Make it fun: Four keys to being organized in your garden

It's spring! Yay!

But if we SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) aren't careful and plan ahead, we can get into a lot of trouble at the nursery. All the more reason to be organized not just with housecleaning, but with gardening.

This time of year the nurseries are teaming with flowers that beseech us like friendly puppies at the Humane Society to take them home. And, we are like busy bees around those beautiful flowers. After all, we survived winter and we’re sick of gray and ready for sunny colors.

A good rule of your green thumb is Plan, Prepare, Pur-chase, Plant. If you try to prepare and plant at the same time, you’ll poop out and then those plants that you’ve taken into your care face possible death. Of course it’s not premeditated, but the plants will be just as dead.

Death by good intention

Have you ever seen a honey bee that’s got so much pollen on her feet and thighs that she can barely fly? I often wonder if some of them never make it back to their hives they’re so overloaded; kind of like when you’ve eaten way too much.

But like those bees, we can get carried away buying more than we can plant. We fly home with our trunks full of flats of flowers and the optimism we’ll plant them all TODAY, but so often we poop out in the middle of the plant and the remaining purchase is at the mercy of our next planting mood, which can easily result in death of the remaining purchase.

Four keys all start with a P

Key 1 Plan~

Divide your yard into zones. When you divide up a project into manageable parts you won’t get overwhelmed. Figure out what you’d like to have brighten each zone and write down how many of each plant you want. It’ll be like a grocery list.

Don’t plan another zone until you’ve finished planting one you’ve planned. I like to add at least one perennial each year (those are the plants that come back) in each of my zones.

Key 2 Prepare~

Prepare the soil and even dig the holes before you head to the nursery. This is a crucial P!

Key 3 Purchase~

Take your list and limit what you buy to the amount of holes you’ve already dug. Don’t be tempted while you’re in the beauty of all the colors and fragrances to over-buy your holes! You don’t have to stick to the exact kind of flowers on your list, just the number of plants.

Key 4 Plant~

When you actually get to plant, (which is as soon as you get home from buying the plants, since you’ve already prepared where you want to plant them) you’ll be so happy with yourself for doing all the hard work first and you won’t have the guilt that comes with unintentionally killing innocent life by leaving those beautiful plants out in their tiny pots without water (It’s just easy to forget when you get tired and the plants are out of sight, out of mind.).

This year I’ve turned one of my pet peeves into an ad-vantage. We have a big meadow and every spring the moles convene like they’re at a great, an-nual mole convention.

Their un-derground social network rivals Facebook. They seem to converge on our meadow about when the grass starts growing.

As I walked through the grass and inspected the hills, I noticed how rich the dirt was and I thought, “I should use it when planting flowers in the beds that have a great deal of clay.”

I went to my local nursery and asked what I could add to the mole dirt to make it as good as a commercial potting soil.

On my website, I show you on a video, exactly how to turn mole dirt into luscious potting soil. It’s easy and cheap!

Here’s the link to that video.

For more from Pam Young go online to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view.