4 tips to ease back in to gardening after a summer break - My WAHM Plan

4 tips to ease back in to gardening after a summer break

Oh, August, you sultry, full on summer month you. I have a love/hate relationship with August because of all the heat and humidity in the south. I walk past my flower beds and cringe at the weeds popping up and the slightly uncared for vibe I seem to be cultivating this summer. I vow to get out there before it gets “too” hot tomorrow, but that’s the problem with August- it is just plain hot and it makes me lazy! I wish my flowerbeds looked like this, but sadly they don't even come close anymore.


Vincas and mulch #gardening how I want my flowerbeds to look


Gardening is more than a passing hobby to me, it feeds my soul and I miss the daily rewards when I don’t garden. I know I need to get back on track, just like a runner or dancer would after a hiatus from training. I’ve come up with 4 tips to ease back in to gardening after a break so I can be ready for fall and all its gardening glory and I wanted to share them with you today.


Tip One: Be kind and stop comparing my garden to others!

The first tip is what I would tell anyone trying something new, or reaching for a goal. Be kind to yourself. I’m going to cease all negative talk about the state of my garden and move forward.  In keeping with the kindness vein, I will also stop garden comparisons! It does me no good to see what others have done right now, which leads me to tip two.


Tip Two: Make a plan of action.

You know I love a good plan around here, so for me to overlook putting gardening time on my busy schedule was a recipe for disaster. If I’m honest here – I knew back at the beginning of June that I wasn’t allocating enough to gardening endeavors and I erroneously assumed life would slow down and I’d hit it hard the next weekend, but that next weekend never came. Now, I’m trying to make bite size jobs out of the mess that remains. That’s tip three.


Water container plants and herbs often #gardening



Tip Three: Take small steps towards your goal.

I’ve decided the best course of action for me here is to break up my gardening tasks into 15 minute increments, like this. Since I work at home, my schedule is a little more flexible. 

  • Early- morning (after kids are on bus and hubby is off to work): pull weeds and dead head a quarter section of front flower bed.  Add Vinca and Marigolds to borders and containers to add pops of color now.
  • Mid- morning break: water all container plants/herbs. Dead head as needed. Pick tomatoes/berries as needed.
  • Late afternoon: take a 15 walk around property with family. Make mental notes of what needs done. Pick up sticks/branches as needed. Take to burn pile.
  • Dusk: Water again as needed. Fill bird feeders. Change bird bath water. Start adding mulch to cleared areas.





plant container plants for pops of color


Tip four: Visualize what your garden looks like in the next season and add plantings where needed.

I’ve always thought of our home as a “fall” home. Maybe it’s because we first looked at our home and bought it in the fall. I fell in love with the trees and pond and beautiful sweeping green lawns. Maybe it’s because secretly, I’m a fall gardener at heart, preferring the rich colors of Mums and Asters and the blessedly cooler temperatures. Whatever the reason, my lack of gardening this summer is going to make planning for fall critical.

Thankfully, I made note of what was doing well in my garden last fall, so I know I need to focus on bulbs this fall. Some bulbs need to be divided, like my bearded Iris, while I’ll need to replace other bulbs like Crocus because an industrious critter dug the up. 


Now that I’ve mapped out ways to get my garden back on track, I will be adding a daily gardening task reminder to my planner and on my phone, just like I would for exercising or picking up the girls from an after school event, because gardening is such a rewarding way to spend your time. Communing with nature is great for the body, mind and spirit. 



Please share in comments: Do you have a favorite gardening season? What makes it your favorite season?

10 comments

Susan said...

Great tips! I love pinterest, but in some ways it has become an enemy, because it tends to make me think everyone's house and garden look perfect -- in contrast to mine. I like your "little bit at a time" ideas. They do work, and they help build structure into my day as well.

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Susan,

Pinterest will leaving you feeling like you aren't quite doing enough in a day when you see some pins for sure. So glad my idea for taking it a little bit at a time resonated with you too!

tannawings said...

I actually am divided.. I like spring for gardening because it is exciting being outside again, and finally being able to get dirty again, and the planning has started to come together. I like summer too- weeding is ;my time' as no one else wants to do it, and I put headphones on and just enjoy the day.

ellen beck on form

D Johnson said...

Great tips! I am going to be getting my fall seeds ready this weekend. I can't wait.

Heidi Bee said...

Terrific tips, I do not have a green thumb at all but this will help!!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Ellen,
I like the way you viewpoint on weeding as me time. I'll try to keep this in mind when I'm out there sweating!

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi D,
I've got dome fall seeds to start soon too. Love the fall. garden season.

Linda A. Kinsman said...

Hi Heidi,
I bet that thumb of yours can grow sime hardy plants. Look for hardiness in your zone and give something a try!

Dawn Monroe said...

I usually don't garden a lot but this year we are growing pumpkins with our grandkids for Halloween.

Pam Halligan said...

Having a plan of action is most important. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way.