Taking Care of the Gardener

I hope everyone had a lovely fourth of July. We got back late last night – after being stuck in a long traffic jam after the fireworks. We always say we’re going to leave right before the finale, but we never do. In any case, we had a lovely time with our friends and the weather in Minnesota was perfection – one of the best 4th of Julys we’ve had in recent memory.

All right, so a little bit about what is happening around here. This week, I’m taking care of the gardener.

I just wanted to send out a little reminder to all you gardeners out there to remember to take care of yourself as the weather starts to heat up. Two of the easiest ways gardeners can do that is by working smarter outside and taking care of yourself as a gardener.

Here are my five tips for working smarter and taking care of yourself as a gardener.

First, with four kids and not being the spring chicken I used to be, I’ve learned pretty quickly that I need to pace myself in the garden. I can’t spend eight hours in the garden and still have gas in the tank to come in and make a full supper, do laundry, clean the house, be a responsive spouse, etc. So now, I garden in 2 hour increments or less.

Student Gardeners

And, here’s a little secret that many gardeners won’t admit to; I also have a great group of high school students that help me 6 hours a week. By having 2-3 girls working side-by-side with me, I can get 24 hours of work in the garden each week. By scheduling these girls for just two hours, three times a week, in just 6 hours every week I get so much accomplished. Having those girls show up regularly helps me to hold myself accountable to my garden chores. By keeping our schedule to these two hour bursts of work in the garden, we’re staying sharp and we’re working hard the entire time we are out there. You know, after about two hours, productivity can starts to slip anyway – so we’re really maximizing our time out there.

Third, I still have my mini-fridge from college – won’t tell you how old that thing is, but I will tell you that it still works and it keeps a stock of iced teas, sports drinks and waters ice cold for frequent breaks while I’m outside. I do a better job of keeping myself hydrated if there is a fun and ever-changing selection happening in that little fridge in my garage.

Fourth, there’s also a great app called 30/30  that some of my web developer friends use as a task management tool. Recently, I’ve been using it for some of my gardening tasks and it’s been a big help.  I’ll have a link to that app in the show notes today.

Last but not least, enjoy your garden, folks. I have plenty of years under my belt where I did nothing but work in my garden the entire summer. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older – I’d like to think it’s because I’m better at self-care – either way, I’m spending time in my garden; happily, more time than ever this year just enjoying it.Passion Flower

I might be sitting two feet away from a thistle or a plant gone astray, but… I  am  just  sitting  there….  with my starbucks, or my caribou, or some smoothie concoction made by Emma, with my dog Sonny at my feet and a kid eventually sitting on my lap. I’m finally enjoying just being in my garden. It’s been awfully nice and I can’t see going back to my old crazy non-stop-toiling-in-the-garden-ways now.

That’s the view from up here this week.

Still growing...




Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. […] The View From Up Here July 5th, 2013 […]

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