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Ten easy gardening shortcuts

Courtesy of Yates.

If you love your garden but don’t feel you have enough time or energy to spend hours gardening (or just want more time to enjoy your little patch of greenery) then here are some easy gardening shortcuts . . .

Mulching — simply applying a layer of mulch such as bark chips over your garden beds — has the magical effect of “completing” the look of the garden. It covers bare soil and visually links everything together, with the added benefits of reducing weed growth and helping keep the soil moist.

Weeding — it's important to get on top of weeds fast, otherwise they can easily take over your garden, competing for water and nutrients and make your garden look unsightly, too. In some parts of your garden you can knock them down fast with Yates Zero Rapid 1-Hour Action Weedkiller Ready to Use.

Install a watering system — regular and thorough watering can be time-consuming, so installing a watering system with a timer means you can have a weekend sleep-in and be watering your garden at the same time.

Grow low-maintenance plants — including dwarf varieties of plants in your garden means you'll spend less time chopping and pruning, as they've been specially developed to remain dense and compact.

Organic feeding — feeding plants is a very important part of keeping them healthy and productive. Organic plant foods like Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food are a rich source of organic matter to promote soil health, but also feed plants like flowers and veges for up to 6–8 weeks with slow-release organic nutrients. So you can rest easy knowing that just one application of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food will feed your plants and nurture the soil for many weeks.

Grow long-lived veges — if you love the thought of homegrown veges and herbs, but are daunted by the need to replant each season, then there are some fantastic edibles that will grow for up to 12 months or more. You can repeat-harvest silverbeet, kale, spinach, spring onions, parsley and chives for many months, keeping your kitchen well stocked with healthy greens.

Easily-fill a bed with flowers — if you have a bare spot in the garden, an easy way to fill it with colour is by mixing some Yates Thrive Natural Roses Flowers Organic Based Pelletised Plant Food into the soil, scattering some flower seed over the area, gently raking it in and keeping the area moist. Yates Bee Pasture Pollinator Feed Mix and Wildflower Meadow are two very pretty seed blends that can quickly fill a garden bed with a rainbow of colour. Nurture, scatter, rake and water. It's as simple as that.

Self-watering pots — self-watering pots and hanging baskets have a water reservoir in the base that the plants can draw from. This means that you can increase the time between waterings, but still have flourishing, well-watered plants. Self-watering pots are particularly handy if you're away from your garden and can't water for a few days.

Feature pots — it's surprising what a difference just one decorative pot filled with flowers makes. Whether you position the pot at your front doorstep to welcome you home or feature it on an outdoor table on a balcony or patio, it will bring a happy splash of colour into your world and create a “look at me” focal point. A well-fed and watered pot of flowers can last for a season or longer, so you'll only need to refresh it a few times a year to have a fabulous ongoing display. In the warmer months think of planting pretty petunias, geranium and verbena together, and in cooler weather combine gorgeous lobelia, pansies and salvia.

Succulents — succulents are the ultimate low-maintenance plants, requiring minimal watering and feeding. They come in a multitude of different shades and interesting shapes, and a bowl filled with succulents provides wonderful year-round colour. Requiring only intermittent watering and feeding (with a liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food), they're perfect for time-poor gardeners, but still help you look like you're an absolute green thumb!

More time: Taking a few gardening shortcuts can leave you with more time to enjoy your garden, and for yourself.