Monday, February 20, 2012

Get organised

A number of months ago now I made an organisational change that made a significant improvement to the use of my time in the garden. But first let me walk you through an example of say, propagating seeds in pots, the old way.

1. Walk down to the shed to realise it is locked.
2. Walk back to the house, collect the keys.
3. Return to the shed, managing to enter this time.
4. Grab the seed tins (we use to keep our seeds packets in large sealable tins) and return to the house.
5. Tip contents of tins all over kitchen table.
6. Get gardening guides from the book shelf and work out what to plant.
7. Return to the shed.
8. Get potting pots out of basket on shelf.
9. Get hand spade out of gardening bag hanging on wall.
10. Grab bag of soil on my way out.
11. Lug the lot to the seedling table.
12. Finally do the primary task... plant seeds.
13. For good measure return once again to the shed because I forgot the potting labels.
14. When done make lot more trips back and forth putting every thing back in its ridiculous spot.

Now I am sure you are thinking I made that up just to add a bit of drama to the story. Oh how I wish that was true.

So following one the of the principles of permaculture which is to organise the proximity of things based on frequency of use, which I am sure has been a common sense guide line in many disciplines way before the existence of the term permaculture, we did some organising.

As a result the seed packets have been brought inside, where they should be kept anyway to improve longevity, and organised them into two little tiny filling cabinets. One for summer appropriate seeds and the other winter, and the seeds suited to both... well sorry I don’t have the answer to that one, yet!

Next I added a plastic weather proof set of draws to the seedling table. In the draws are all of the tools and materials needed for frequent gardening tasks: hand spades, gloves, twine, scissors, labels, pencil (4B, thanks to Scarecrows tip), rubber, pencil sharpener, and of course pots. There is also a  bucket kept topped up with soil, a watering can, and seaweed solution all at hand.

Knowing what to plant and when is mostly pre-organised and quickly accessible from a set of sheets. If I had access to a laminate machine they would laminated, as I don’t they are slipped in a plastic sleeve for protection. The sheets are not yet fully complete and we are still experimenting with where is the best location to keep them, with the seeds in the house or at the seedling table in a draw.

Not only has this organisation helped with the seedlings it has also helped with most gardening tasks. The seedling table, which should now be called ‘seedling and tool’ table, is located near the garden giving quick access to everything we need. This has really made it possible to do some productive gardening in those spare 15 minutes.

Is there an area of your gardening that could do with a bit of organising?


  1. Hi Jason, Looks like it will be a big improvements in your time usage. I would love to see more of your plant planning guide and hear about how you worked it out.

  2. Fiona Credit in most part goes to Linda Woodrow. Melanie has taken the planting guide from Linda's book and scaled it down as our beds are about half the size. We have not fully been following the guides as of yet as we not quite yet in the rhythm, but we are getting there. As we attempt to follow the plan I expect we will learn more about our specific garden and will modify it as we go. I intend to blog more about, so stay tuned.


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