Centralize It: 6 Tips to Organized Gardening Tasks

This is my outdoor potting table. It was what I fell in love with last spring. Hubs made it out of mainly left over wood from another project, but afterwards he determined, even if he had of needed to purchase all the wood and screws it still would have been worth the cash dropped to see all those hearts float around my head again. Yeah, he won some brownie points for this one!

The point here is not  to brag about my new potting table. My point is to encourage all dirt flippers to designate a centralized potting station at your place. It is the most productive thing that happened last year to further my organization toward growing in pots. What really surprised me was how much I used it for other things as well.  My garden is the heart of where I spend my time during the growing season, but I have to say my potting table quickly became a main artery to my heart as I found myself using it for not only potting plants, but for sorting and cleaning vegetables, mending broken tools, mixing compost, and countless other activities.  I have been flipping dirt for a long time now and had never had a central potting location. How in the name of Squirm the Worm did I manage?! Truth is, I didn't very well.  I was unorganized to the moon and back. Bad part about that was my projects were not on the moon, they were here, on Earth, under my own feet. Scattered about everywhere. Until my centralized potting station/location was born.

Notice I said I had never had a central potting "location". I did not say I had never had a potting table. Although it is true, I have never had a potting table.  But for me, the actual potting table was what sparked the elementary idea in my pea brain (not to dishonor peas) that everyone needs a centralized... organized... work station.  You know, they say we "creatives" tend to be a bit disheveled and unorganized.  Okay, you got me there. Organization is something that does not come naturally for a lot of us.  Hence, tidying the pantry every other day around here is necessary.   The important part should not be acceptance of  disorganization, because that will whip ya like a big pile of meringue! It is best to just get up off your unorganized batootie and tidy things! You will thank yourself tomorrow, right? Right. I'm sorry, but I just have to remind myself of that fact regularly.  In my garden, my centralized location to work has been the fixer to my unorganized thoughts and actions.  I am amazed at what keeping myself in one spot has corrected and created in my flipping dirt productivity. I am totally convinced that a permanent centralized work location is the new key to my garden management.

Your centralized location does not have to look like mine. But it does need to look like "yours", and meet a few basic rules to help you stay organized.  So, wether it is a heavy duty potting table like the one Hubs built, or whether you flip over a few five gallon buckets topped with 2x4's, designate yourself a centralized potting station to aid in keeping your projects orderly.  If your projects stay orderly, that leaves more room for your thoughts to remain on Mother Earth.

So, if you adore flipping dirt and do not have a potting station...GET IT GURL! (or fellow)

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A FEW BASIC RULES FOR A GREAT ORGANIZED POTTING STATION/LOCATION:

     1.  Keep your station set up simple:
Do not over-complicate your set up. Too much "stuff" laying about can get in the way, cause confusion, and even be dangerous.   Have you ever been hit in the head with a shovel like Wile E. Coyote? Me either, but dern, you know that had to hurt! He really should have not had that shovel laying on the ground. Just sayin'. 
     2.  Locate your potting station close to where your tools live:
This will save you a lot of steps and time.  The idea of your centralized station is to speed up your work delivery and keep things orderly. If you are constantly running to the back forty to grab a bucket, or a spade, you are defeating the purpose of centralization. So, if your garden is out back and all your tools live in the garage, maybe a good central station area would be against the house, just outside the garage, beside the water spigot. This way, you will be close to your tools, but not taking up valuable garage space with dirt and planting pots. So think about this a bit before planting your station.
     3.  Have an easy to use water source to your station:
This is very important! Water is heavy. The last thing you will need to be doing is carrying water. Yeah, hauling water if you don't have to makes no sense.  I'm sure I didn't even need to remind you of that...but I did anyway. OH, and just for the record. Don't make my mistake and not invest in a good watering hose. I went through a new watering hose almost every year until I broke down and chalked it up for good ones. Why they are so expensive, I will never know. But throwing a rubber hose in the landfill every year goes against my grain. 
     4.  Make your station either standing height, or sitting height:
You will totally understand my recommendation here after hours of working at your station, and most certainly if you do not consider the height of your station to be one or the other.  A healthy and strong back is very important
     5.  Keep your wheels handy:
Don't forget to make wheels a part of your centralized potting station. Without a doubt you are going to need to cart a few things around. Maybe your wheels will already live close to your potting station, but if not, grab them when you are getting your other tools. This is a part of that "saving steps" thing I mentioned earlier. 
     6.  Tidy Up Daily
I hate to sound like your mother, but last but not least... never finish working at your station without tidying the place up! If you do not, one project ends up running into the next and your centralized potting station ends up being a tool heap that is not only an eyesore but is unproductive, wasteful, and not what you need to fuel the love for Mother Earth, nor yourself. So...yeah...always, always tidy up. 

So, there's my big 6 tips on how to centrally locate a potting station to where it works! You may find other things that become necessary for you in your particular dirt flipping situation. If so, by all means, feel free to share in the comments below!

Want the build plans for MY POTTING STATION? HERE YA GO!  You're Welcome!
     *My potting station was altered a bit here and there, but the basic dimensions are the same.

~Blessings to Everyone!,
~Pj

"Live life sufficiently; Love others purposefully; Care deeply for Mother Earth and her Creator.

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