Having your own garden irrigation system in place can actually save you money because you don’t have to use as much water. The system puts water directly on the roots of your plants, where it needs to go. So, you’re not wasting water by dribbling it all over your actual plant. And, you can set the system to water whenever it is needed so you don’t have to worry about trekking out to the garden with a garden hose or worse, buckets of water for your watering. And, if you like the thought of a self watering garden, then you are going to love these 15 DIY self watering planters for your potted plants.
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Similar to drip systems, although much less expensive. Soaker hoses release water directly into the soil, and the water conservation benefits are the same as with drip systems. There are various types of hoses made of plastic, rubber or canvas. Some are designed to permeate water through their entire surface and others have tiny holes. They can be moved throughout the garden and turned on and off manually, or left in place and hooked up to a timer-controlled valve.
This is a really good question, Stev. And my answer is “it depends.” If you had a known pest issue, then you’d do best to pull the pest-infested veggie plants out of the garden in the fall, to prevent any of those pests or their eggs from overwintering in the garden. Same goes for any plants that were plagued by a fungal disease, like powdery mildew or blight. The veggie garden is really a different space, so I leave any plants that were healthy and fairly pest-free, but remove any that were in poor health. BUT, I always let all my herbs stand for the winter in the vegetable garden. I grow many herbs in a central island in my vegetable garden and those are left to stand through the winter for all of the reasons mentioned in this article. Thanks for the great question.
In contrast to the colder parts of the country, fall is perhaps the peak garden season in coastal Southern California (at least as soon as the heatwaves stop!). Summer is the closest equivalent to your winter in terms of a “down” season but, to be truthful, we can garden year-round. And, yes, it’s exhausting! 😉 I’ve often said that I’d welcome a real winter break to rest, regroup, and plant what’s next.

Empty and spread the compost pile to protect tender perennial plants and add a layer of nutrient and weed prevention over the beds. Any compost that was not finished goes back into the pile along with the leaves and debris you raked up. Cleaning up garden vegetable beds will allow you to till in some of the compost and begin to amend them for spring.


A good drip irrigation system is going to automatically provide water to plants when it should. This one is pretty easy to build and you have a few options regarding materials. You can also learn more about how much water to give your plants and the best times to set your timer for the water to be delivered. And, since you have different material options, this one may not cost you anything if you have the right supplies on hand.
Irrigation timers connect directly to a water source and allow timed release of water through a drip system, soaker hose or regular garden hose. Knowing that your plants are getting watered regularly while you’re away or are too busy to do it yourself can be a relief. However, remember that a basic timer without a rain sensor will still keep its watering cycle even on rainy days.
This one is also really easy to build and you can use it to keep your garden or your lawn perfectly watered during those hot summer months. This is a pretty cheap one too, if you happen to have some PVC pipe and a few other key supplies on hand. It uses a sprinkler type system to put water where you need it – watch the kiddos with this one. They are sure to want to run through it when it’s hot outside.

Otherwise, I am completely on board with the suggestions in this post! Thank you Jessica for educating me with so many good reasons to wait until spring to tidy. In particular I have some overgrown Forsythia bushes – moved in last October, and pruned just a bit this year, but planning a big clean-up at the end of winter. Wondering if it is best to wait until then for that?
Just as people speak of "spring cleaning" tasks performed to freshen up a home that has been shuttered up all winter, so lawns and the rest of your landscaping need some TLC at this time of year to prepare your yard for the growing season. A spring yard cleanup checklist can be divided into six categories of related tasks, the first of which truly does involve something of a cleansing. These tasks are critical for getting your yard ready for gardening, etc.:

Cleaning up your property for spring is a big job. Our team can handle it for you. We are landscaping and lawn care service experts with programs catered to both residential and commercial properties. We understand that your time is valuable and limited. Let us take care of your spring cleaning so that you can enjoy a beautiful, season-ready property without the hassle.


These specialized containers have an upper pot that holds the soil and plant, while a lower reservoir holds water that is wicked up into the soil. Usually, these pots will hold enough water for a few days, depending on the weather and evaporation rate. Although they are called self-watering, water still needs to be added to the reservoir every few days.
Clay soil is often referred to as heavy. Water is absorbed slowly and spreads out, and clay can hold a lot of it. It’s best to water clay soils at a slow rate to allow it to soak in. Clay soil is prone to cracking when it dries out and roots can have a hard time penetrating it. The best amendments for clay soil are compost or organic matter to improve drainage.
You can make this irrigation system for under $100 and it is really easy. You can use this for your traditional garden or for those container gardens and it is perfect for helping you to keep enough water to herb gardens or others that you have above the ground. You use PVC pipe – which is really inexpensive – and a few other key supplies to make this one and it will definitely save you time and money.
Many don't like landscape fabric in vegetable planting beds, where gardeners like to be able to reach down, scoop up a handful of soil, and admire its fertility up-close and personal; go with just a straight mulching here (straw is a favorite) if you feel the same way. But in a shrub planting bed, these weed barriers are a great ally in helping you achieve a low-maintenance yard.

Scrub your garden pots with baking soda, water and a stiff brush, and rinse them thoroughly. If you’re worried about diseases lingering from last year’s plants, soak the pots in a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach for 30 minutes. Then soak them in fresh, clean water for another 30 minutes. Be sure all the bleach is rinsed away, so you don’t harm your plants. Let the pots drain and air dry before using them.


Here’s a story offerred for next spring’s readers. About 12 early-springs ago I decided to get a jump start on the vegi garden, pulling the previous year’s plant remains and putting them in the compost pile, etc. As I turned the soil to incorporate last years mulch into the beds, using a pitchfork, it was maybe my 3rd plunge into the soil when I ran into a large frog buried in the soil, still hibernating. Thinking I had hurt him I ran into the house to get a box to put him in and hoped to nurse him back to health; when I’d returned he was gone, and hopefully hadn’t been hurt too badly. Obviously a frog isn’t a pollinator, but be careful out there folks! All around us are worlds of living beings who make our lives possible; we need to protect them!
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