In the Garden:
Southern Coasts
March, 2001
Regional Report

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I found it easier to move these huge concrete rubble stepping stones than to dig up these flag iris rhizomes.

My Weekly Gardening Schedule

I'm devoted to something I call "hour a day" gardening. It provides a personal barometer of my life, the weather, and the general stress level of my world. If I can get out into the garden for one hour each day, I stay in pretty good shape. If not, I - and all those in my world - suffer.

So what can I do in an hour? Here's an example of a recent week's activities. I offer them not as a list of things to do, but as a way of looking at the garden and breaking down tasks to make them doable in the time you have.

Sunday

I perused the yard for the last stick-and-leaf pickup until next fall. Towing my blue garden cart, I gathered up the last debris, composted some and built a fire with the rest. I didn't light it, though. Remember, I only had an hour.

Monday

Monday was perennial day. Almost all of my perennials are up and growing, so I loosened the mulch around the stragglers that haven't pushed through yet and fertilized the ones that have started growing.

Tuesday

Tuesday was neighbor-relations day. I spent an hour pruning the vines off the trees between our houses. No one knows exactly where the property line is, so ownership of these trees is mutual. That means if they get any attention, it's this hour once a year.

Wednesday

Wednesday was a rough day. I called it the day of pain. With four shrubs and six quart-sized perennials waiting, I sharpened my shovel and went to work. I spent an extra half hour in the garden because it took that long to decide where to plant my shrubs.

Thursday

This was path renovation day. I pity the poor postman because I used a shovel to move two big stepping stones in my path so that I could direct the mail carrier away from a marauding maiden grass that was threatening to swallow both path and postman.

Friday

Friday was dividing day. I wasted an hour trying to dig up and divide a huge flag iris. Three years ago, I set the clump down, and when I turned around, it had rerooted. The rhizomes are as big as carrots. I gave up on this task before I made much progress or broke any tools.

The Final Day

Saturday was a day to rest and think. I took time to plan the next set of hour-a-day garden tasks and write them down. Chores on next week's list include thinning the treeform ligustrum, cleaning up the last lettuce, planting tomatoes, and finally mowing the winter meadow. All in one hour a day - and I'll have a beautiful, clean garden to show for it.


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