5 Garden Projects You Can Finish in One Evening

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As we ease into the last weeks of summer, we’ve been busying ourselves in the garden, tackling small-scale projects that take just a few hours to complete. It’s a productive way to unwind in the evenings or to relax on the weekends. Below, Julie Czeck, from our green goods team, shares the five quick projects she’s recently crossed off her to-do list.

1. Refresh Your Planters: “This is the time of the year I start pulling out anything that’s been suffering in containers on the patio or porch. I like to refresh my planters with late summer/early autumn botanicals like pink amaranth.”

2. Start Second Wave Seeds: “I usually do a batch of cold weather veggies in August so I can enjoy fresh produce once the tomatoes and squash are done for the season. This year I’m doing kale, lots of leafy greens, and non-tropical herbs.”

3. Create a Water Bowl Garden: “A friend of mine sent me some lotus seeds and I sprouted them a couple weeks ago. I recently transplanted them into a water bowl garden. This is definitely an experiment as I’ve never done this before but it’s been a satisfying process so far!”

4. Collect Seeds from Your Edibles: “I‘m keeping an eye on my edibles; if they are flowering or about to be done flowering, I collect their seeds for next year's plantings. Right now I have some dill and parsley about to go to seed and I’ll be snipping them soon to sort and store for next year.”

5. Save The Trees, Kill the Spotted Lanternflies: An invasive species of planthopper arrived from Asia to Pennsylvania and other regions of the US last summer; spotted lanternflies have the potential to devastate local crops, trees, and flora, so eradicating them is an “all hands on deck” situation. Julie says “my newest garden activity is squashing lanternflies and walking around my neighborhood with a bottle of neem oil to spray infected trees. Admittedly, this is more of a sport than a gardening activity.”

And two bonus tips from our head plant buyer, Melissa Lowrie and field visual director, Melissa Bartley!

Melissa Lowrie: “Last weekend, my partner and I created a couple raised garden beds in just a few hours. All you need is cedar boards and supports from the hardware store, some black stain, and a handy girlfriend! Perfect for cold crops coming up in fall.”

Melissa Bartley: “Right now is the best time to do a pre-fall clean up in the garden but my favorite thing to do is start planning for next year. I’ll take an evening to sit in the garden and evaluate how each plant performed, which plants should be transplanted for better aesthetics and performance, and determine if there are any gaps in spacing. I’ll take note of any trees or shrubs that may be shading out areas that used to be sunny, identify what needs more sun, and what grew to be larger than I’d planned. I use some writeable plant stakes to mark plants that I want to move, divide, or remove. I’ll write (and draw!) this all out and these notes give me lots of things to think about in the winter months!

Feeling inspired to tackle more projects in the garden? Check out our tips on pruning woody shrubs, houseplant repotting advice, and our fall landscaping ideas.

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