Up to now, my gardening practice has been pretty adhoc, but i'm looking to build a little more routine so that I have a repeatable process that I can rely on to become more productive and self-sufficient with the small plot of land I have available (about 200 sqm).
I'm interested to hear what habits, workflows or routines you have incorporated into your gardening practice on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis to help you become a more successful grower.
In order to keep, any sort of routine I have to keep lists. Working full time, owning a micro-business, homeschooling two kids and maintaining our small property I would lose anything I don't write down. My planner has six sections each day, one is dedicated to our garden. Anything soil, plant or animal related goes there. Each week I think on or consult my garden journal for what to do next and write down the needed tasks.
Gardening gets planned by season, month and week.
In August I made note of the changes we want to make and start drawing. Once I get a basic plan I write down what varieties/veggies I plan to grow. Then decide where they'll go. In January we make a weekly plan of what it getting started indoors, when and where. Then it's go time. Every sunny day gets some time in the garden. Things we do in Nov-Mar: Prune our fruittrees (there is never a "right" time here between the harvest and rain. This month has worked for us so far.); removed dead berry canes; start cold weather spring crops; create new beds by layering; inoculate mushroom logs; clean up greenhouse; start spring seeds; plant cover crops; mulch all the things; transplant wandering raspberry canes, cleaning pots. I try to have "rainy day" lists. Like making carrot seed strips, organizing what gets planted next, sketching design or seed starting.
April-May is filled with tending and transplanting, weed removal, and lots of vegetation management of side yard, lawns and hedges.
Once everything is in the ground growing I go out first thing in the morning on my three days off, checking for pest damage, thirst or other issues. Usually with coffee in hand. First the greenhouse, make sure all new sprouts are well. Then a bowl or cup of soapy water. The birds get fed next, then walk through main garden and knock beetles off Calendula's into cup. Any weed near where I am already at gets removed. Later in the morning we harvest, after the sun hits the plants, and I do the same with the weeds pulling as I go.
We go out there every day after work and I mess around with anything, getting chickens treats, spot watering, growing sprouts or collecting herbs. Full weeding is done weekly in the evening on one of my days off. My hubs and I use the time to visit, enjoying our space on this planet. The next morning I usually do the main water for the week, allowing the plants to dry before evening. Here powdery mildew and slugs both love moist environments. If I am succession planting anything I try to put the seed in the ground the evening before I water.
As for habits, always have a hori and snips available. Also it helps to carry a bit of string and a rock bucket.
I tend to break everything into baby steps. Small chunks of time so I can devote a little to everything. This works well, as I can prioritize larger time blocks for whatever is most important at the moment.
“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King