Earlier this year when it came time for me to use the tomato cages and stakes in the garden, I had to unravel a mess. The stakes and their remaining strings were so tangled in a pile on the floor of the carport that I had to use the scissors to free some of them. The tomato cages weren’t quite so bad but they still weren’t neatly stored. So this year as I’ve begun to pull up the stakes and cages, I’ve been creating a more organized plan for storage.
Friends who know I’ve been freelancing as a writer and editor from a home office for 20 years might be shocked to learn that my gardening tools aren’t well organized. They see me as a disciplined, organized person. I strive to store things logically so I know where everything is. Sometimes, however, I get quite lazy. When in a hurry, I throw tools and pots into piles, behind closed doors and into boxes that I can deal with later.
I don’t want to do that this year with my garden.
For the past two weekends, I’ve been cleaning out and reorganizing the gardening items I store as well as putting the garden to bed for the season. I now have neatly bundled stakes and bamboo trellis pieces. I went through the small, plastic pots and discarded those that were cracked, unusable. I then stacked them neatly in the trays I’ve saved from my greenhouse trips. They provide a wonderful space for putting the pots when I’ve filled them with new soil and seeds. I want them easily accessible when that longing to feel the dirt returns.
I also used the boxes of flattened cardboard I carried home from a neighboring store as a cover on two of my garden spaces. I want to get more cardboard and continue with the process of topping it with manure and straw in preparation for experimenting next spring with some “no till” sections of garden. The idea is that it will all decompose before spring and I’ll be able to dig a hole for plants rather than disturbing all of the soil beneath.
The greenhouse is also full again. I’m experimenting with growing tomatoes inside and I have six plants that I potted at three different times so they’re all at a different stage of the growing process. Last week I harvested the first red tomato from the largest plant. Parsley and basil are also growing inside; I look forward to seeing how long they’ll survive.
The garden is slowly going to bed and the carport storage space looks good right now. Of course, my husband does home repair and renovation work and sometimes stores things in there, also. I’ll have to keep my eye out for the first hint of clutter, which I know will come again. But at least I can be assured that my gardening tools are neatly waiting for another year’s use.