"
That means looking at the easiest path, the least costly in money, time, and energy. My friends keep writing on Facebook about their knee problems, so it is better to avoid unnecessary strain.
1. Let God do most of the work, through His creatures. The birds, insects, and soil creatures will fulfill their responsibilities by:
- renewing the soil,
- conserving water,
- eliminating pests,
- controlling weeds.
2. Compost on the spot with Jackson Mulch - newspapers covered by wood mulch, grass, or leaves. That is all the compost really needed, but it is fun to have it banked in the back, for extra when needed.
3. Save money by ordering in bulk early, which motivates companies on the Net to offer such discounts as free shipping, credits on the purchase ($50 off for $100 spent), and free supplies.
4. Hire a helper for some of the work. We have a lot of fun, laughing about how things are going, or about something going wrong. A lot more gets done because simply looking at some jobs is enough to put it off forever. When two work on it, the job is easy.
5. Water with soaker hoses instead of spraying. A soaker hose will water near the roots, use less water, and create water opportunities for the birds. I place plastic pans under mine to create little bird baths that clean themselves.
6. Feed, shelter, and water the birds. They need all three and will look for what is not provided in the yard. Water is the first priority, because they must drink, bathe, and preen. Shelter is created with a variety of plants and such details as brush piles, or sticks, or bushes, or tall grass and weeds. Food means the enjoyment of watching them eat and chatter about the food supply, which attracts even more birds.