Most days I'm lucky to find 30 minutes to tend the garden so it's important to be organized to make to most of my time. I keep this bucket near the entrance to my garden. It holds the essentials such as gloves, kneeling pad, hand tools, clippers, wire and twine, seeds, garden tags and a pencil. I pick it up and carry it with me as I take my daily tour so I have the tools I need at hand to do my garden chores as I move through the garden.
I'm looking for signs of distress/disease like this leaf with powdery mildew. I prune as I go, removing diseased leaves from plants as well as fallen leaves. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease such as powdery mildew is to simply remove the diseased leaves.
I'm looking for weeds too. I find that if I pick the weeds when they pop up, I can keep ahead of them. This one has to go.
Having the wire and twine handy makes taming the tomatoes easy. I add a little extra twine to support the vines to control their growth before they fall over.
Another little chore I try to do daily is deadheading, or removing seeds pods, which encourages plants to continue to produce. Here is my Thai basil which has created these lovely purple seed pods. These seeds I picked and saved in an envelope to be planted at another time.
I'm also looking for pests such as aphids. I have a hand sprayer filled with soapy water which I also keep in the bucket so I spray aphids as I make my daily tour. Those little guys are such a problem this time of year, and I find that soapy water works best to kill them.
I find that keeping these items handy in the bucket saves time making trips back and forth to the garage. Taking the tour then going back to weed or prune is more time consuming than taking the tour and doing the chores the first time through. I make mental notes of other chores that need to be done at a later time when I have more than just a few minutes.
With our busy schedules, making the most of our time in the garden is important. It's that time of year when tending the garden can be overwhelming because things are growing and changing so quickly. This is my way of trying to stay ahead of the game so that the garden doesn't become a jungle.