This Week Only: Both Garden Work Areas Tidy!

– Posted in: Garden chores, Tools and Equipment
8 comments

I am so pleased to get both of these chores done–in the same week, no less–that I just had to share it with you.

All done! I didn’t take a “before” picture.

My first project was the seed-starting area. This is a corner of the basement outfitted with discarded kitchen cabinets and a homemade seed starting stand. And it’s not just for starting seeds; it’s also the houseplant tending station.

In the bottom right corner you can see just a bit of our newspaper stockpile. The kitty litter bins have potting soil, grit, and sand. The cabinet on the left has a slide-out bottom which holds a bucket of seed-starting mix as well as small bags of vermiculite and perlite. What this set-up doesn’t have? Water! Anything that needs to be watered must be hauled upstairs, or the water must be carried downstairs in a container.

The garden shed clean up took two afternoons.

Cleaning up in the basement can be done anytime (though in the middle of winter it’s pretty cold down there), but the garden shed needs good weather and a big chunk of time. It’s often difficult to coordinate both of those with the requisite ambition, but this past week everything lined up.

I can’t reorganize and clean the garden shed without taking everything out, sweeping it out, and then putting everything I’m keeping back in. I used to be able to do it in one long, tiring day, but this year it took two afternoons. Note to self: put the things you use most often back into the shed last, because you’ll want them near the front.

Mostly empty, and swept out.

This shed was here when we moved in. It functions as a potting shed, tool storage and equipment garage. There is a bin of miscellaneous toys for young visitors as well. I find it isn’t bright enough for me to see what I’m doing, so when I actually have to pot something, I bring it out on the lawn. And I keep a head lamp on a hook by the entrance, in case I have to hunt for something buried in the back.

Everything put back!

The hamper has rolled up pieces of floating row cover (Reemay, Agrobon, frost cloth, etc.). The kitty litter bins in the back are empty, waiting to be filled with whatever new soil amendment I drag home. Most of the other stuff I think you can figure out.

Finished job from a different angle.

This is just a better view of the potting bench, once again, a scavenged kitchen cabinet. The hanging baskets are the only unfinished part of the job. I want to drill screws into the rafters and hang them there. I wind up using one hanging basket to grow cuttings of sweet potato vine over the winter, and the rest I find handy for starting dahlias, because the containers are shallow but wide. So maybe I should just hang the one, and take the hangers off the rest and stack them. It will soon be time to start dahlias.

I’ve already rewarded myself with a bowl of ice cream so you don’t need to send me any gold stars. I’m not very good at keeping things tidy and organized, so I don’t expect this wondrous achievement to last long. That’s why I’m recording it for posterity here!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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M April 10, 2020, 1:42 pm

The spirit of Marie Kondo lives on! Great job on tidying up! We live in a condo, in USDA zone 4/Canada zone 5B, so there is less to organize in my garden room (aka laundry room with MARS 720 grow lights). Keeping my indoor herbs organized by moisture lovers (mint, basil, parsley) and xeriscape lovers (rosemary and tricolor sage are indestructible, have had them
for months). Also growing indoor lemons and orchids, ready to go out as soon as the weather improves. For now, decorating salads with homegrown organic violas. Thanks for your inspiring posts!

Kathy Purdy April 10, 2020, 8:33 pm

Marie Kondo would have thrown out a lot more–don’t kid yourself! I killed my rosemary after bringing it indoors, but I don’t have MARS 720 grow lights, just a “sunny” window and we all know the sun shines weakly, if at all, during the winter. I’m glad you enjoy my posts; it sounds like you have a small but inspiring garden yourself.

Patricia Evans April 7, 2020, 8:18 pm

Great idea to use the hanging basket pots for dahlia starting. I hope some of my managed to survive their winter in the basement. Trimmed more hellebores today.

Josh April 7, 2020, 5:11 pm

Wow wow wow! Huge undertaking but hopefully this helps make landscaping way easier now!

Cortney April 6, 2020, 7:08 am

Well done! Those are two big tasks and a lot of work. We need to get our garage cleaned and to decide if we too want a shed for garden-related items.

Cate Crawford April 6, 2020, 5:01 am

Wow – I think you need you here at my places. My greenhouses are tidied but, geez, is my garage a MESS!

Lisa at Greenbow April 6, 2020, 4:49 am

I smiled when I read this and saw the results of your hard work. I have done this chore already too. I remember when it made me smile to see my own messes straightened. Good job!

Beth @ PlantPostings April 5, 2020, 9:29 pm

Very impressive, Kathy! You are a good role model. You deserve that ice cream, and gold stars, too!