Spring is here! I remember at this time last year, we were at the start of this pandemic and I was so excited to start the gardening season. It was too cold to start planting, but I had a ton of stuff started in my basement, and I was slowly starting to harden things off. This year, it’s unusually warm, and I haven’t started a single thing. It’s my first year doing this type of go-with-the-flow gardening. I’m not sticking to strict schedules, and I don’t have any intention of starting seeds indoors. I don’t have the energy. I’m happy for everyone who is discovering gardening now, but I’m taking a little break. I’m not ignoring my garden completely, but I’ve decided to keep things a little bit more laissez-faire. This year, I’m growing a few edibles, but mostly I’ll be planting food for bees and pollinators.
I’m not giving up on gardening. I still do plenty of gardening indoors (my hydroponic garden has been supplying me with a lot of food through the winter), and I’m caring for lots of houseplants. Gardening has always given me a lot of joy. But I could tell that I was in no place to commit the time and effort to my usual intense efforts this year. I feared that forcing myself to do it would only make me unhappy and turn me against my favorite pastime. Instead of seeing this year as a failure, I’m looking forward to the experiment. I’m excited to grow different flowers and see how many pollinators I can entice into the garden. If I’m spending less time picking off cabbage loopers and other pesky pests, maybe I’ll have time for other projects like finally putting down a pathway between my garden beds.
How about you? Are you taking it easy this summer? Or are you diving right in? I’d love to hear about your gardening adventures. Let me know in the comments what you plan to grow this year!
Of course, even though my garden activities will be more laid back this year, I still had the urge to order some seeds. I went with quick-growing, easy-to-care-for options. One of my other goals this year, besides taking things easy, is to reduce food waste. Wasting food is basically throwing money in the trash, so I’m determined to limit waste in our household and garden. Even the most fastidious gardeners tend to waste food before it hits their fridge or plate. Before you throw yourself into the full swing of things, I implore you to plan out not just what you’re planting but how you plan to use it. Are you growing lots of kale and don’t really eat that much of it? Make sure you have a friend or neighbor you can gift it to. Accidentally planted too many tomatoes? Get ready for the harvest and find yourself a tomato sauce recipe for when all those fruits ripen.
And, if, like me, you’re doing a version of go with the flow gardening. Plant less than you usually do, and make sure you use up every bit of what you grow. If you’re planting tons of flowers, feel free to cut a few and put them on display in your home.
Are you a regular frugal gardener whose feeling out of sorts this year? Try some go-with-the-flow gardening. Keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to lessen the load.