Survival Gardening

30 Garden Projects You Can Complete This Memorial Day Weekend

This coming weekend is Memorial Day, and here in the states, it’s often viewed as the unofficial start to the summer. For many, it’s the first three-day weekend accompanied by warm weather. Folks across the US will be packing up their cars with gear for that first camping trip of the season. Many will be firing up the backyard grill for a barbecue with family and friends.

And for still more, it’s a prime DIY weekend in the backyard.

Memorial Day weekend is often the first weekend many have when the weather is warm and the weekend is long, so plenty of us take advantage of that extra day off by working outside. Patios are prepped for the season, gardens are put in, and flower beds are planted. Come Monday morning, we’re ready for the summer ahead and the somber holiday we’ll celebrate.

Do you feel like you’ve got a late start to the season? Or are you wondering if it’s too late to have a garden this year? Don’t despair – this is the weekend to get caught up.

Maybe you already have your garden in, but you want to make the most of this weekend to set your garden up for success this year.

Either way, I’ve got you covered with 30 projects you can complete this Memorial Day weekend and still leave you time to hit up the barbecue at your friend’s house.

I can’t tell you the number of gardens I’ve installed over this particular weekend over the years. With a little planning a day or two before, you can have a fully-planted garden by Memorial Day.

A great option is to start a no-dig garden. There’s no tilling or digging in the earth, so it’s much quicker than a traditionally dug garden. We started our no-dig garden over a weekend last year, and it was the best garden we ever had. It was so productive that we decided to double it in size this year.

Since you’re basically laying down compost on top of your existing soil and grass, you can get planting right away.

Get the tutorial here.

chaos garden

This is the perfect garden for the “Meh” Gardener. If hitting up the most barbecues and picnics possible while still putting in some effort for a garden is your goal, then this is the method for you. Of course, this gardening method comes with a bit of uncertainty, but it’s always interesting to see the end result.

Get the tutorial here.

If you’re short on space and time, head to the local garden center and purchase a few straw bales. Congratulations, you’ve just purchased temporary biodegradable raised beds. Plant, harvest, and enjoy.

Get the tutorial here.

front yard garden

For all of you guerilla gardeners out there, this is the perfect weekend to take a stand and plant that curbside or front yard veggie patch. Stake a claim on food sovereignty and plant those veggies out front for all to see.

Get the tutorial here.

mandala garden

Consider planting a mandala garden if you’re looking for a project that incorporates both form and function. These beautiful gardens are the perfect backyard project for a long holiday weekend.

Get the tutorial here.

wood pallet vertical garden

If you’re short on ground space but still want to grow a patch of veggies this summer, consider moving those plants vertically. With a wooden palette or two, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying fresh vegetables for years to come.

Get the tutorial here.

trellis made from branches

Speaking of growing vertically, did you know you can make simple and beautiful trellises with branches from your backyard? These rustic trellises are sturdy, homey and easy to make. Consider making a few of these trellises this weekend if you’re growing your climbing veggies vertically this year.

Get the tutorial here.

worm tower materials

If you’re sold on the benefits of adding worm castings to the soil, take twenty minutes out of your holiday weekend to build an inexpensive worm tower. You’ll be glad you did when you start adding worm casting tea to your plants and enjoying bigger yields and more disease-resistant plants.

Get the tutorial here.

hands pruning raspberry canes

Spring is the best time to prune raspberry canes. This simple annual task makes such a huge difference in your canes’ overall health and yield. Set aside some time this weekend to trim your raspberry canes and get them ready for the season.

Get the tutorial here.

raspberry growing on a cane

Spring is also a great time to finally start your raspberry patch. Use this weekend to jump in and plant some new raspberry canes.

Get the tutorial here.

pink flowers

You don’t have to use nursery starts for all of your flowers. There are plenty of annual flowers that can be direct-seeded for gorgeous blooms all season long.

Get the tutorial here.

creeping thyme

You’ve wanted an herb garden to cater to your cooking needs for ages. And this is the year it’s going to happen. In fact, you’re going to plant it this weekend. Here’s a list of the most popular culinary herbs to grow in your kitchen herb garden.

Get the tutorial here.

hedgerow overlooking meadow

Whether you’re looking for a little privacy or want to add some biodiversity to your property’s plant life, a hedgerow is a brilliant way to go. Hedgerows offer a unique opportunity to create a lasting, living wall that will fill in and grow for decades.

Get the tutorial here.

zinnias in vases

If you love fresh-cut flowers, don’t forget to set aside some time to plant these specific flowers. Whether you incorporate them into your current landscaping or plant them in with the vegetables, these blooms are perfect for fresh bouquets.

Get the tutorial here.

bee on dill flower

If you’ve been concerned about the decreasing numbers of pollinators and want to do something to help, adding pollinator-friendly plants to your backyard space is a great way to do it. It doesn’t have to be complicated and overwhelming. You can do it this weekend.

Get the tutorial here.

Backyard fire pit with chairs

You and the family have talked about how nice it would be to have a fire pit in the backyard. Make this year the one where you host the barbecue, and family and friends enjoy s’mores by the fire. It’s easy enough to install a simple yet beautiful fire pit over a weekend and sit around the fire Monday evening.

Get the tutorial here.

Nasturtiums in sunshine

Give pests something else to chew on other than your cabbages and eggplants. Planting trap crops such as nasturtiums is an excellent organic alternative to using pesticides in your garden. Get these plants in the ground now, so they’re ready when pests start to show up.

Get the tutorial here.

Packet of mycorrhizae

Perhaps you’ve already got your garden in the ground, and it’s off to a good start. If you want to ensure an incredible season, I highly recommend taking the time over the long weekend to inoculate your plants with a quality mycorrhizae blend.

Get the tutorial here.

DIY compost bin

This is it! This is the year you get serious about composting. Only you need a compost bin or tumbler to do it. But they’re so expensive! No worries, you can easily build your own over the holiday weekend and be well on your way to homemade compost in your own backyard.

Get the tutorial here.

Grass clippings and a pitchfork

Compost is probably the best soil restorative out there, but what if you don’t have a compost bin? Or perhaps you just completed the previous task and have a new bin but no finished compost. With a little space in your backyard and two weeks, you can have a batch of finished compost ready to add to your garden.

Get the tutorial here.

rainwater barrel

Perhaps you’ve been meaning to set up a rainwater collection system for a while now, but you never seem to have the time. A long holiday weekend is the perfect time to set up your collection unit, plus you’ll be able to use it to water your garden all summer long.

Get the tutorial here.

Hand holding potting soil from a bucket

If your local garden center is running low on potting mix because of the holiday season, you can easily mix up a batch of potting soil yourself. Needless to say, you can customize it to your growing needs and end up with a DIY product that’s far superior to anything you could buy.

Get the tutorial here.

Wildflower seed bombs

This is a quick and fun project for the whole family. And it’s a great way to use up older seed packets of flowers. You can make these seed bombs on Saturday, bomb your neighborhood on Monday and be enjoying the fruits of your labor come the 4th of July.

Get the tutorial here.

Two bug hotels

If you’ve had issues in the past with low pollination, consider adding a bug hotel to your backyard to attract local pollinators. If they have a place of shelter where they can breed, they’re more likely to stick around. But don’t forget to clean out your hotel every year; otherwise, you may be doing more harm than good.

Get the tutorial here.

Empty mason jars

While you’re grabbing gardening supplies for this weekend, don’t forget to stock up on canning jars. We all know what it’s like trying to find the sizes you need when you actually need them later in the season. Now is the time to buy when stock is high, and prices are low for the holiday weekend.

Get the tutorial here.

How To Grow Upside Down Tomato Plants & Why You Should

Depending on the variety, tomatoes can take up quite a bit of space in the garden. Free up precious gardening real estate by growing 5-gallon buckets of upside-down tomatoes. They look great hanging on your patio or deck and are easier to harvest.

Get the tutorial here.

potatoes grown in a bucket

If you’re limited on space to grow potatoes, or you want to try your hand at growing spuds for the first time, a 5-gallon bucket of potatoes is the way to grow. It only takes a few minutes to start a bucket, and they may just be the easiest potatoes you’ll ever grow in your life.

Get the tutorial here.

Terra cotta strawberry pot

Terracotta strawberry pots are beautiful, and they’re a great way to grow strawberries on your patio. Unfortunately, their design can leave lower plants dry while the top plants are well-hydrated. Take a few minutes to set up this easy strawberry pot watering system.

Get the tutorial here.

Deer standing in garden

If you live in an area where your most common garden pests are the four-legged furry variety, now is a great time to take measures to deer-proof your garden. There’s nothing more infuriating than admiring your beautiful lettuces in the evening and then waking up to a bed of stubs where your lettuces used to be.

Get the tutorial here.

Rabbit eating lettuce in a garden

Likewise, you can take steps to keep Peter Cottontail out of your garden, whose presence can be equally as devastating as deer.

Get the tutorial here.

And that’s it! Now that you’ve got your outdoor spaces planted, tidied up and ready for the summer season, it’s time to relax. Mix up a batch of potato salad and head to the barbecue with a sense of accomplishment.

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