6 Time Saving Tips For Gardening

Garden

It’s officially that time of the year to start getting busy with planting and preparing your garden for harvest. If you haven’t already started growing your indoor buds, now is the perfect time to check your soil outside and see if the temperature is warm and dry enough to work with. Don’t have a lot of time to start a garden? Don’t sweat it! Here are 6 time saving tips for gardening that’ll get you up and running in no time at all.

Start with a plan

For anyone looking to save time and be efficient, planning ahead is always the best option when doing virtually anything. Specifically with gardening, having a thought out plan can save you time trying to decide where you want each plant to go while you’re working outside. For additional productivity, make a decision regarding what you plan on replacing the short-lived plants with, such as lettuce and spinach.

Keep tools close

Rather than running around when you finally find time to get outside to work on the garden looking for your tools, have a designated area close to the garden where you store them. A lot of gardeners lose time outside when they are disorganized, and this is something you can easily change. Whether you have a bucket full of your commonly used tools or you have a belt with all of them attached, use whatever method that will save you the most time.

Cut off weeds

One of the most annoying parts of preparing a garden for the spring is the process of getting rid of all of the dead plants from the previous year and any weeds that have grown since then. A time saving trick is to chop any low-growing weeds all at once as opposed to plucking each one individually. Use a sharp blade to slice beneath weeds and then turn them over to completely bury the leaves. As the leaves begin to rot, weeds can help to nourish the soil and act as a green manure.

Mulch it up

Spreading mulch is a no-brainer, but most importantly you need to make sure you spread it efficiently and evenly. Using the tined edge of a rake, you can pull and spread the mulch. Then by flipping the rake over, even out the mulch on the bed.

Water water water

Plants need water to grow, and without water, you will be wasting your time trying to grow yourself a garden. With that said, invest in a soaker hose rather than a traditional watering can so that you can water with ease. The great thing about these hoses is that the water can be left on for many hours, giving you the opportunity to work on something else.

Take small steps

No garden is going to grow overnight, and it’s important to keep that mind set as opposed to pushing a garden to grow faster. A huge mistake a lot of us make is that we get impatient with the process and rather than letting your garden take the time it needs, we over-water and spend too much time monitoring the process. Take a step back and let your garden grow and you’ll be pleased with the results by the time summer rolls around!

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Ann Michaels is a freelance writer and gardening advocate. She loves making her garden look as beautiful as possible, which is why she buys religious garden statues to improve the overall look. She loves offering tips and tricks to other gardening advocates and hopes her suggestions help!

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Top Tips On Redesigning Your Garden For The Summer

With the arrival of spring often comes people’s desire to get out in the garden and change it up in order to recreate garden magic in time for summer BBQs with friends. However, redesigning a garden isn’t always easy and it can also be quite expensive, which is a real pain if the British summer turns out to be a wash out.

 

Redesigning your garden doesn’t have to be so pricey and stressful, however, and below you will find a number of top tips that will help save you money in the long run and get your garden looking as good as you want it to.

1. Remember what happened last year!

One of the biggest things to keep in mind, upon deciding you want to give your garden a makeover, is to remember exactly what you did in the garden last year and the years preceding that. You will then be able to steer clear of doing anything that didn’t work. For example, did you plant a particular flower that didn’t bloom? Did you successfully grow a plant but hate the scent it gave off?

You need to learn from your mistakes and ensure you know everything about the plants you are planting, i.e. what soil types they prefer, climate, should they be in direct sunlight and so on. This forward planning will ensure your garden looks as perfect as you want it to.

2. Test the pH of your soil

Even if you believe your garden has good soil, it is still important to test it before trying to grow anything. Even more so if you are planning to grow any foodstuffs and have a vegetable patch. So many people just feed their soil with composts and nutrients before they know what their soil is lacking in. Do not do this.

Buy a pH soil test form your local garden centre and then you will be able to see exactly what is going on with your soil and adapt your soil feeding to suit its exact nutrient and mineral requirements. Soil planning is essential if you want your garden redesign to be a success, so do not ever miss out on this step. If you choose to forgo testing your soil, you will only end up wasting your money buying plants and seeds that will not grow and bloom to their full potential.

3. Make your garden smell beautiful

The majority of people, when redesigning their gardens, tend to only focus on the visual sense, however, this is a mistake. When planning what you’re going to plant and grow you should not only think about colours, height and spread but also smell. Some of the best gardens are a true sight to behold but have a greater impact because they smell heavenly too.

Take care when buying your plants and flowers because unfortunately, many will have very limited fragrance because unfortunately it has been lost over time as breeders have worked to ensure plants have longer blooming periods. For instance, there’s no harm in choosing flowers like roses for their visual beauty but their fragrance will now be rather limited. Therefore try to also plant many of the more old-fashioned plants like gardenias, nicotianas and dianthus as these will not only provide colour but are also still strong in perfume too.

4. Create a focal point

As with interior design, where you might make a fireplace or central wall a focal point in your living room, you should look to make a focal point within your garden. You will have a much wider choice of where to make your focal point in your garden as opposed to inside your house and can even vary it on a year by year basis if you so choose.

Many people buy water features and make them a focal point of the garden. They do this by installing a lovely garden path that leads right up to them or by setting them apart from the rest of the garden by setting up ornamental handrails around the feature. Focal points don’t have to be water features though; they can be anything from a distinctive plant to a garden patio.

5. Make sure you have the right tools

This should go without saying and if you are particularly green fingered, no doubt you will have a stock of useful garden tools in your shed. However, there are many people who start off redesigning their garden without many of the key tools they need, simply because they’ve not planned what they’re going to do to their garden in advance.

You don’t need to spend a fortune; however, it is definitely worth investing in some good quality tools, in order to make sure your garden redesign goes smoothly and looks professional once you have finished. At the very least you should have the following:

- Rake
- Shovel
- Pruners
- Garden knife
- Trowel
- Hard-wearing gloves
- Knee pad
- Water hose
- Watering can

Take good care of these tools and you will be able to use them for years. For instance, each time you use any of the metal based tools, rinse off any soil and grime thoroughly, dry them and then place them into a bucket with a sand and motor oil mixture. This will prevent rusting and ensure your tools stay sharp and shiny – perfect for helping you redesign your garden.

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  •  License: Image author owned

Laura writes for Seagull Balustrades. When not blogging about banister rails, she’s usually trying to wipe childrens’ fingerprints off hers.






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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

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