Tips For A Beautiful Garden This Summer

Tips for a Beautiful Garden This Summer

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing in the garden and refreshing your landscape with lots of pretty flowers and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Most plants will flourish during the summer months, though the dry weather and variation in wildlife means that you may have to take extra care when planning your summer garden.

Plan your garden out before you do the work

Many of your plants will need to be exposed to sunlight for all daylight hours, so making sure they are in an optimum position will ensure that your plants last for as long as possible. Arranging your plants by their colours will also create an attractive landscape, as well as arranging by scents and textures. Creating a story with your flowers and plants can really heighten the pleasure gained from simply wandering around your garden and getting hit by different smells and sights.

You should also experiment with using pots as well as planting in the soil, as this adds height to your garden and some plants are better suited to pots. Of course, adding some ornaments around your garden also adds a greater sense of beauty, and lining your garden with lights or bunting can be a nice touch for a summer’s evening.

Reuse and recycle where possible

As summer nears many councils impose a ban on hose pipes, so reusing water is an environmentally friendly option and a great way of getting around any bans. Watering your plants with leftover kettle water or boiled vegetable water is a good start, and installing a water butt in your garden can be a great way to maintain water levels in your plant pots and beds over the summer months. It’s important to ensure your water butt is covered properly to prevent any wildlife from getting inside. Additionally, putting coffee grounds or tea leaves on your garden maintains the acidity of your soil without having to make a full-blown compost heap.

Tending to your lawn

The lawn can be a forgotten area of care, but it soon becomes apparent when it goes brown and starts fading away! When you mow the lawn make sure you don’t remove more than a third of the height of the grass as it can stress the roots of the grass. It’s also a good idea to leave the clippings on the grass as the remains can restore nutrients into the lawn. Mowing your lawn in the evening means that the grass has had a small chance to grow back before the heat of the midday sun, and this also helps to prevent it from browning.

As your lawn will undoubtedly be the victim of the summer heat, it’s also important to feed your lawn as often as possible, by watering it and giving it specially designed lawn feed. You should also be vigilant and remove any moss build ups and have some grass seeds to hand for any persistent bald patches of grass.

Beware of the insects

Summer is peak time for insect infestations and many delicate plants can be ruined by pests. Aphids and white flies in particular can be damaging for flowers such as roses, so inspecting your plants as often as possible is a must. To avoid using chemicals on your plants, you can order ladybirds and other “good” insects online to ward off any bad bugs on your plants.

Ursula Jones writes about gardening tips and Virginia Hayward hampers. For more information visit www.virginiahayward.com






Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

How To Protect Your Garden From Pests During The Winter Months

Humans are not the only ones who get to enjoy winter. Many garden pests and diseases also thrive during the winter months causing serious harm to our gardens. There are a variety of plants and flowers that can tolerate the cold weather but they often get infested by annoying insects. It is such a shame to allow these pests and diseases to destroy a garden that gives life to a home during dreary winter months. If you want to protect your garden during the winter and keep it healthy for the arrival of spring, then learning more about these pests and diseases and how to prevent them is your best solution.

Snails And Slugs

There are creatures that are able to survive the cold and snails and slugs are among them. They find shelter from the cold and remain dormant until the temperature rises a little. Though they may hide during the day, they come out at night in search for food when the weather is moist and cool. The best way to protect your garden from snails and slugs is by scattering crushed eggshells around your plants and flowers. You can also use copper tape around potted plants to keep these pests away as they avoid having their bellies come into contact with it. Another method is by applying salt or lime around the plants to effectively deter snails and slugs.

Root Rot

This is a common problem with plants during winter as it can make leaves turn yellow and plants wilt. If a plant is affected, it will be mushy and black, while the roots may fall off the plants. To get rid of root rot, simply take the plant and wash the roots, then trim the roots with a sharp scissor. Once clean and trimmed, you can replant it in a pot.

Aphids

Aphids are a common problem in gardens and they can infest plants throughout the year so you must always keep an eye out for them. They can survive the colder weather by overwintering on hedgerows and ornamental plants without being seen until ants begin to infest the plants as well. The best way to keep aphids off your garden is by picking them off by hand to prevent them from multiplying. Another pest that can infest your garden similar to aphids is the Cabbage White Butterfly that overwinters in gates and fences.

Cutworms, Carrot Fly, Onion Fly And Beet Leaf Miner

If you have vegetables growing during the winter then you must be cautious about a handful of pests thriving in your garden as they can overwinter in the soil. The beet leaf miner, carrot fly, cutworms and onion fly can seriously damage your vegetables and make your garden look poorly cared for. To get rid of these pests during the winter, you can dig up the soil and expose them to birds and the cold weather. To protect your garden from carrot fly larvae, you need to dig up all the roots and burn the roots that have been infested.

Caring for a garden during the cold weather can be a challenge, but it is essential if you are determined to have a healthy garden next season. Since pests are the primary concern in a garden, it is better that you consult with a professional to determine the best treatment for your garden.

Citations:
  • Photograph by: LittleJack.
Attached Images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://mrg.bz/CO2iWc

Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in gardening and natural forms of Preventive Pest Control in gardens. She also provides information about natural pest control methods during the winter months, how pests can affect plants and how beneficial plants and insects can help keep pests away.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Wake Up And Smell The Flowers – Why Gardeners Are The Happiest Workers

There is this hallowed idea among the general working population that some of us are happy. Do you know any of these people? I know a few but I also know a few more that aren’t  Maybe in your social circle job satisfaction is the norm but there are an awful lot of people for whom this is not the case. They may have had ideas and dreams as a child or teen but somehow life didn’t pan out that way. We’ve all heard the cliché that money doesn’t bring happiness. According to a City and Guilds study, gardeners are the happiest workers and the least happy are, wait for it… bankers! What is it that makes us happy and contented in our work and why is it so important? We spend such a large part of our week at work. Even when we’re not there, we’re often thinking about it or preparing to go back, so it makes sense that our feelings towards our work will affect our general well being. Apparently, to be truly happy and contented at work, we need to feel recognised, appreciated and supported. We need to feel as if we’re doing something worthwhile while being able to use our skills every day, as well as receiving training and having the opportunity to learn. Gardeners, it would seem, are getting all of this in spades. Ahem. Read on to see how they manage to tick all these boxes.

Exercise

It’s good for us! We all know that really. Many of us spend the day sitting at a desk and call at the gym after work, or go out for a run. Well, I have heard of such people anyway, but gardening is pretty much hard core exercise all day long. Bending, squatting, digging, weeding, hoeing and raking makes a pretty good workout for the whole body and most gardeners will be fit and toned, presumably adding to their general contentment as well as filling them with endorphins.

Breathe

An added bonus of all of this lovely, happy exercise is that it is executed outside in the fresh air. Plenty of sunshine, vitamin D, and lots of lovely oxygen in the lungs contribute to a healthy lifestyle. The downside is being required to work in bad weather but fresh air is mood boosting even if it is a rainy day.

Creation

People tend to feel real pride in creating things and gardeners are constantly surrounded by the fruits of their labour. Planting a seed and watching it grow into a plant is one of life’s simple pleasures and in gardening this will often be happening on a grand scale. Being surrounded by beauty that has been cultivated and created by ourselves is extremely pleasing, leading to that all elusive job satisfaction.

Nurture = Love

Creating a wonderful garden is an act of love. It requires the gardener to nurture and care for their plants and raise their babies into healthy adults. This is the same for relationships and well, if it can be done in the garden…

Dirt is good for you

As well as the digging part being good for you, there is actually something in the mud that improves mood and reduces anxiety. A particular bacterium has been shown to be present in the soil that can have all sorts of health benefits as well as increasing serotonin. With all of these pointers for happiness and well-being, I, for one, am going to log off now and get out in my garden.

Attached Images:

Sam Wright is happily growing and working as a journalist for HorticultureJobs.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS