During our recent garden clean up, I couldn't help but take notice of some mistakes I had made. Because we had built a new garden this year, we used this new excitement to fill it with sunflowers, corn, squash, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, herbs, and peas. After cleaning out the garden, I realized there were some things I would have changed.
We didn't really need 30-12 foot tall sunflowers in four different spots in the garden.
We squished way too many plants in some spaces making it hard for some things to grow.
Foods we loved (like peppers and cucumbers) never made it because they were out-shadowed by taller, bushier plants.
While at the beginning it was beautifully designed, as the season progressed, at times it felt cluttered and overwhelming (at times we called it the jungle).
At the beginning some things took up a small space, until they became the main feature of the garden because they were so big – the sunflowers.
Some things were so squished, that they never reached their full harvest potential - the broccoli.
It's like life, isn't it?
We start out with this idea that this is what we should do and focus our time on but then things get way out of hand.
Things that we didn't think would be a big deal, turned out to take all our attention.
Things that we really wanted to have a part of our lives didn't produce because they didn't get the space they needed.
Schedules were so tightly compacted that there wasn't space to reach our full potential.
Sometimes we just get so wrapped up in "new".
So with that, I'm sharing what I've learned from the garden to help me "clean up" and prioritize things a bit better.
Tips to Clean Up Your Garden (and your life) and Prioritize What Matters Most:
Garden lessons, life lessons, they can be applied in both ways. Here's what I've learned:
- Decide what you want to see more of based on your priorities. I want more of what I love -- so there will definitely be changes in my life and in our garden so I can grow more of that.
- Leave room and space (time and energy) to grow more of what you decided to grow. Instead of tightly compacting everything together, I will leave some breathing room for those things I truly desire. They will thrive with more space.
- Stay on top of the weeds or things that distract you, remove them. Weeds are my nemesis. Sometimes they are prickly, but look pretty. Sometimes they spread their nasty seeds all over for more weeds to grow. Weekly weeding is my best bet.
- Harvest and celebrate with gratitude. We don't know it all, but we certainly learn the more we live. I'll be harvesting those moments for sure.
Bonus: Real Fall Garden Clean Up Tips:
- Remove all dead plant material.
- Remove all weeds.
- Harvest those last vegetables and remove the plants they were growing from.
- Rake the soil to smooth out the bumps and holes.
- Add compost to the top of the soil so it breaks down over the winter months.
- Take note of where your garden plants were planted so you can be sure to rotate those crops next spring season.
Have a garden tip or a tip to make life a more nourishing one? Share it here!