Time-Saving Gardener: Tips and Essential Tasks, Season by Season

Overview

Gardening techniques for the best possible results in the shortest possible time.

Time-saving Gardener is a practical how-to reference designed for busy gardeners who can venture into their gardens for only a few hours a week. It shows how to make the best possible use of gardening time and identifies the truly essential tasks that need to be done.

Entries are organized by season and then by task, making routine jobs and special projects easy ...

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Overview

Gardening techniques for the best possible results in the shortest possible time.

Time-saving Gardener is a practical how-to reference designed for busy gardeners who can venture into their gardens for only a few hours a week. It shows how to make the best possible use of gardening time and identifies the truly essential tasks that need to be done.

Entries are organized by season and then by task, making routine jobs and special projects easy to find. Symbols indicate the priority of a task, how long it will take and whether it can be undertaken in another season.

These time-saving features include:

  • Step-by-step work sequences
  • Detailed how-to illustrations
  • Concise easy-to-follow instructions
  • Informative sidebars and valuable tips
  • Season-by-season projects
  • A directory of easy-care plants.

Time-saving Gardener is easy to follow and suitable for all gardens large or small, urban or rural. This superb guide may indeed become the most frequently used reference on a gardener's bookshelf.

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Editorial Reviews

OCRegister.com (Orange County)
Hurray to Hutchinson for a solid book for beginners.
— Cindy McNatt
San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles
If the garden chores have become overwhelming and impossible to prioritize, pick up [this book]... Each project is rated as high, medium of low priority, so necessary tasks are easy to identify and given an approximte amount of time to complete. Full of charts and illustrations.
The Post and Courier (Charleston SC)
The book offers illustrated instructions and [a] directory of plants that grow well with minimal effort, time and labor.
— MCT
Booklist
Should appeal to readers looking for a concise course of action when dealing with the many demands of a garden.
— Alice Joyce
Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
The book is stuffed with time-saving techniques... The book offers tips on plants that will thrive on minimal effort, and breaks down seasonal tasks. It's a book worth keeping at hand whether you're a novice or an experienced gardener.
Herald & Review (Decatur IL)
As a guide to working more efficiently in the garden, "Time-Saving Gardener" is good reading for recovering garden dummies.
— Virginia A. Smith
The Freeman (Milwaukee)
A guide to working more efficiently in the garden... Knowing what you're doing is the best timesaver out there.
— Virginia A. Smith
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Illustrated instructions help the gardener accomplish the task efficiently.
— wire
Patriot-News (Harrisburg PA)
Lots of how-to sketches. Symbols everywhere. Season-by-season tips. For people in a real hurry.
— George Weigl
North Shore News
Loaded with diagrams and step-by-step instructions, every section provides valuable information for both the novice and experienced gardener.
— Terry Peters
Texas Gardener's Seeds
So, can a book with the phrase "season by season" in its title be of any use to most Texan gardeners? Yes, indeed, if we ignore that phrase and just highlight Time-Saving Gardener: Tips and Essential Tasks. This book offers a rich collection of how-to entries, each arranged by a series of numbered picture blocks. Each entry includes, as well, a sidebar box of helpful tips. Topics range from how to support climbers or plant clematis through a tree to how to raise tomatoes in a grow-bag or manage a hanging basket. My favorite, though, is how to plant in walls and crevices.
North Shore News - Terry Peters
For each season, author Carolyn Hutchinson has analyzed the essential tasks and rated them in order of importance. So, if you are pressed for time in the spring then using Hutchinson's ratings you can get on to the pruning and planting that should be done and perhaps leave the edging for later. Loaded with diagrams and step-by-step instructions, every section provides valuable information for both the novice and experienced gardener, such as tips on lawn care, plant propagation and kitchen gardens. Hutchinson concludes her book with a directory of easy-care plants that will thrive in most types of soil.
OCRegister.com (Orange County) - Cindy McNatt
Inside is an illustrated guide, arranged by season, that shows ysou how to do just about everything that needs to get done outdoors. Don't know what a sucker is or what to do with it even if you did? This book couldn't make subjects such as suckers more clear. Ditto for every other subject. Hurray to Hutchinson for a solid book for beginners.
The Post and Courier (Charleston SC) - MCT
The book offers illustrated instructions and [a] directory of plants that grow well with minimal effort, time and labor.
Booklist - Alice Joyce
Hutchison provides an interesting system of symbols to indicate a task's priority as well as actual estimates of the time it will take to accomplish the actions picture.... The layout should appeal to readers looking for a concise course of action when dealing with the many demands of a garden.
Herald & Review (Decatur IL) - Virginia A. Smith
Finally, a book to tell me, in plain English, how and when to plant, mulch, prune, stake, root, feed, deadhead and mow beds, borders, ponds, containers, lawns and kitchen gardens... As a guide to working more efficiently in the garden, "Time-Saving Gardener" is good reading for recovering garden dummies. Knowing what you're doing is the best timesaver out there.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - wire
Illustrated instructions help the gardener accomplish the task efficiently. There's also a directory of plants that grow well with minimal effort, saving even more time and labor.
Patriot-News (Harrisburg PA) - George Weigl
Lots of how-to sketches. Symbols everywhere. Season-by-season tips. For people in a real hurry.
Publishers Weekly

For gardeners too busy to plan, this eminently practical book takes care of the distracting work of planning, organizing and prioritizing. With an emphasis on efficiency, Hutchinson (Easy Container Gardening) lays out gardening tasks by season, labels them by priority, sorts them into logical categories-beds, borders and pools; propagation; containers; lawns; kitchen gardens; and pests and disease-and even gives an approximation of the time each task will take. The book itself is a lesson in efficiency, jam-packed with essentials from pruning bush roses (early spring) and the year's first lawn mowing (mid-spring) to frost and snow protection (late autumn) and cleaning containers and tools (winter). It also gives instruction on less common but intriguing topics such as planting alpines in walls, installing a computerized patio water system for ease and water conservation and protecting pond fish from predators. Cartloads of attractive, clear illustrations walk readers step-by-step through every project, whether it's dividing water lilies, planting a clematis into a tree, or eradicating vine weevils, and photos display the inviting outcomes. This book gives stressed-out gardeners practical advice on how to keep their backyard jungles tamed and maybe even time to enjoy the fruits of their labors. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

From feeding and mulching in spring to outwitting the crop pests of summer to planting bulbs in autumn and pruning trees in winter, Hutchinson (The Once-a-Week Gardner) takes the mystery out of gardening with this practical and inspired volume packed with common sense and great ideas. Organized by season, the book lays out essential maintenance tasks, explains their importance, and estimates the time required to complete them. Easy-to-follow illustrations lead gardeners through a variety of projects step by step, while photographs inspire them toward the finished product. Hutchinson provides instructions for no-dig early potatoes, hedge trimming, shrub pruning, herb pot planting, maintaining fences and walls, sowing annuals, cleaning up rock gardens, and dealing with perennial weeds, among dozens of other tasks, reminding readers that there are no shortcuts to proper ground preparation. An A-to-Z directory of easy-care plants and a glossary of plant and gardening terms round out the book. Recommended for all collections.
—Donna L. Davey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554073726
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/29/2013
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Hutchinson is a gardening writer and the co-author of four gardening books. She is a frequent contributor to horticultural publications, with articles that range from practical projects to in-depth plant profiles.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Gardening can be both immensely pleasurable and rewarding, but for busy people—with demanding jobs or young families, perhaps—keeping the garden in shape can seem an awesome chore. However, this need not be the case. Whatever your aims—whether you enjoy gardening for its own sake, or just want to create an agreeable space for relaxing and entertaining—with the help of this book, you will find that gardening is much easier, and a good deal less time-consuming, than you think.

All the projects in the book are basic and apply to gardens of all sizes, shapes and styles. They are arranged by season, so that you can tell at a glance what you should be doing at any particular time of the year.

The number of tasks in a specific season may seem daunting, but do not feel you have to undertake them all at once. The grading system of exclamation marks at the start of each project indicates how important it is: you should simply check the gradings as each season begins, and prioritize the tasks to suit you and your garden. For the absolutely essential jobs, there is always an explanation as to why they are so vital—the time-saving gardener, pushed for time, deserves a justification for the effort expended on any particular task.

Approximate timings for each project are given so that you can plan your time, and encourage you to get started. Most gardening work is intimidating in prospect, but it is surprising how much can be achieved quite quickly.

Many of the step-by-step projects exhibit extremely useful time-saving tips and techniques. However, some tasks are inevitably painstaking and cannot be hurried.Remember that by doing things thoroughly in the first place, you will usually save a lot of time in the long term—preparing the ground for sodding, for instance, is heavy work, but it is an insurance against future problems that may well take hours to fix later. Similarly, following the correct planting method guarantees the best start for your plants, while a rushed session can lead to an inordinate amount of trouble as you try to revive struggling, sickly specimens.

The plant directory at the back of the book contains those plants that will grow beautifully with minimal effort. If you follow the siting and soil recommendations given, this will give your plants a huge head start, again saving you time, trouble and expense later. A sun-loving plant such as ceanothus, for instance, will be miserable in a shady position, but other equally lovely shrubs, such as philadelphus and mahonia, will thrive. Similarly, an attempt to grow rhododendrons in anything but acid soil is a thankless task. Working with your soil type, rather than against it, and setting plants in the right position, really does make all the difference.

There is no real mystery to gardening—each task is simply a series of steps. If you follow the steps through, you will be amazed by how much easier the garden is to look after in the long run. The plants will be happier and healthier, and they will do the growing for you—just what is needed for those gardeners with busy lives.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Seasonal tasks / Key to Symbols

SPRING Early Spring

  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Propagation
  • Containers
  • Lawns
  • Kitchen gardens
Mid-Spring
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Containers
  • Lawns
  • Kitchen gardens
Late Spring
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Propagation
  • Containers
  • Lawns
SUMMER Early Summer
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Propagation
  • Containers
  • Kitchen gardens
Midsummer
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Propagation
  • Containers
  • Lawns
  • Kitchen gardens
Late Summer
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Containers
  • Kitchen gardens
AUTUMN Early Autumn
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Containers
  • Lawns
  • Kitchen gardens
Mid-Autumn
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Containers
  • Kitchen gardens
Late-Autumn
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Propagation
  • Containers
  • Kitchen gardens
WINTER
  • Beds, borders and ponds
  • Kitchen gardens
The Healthy Garden
  • Solving pest, disease and weed problems
An A-Z Directory of Easy-Care Plants

Glossary
Index
Acknowledgements

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Preface

Introduction

Gardening can be both immensely pleasurable and rewarding, but for busy people — with demanding jobs or young families, perhaps — keeping the garden in shape can seem an awesome chore. However, this need not be the case. Whatever your aims — whether you enjoy gardening for its own sake, or just want to create an agreeable space for relaxing and entertaining — with the help of this book, you will find that gardening is much easier, and a good deal less time-consuming, than you think.

All the projects in the book are basic and apply to gardens of all sizes, shapes and styles. They are arranged by season, so that you can tell at a glance what you should be doing at any particular time of the year.

The number of tasks in a specific season may seem daunting, but do not feel you have to undertake them all at once. The grading system of exclamation marks at the start of each project indicates how important it is: you should simply check the gradings as each season begins, and prioritize the tasks to suit you and your garden. For the absolutely essential jobs, there is always an explanation as to why they are so vital — the time-saving gardener, pushed for time, deserves a justification for the effort expended on any particular task.

Approximate timings for each project are given so that you can plan your time, and encourage you to get started. Most gardening work is intimidating in prospect, but it is surprising how much can be achieved quite quickly.

Many of the step-by-step projects exhibit extremely useful time-saving tips and techniques. However, some tasks are inevitably painstaking and cannot be hurried. Remember that by doing things thoroughly in the first place, you will usually save a lot of time in the long term — preparing the ground for sodding, for instance, is heavy work, but it is an insurance against future problems that may well take hours to fix later. Similarly, following the correct planting method guarantees the best start for your plants, while a rushed session can lead to an inordinate amount of trouble as you try to revive struggling, sickly specimens.

The plant directory at the back of the book contains those plants that will grow beautifully with minimal effort. If you follow the siting and soil recommendations given, this will give your plants a huge head start, again saving you time, trouble and expense later. A sun-loving plant such as ceanothus, for instance, will be miserable in a shady position, but other equally lovely shrubs, such as philadelphus and mahonia, will thrive. Similarly, an attempt to grow rhododendrons in anything but acid soil is a thankless task. Working with your soil type, rather than against it, and setting plants in the right position, really does make all the difference.

There is no real mystery to gardening — each task is simply a series of steps. If you follow the steps through, you will be amazed by how much easier the garden is to look after in the long run. The plants will be happier and healthier, and they will do the growing for you — just what is needed for those gardeners with busy lives.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Gardening can be both immensely pleasurable and rewarding, but for busy people -- with demanding jobs or young families, perhaps -- keeping the garden in shape can seem an awesome chore. However, this need not be the case. Whatever your aims -- whether you enjoy gardening for its own sake, or just want to create an agreeable space for relaxing and entertaining -- with the help of this book, you will find that gardening is much easier, and a good deal less time-consuming, than you think.

All the projects in the book are basic and apply to gardens of all sizes, shapes and styles. They are arranged by season, so that you can tell at a glance what you should be doing at any particular time of the year.

The number of tasks in a specific season may seem daunting, but do not feel you have to undertake them all at once. The grading system of exclamation marks at the start of each project indicates how important it is: you should simply check the gradings as each season begins, and prioritize the tasks to suit you and your garden. For the absolutely essential jobs, there is always an explanation as to why they are so vital -- the time-saving gardener, pushed for time, deserves a justification for the effort expended on any particular task.

Approximate timings for each project are given so that you can plan your time, and encourage you to get started. Most gardening work is intimidating in prospect, but it is surprising how much can be achieved quite quickly.

Many of the step-by-step projects exhibit extremely useful time-saving tips and techniques. However, some tasks are inevitably painstaking and cannot be hurried. Remember that bydoing things thoroughly in the first place, you will usually save a lot of time in the long term -- preparing the ground for sodding, for instance, is heavy work, but it is an insurance against future problems that may well take hours to fix later. Similarly, following the correct planting method guarantees the best start for your plants, while a rushed session can lead to an inordinate amount of trouble as you try to revive struggling, sickly specimens.

The plant directory at the back of the book contains those plants that will grow beautifully with minimal effort. If you follow the siting and soil recommendations given, this will give your plants a huge head start, again saving you time, trouble and expense later. A sun-loving plant such as ceanothus, for instance, will be miserable in a shady position, but other equally lovely shrubs, such as philadelphus and mahonia, will thrive. Similarly, an attempt to grow rhododendrons in anything but acid soil is a thankless task. Working with your soil type, rather than against it, and setting plants in the right position, really does make all the difference.

There is no real mystery to gardening -- each task is simply a series of steps. If you follow the steps through, you will be amazed by how much easier the garden is to look after in the long run. The plants will be happier and healthier, and they will do the growing for you -- just what is needed for those gardeners with busy lives.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    The TIME-SAVING GARDENER is clearly written, helpfully illustrated, and well organized. Author Carolyn Hutchinson gives information on container and kitchen gardening, lawns, plantings, ponds, propagation, and pruning. For example, plant misbehavior tracks back to problems above or below ground. But correct feeding, pruning and watering give plants good starts to their daily challenges from the environment. And the author covers the problems and tasks for each topic according to the early, middle or late parts of the seasons they show up, or must be tackled. She ends with an ID of some 60 easy-care plants, a glossary, and an index. The book is a friendly read to timid and untried gardeners. And it's a gentle reminder to the experienced and the over-booked.

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