Five Minutes a Day

(Cross-posted on KingstownePatch)

Weeding is a part of any gardener’s life. Like death and taxes, weeding is inevitable. I dislike weeding, but I prefer my yard when I don’t see Oxalis, wild tomatoes (nasty, prickly things), and other invaders. Because I dislike the task, I tend to ignore the weeds, and then trying to get rid of them seems like an overwhelmingly impossible task. Until now.

About two months ago, I was staring at my front yard, despairing over the weeds. I could see dandelions turning into shrubs, and Henbit creeping along the ground. I was pretty sure that the wild onions were popping up out of the ground as I was watching them. Every time I turned around, I saw more. And more. It was so depressing.

My husband and I were getting ready to go on a run to Fischer Hardware, but I really felt like I had to do *something* to the weeds before they got completely out of hand. “Five minutes,” I told myself. “Five minutes to get this patch of weeds right in front of you done, and then leave for the hardware store.” And five minutes it was.

The next day, I did another five minutes when I came home from work. The day after that, another five minutes. A couple of days later I started with five minutes, and it morphed into twenty minutes. A week later, the yard started looking pretty good, and I didn’t feel like I had spent hours weeding without any results to show. I haven’t weeded every single day, but it’s been enough to make the yard look fairly tidy, and I feel like I’m finally on top of that aspect of my yard.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of keeping your yard weeded, try giving it five minutes out of your day. Focus on one little patch of your yard for five minutes, and after a few days, I promise you will notice the difference.

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7 Responses to Five Minutes a Day

  1. Lana says:

    Welcome to blotanical! Five minutes a day is what I do to keep on top of things. It works. I lived in Northern Virginia for many years (Vienna), and I miss it terribly since we moved to the desert outside Phoenix last year. Hopefully we will be back in that area in another year. Meanwhile, I’m learning a lot about desert gardening. Surprisingly, some plants that grow back there also will grow here. You’ll meet gardeners from all over the world on blotanical. Have fun.

  2. I think your idea about 5 minutes of weeding is a great one (and inspiring). Thanks.

  3. meanlouise1 says:

    Excellent advice. This year I’ve found that keeping a supply of those brown paper weed bags and setting a goal to fill one a week is helping me stay on top of the weeds but I still find myself putting it off and then trying to fill the bag all in one frenzy each week. I have to remember your mantra and retrain my thinking.

    Love how the blog is taking off and I’m thrilled you’re a patch blogger now, you deserve a wider following. As long as I don’t have to share your wisdom tooooo much 😉

    • novagardener says:

      That’s a really great idea to keep a weed bag nearby. I may just have to incorporate that into my methodology. 🙂

  4. Janet says:

    It’s certainly the way to go otherwise weeds can all become a bit overwhelming. I don’t notice some dropping their seeds and spreading at the back of the border until they start appearing at the front.

  5. I used to leave them for my husband! He is so good at pulling all of it out- no root left behind! Now that are garden has grown so much and Ive really taken over- He doesnt stay on top of it anymore. I would just use weed spray at first, but found too difficult to get many of them. SO I morphed into the 5-15 min every so often schedule myself. I hate the idea of letting them go to seed and them I have to suffer more of the consequences- that is what keeps me picking the weeds more regular!

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