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!

Attached Images:

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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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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4 Grass Cutting Tips

You can almost see the grass grow

Mowing the lawn can seem like a bit of a mystery the first time you attempt it. You’ve seen the neat pale and dark green lines that appear whenever someone mows a lawn on the telly, but whenever you attempt it in your own back garden you seem to get a weird, splotchy green mess.

Mowing the lawn is one of those skills that nobody ever really gets taught. They’re just expected to know how to do it instinctively. However, there are a few common sense tips you can use to make sure that your lawn comes out looking healthy, neat and tidy.

Overlapping

When you start mowing the lawn you should do so in a sort of zigzag pattern, going from one end of the lawn to the other, turning around and coming back alongside where you’ve just been. A lot of first time mowers assume this means that the mower should be travelling next to the freshly mown grass, but don’t cross onto it.

Instead you want to make sure that the lawnmower slightly overlaps the area you’ve just mown. To make this easier and more precise, make a mark on your lawnmower to show how far you want the overlap to go. This will be your “overlap marker”.

This is particularly important if your lawnmower isn’t a hover mower but one with wheels. If you take a second to think about it you’ll realise that running wheels up and down exactly the same path is going to wear tracks into the soil, which isn’t going to look good for the lawn as a whole.

Obstacles

For the easiest mowing results you want a completely flat, level and rectangular lawn with grass that is entirely uniform in length, but of course, lawns like that seldom exist outside of the gardener’s imagination.

There are a number of obstacles you’ll probably face while mowing the lawn. If you find that some of the grass is damp or longer than the rest you can get round it simply by slowing down a little. Just push the mower through the grass at a slightly slower speed and it shouldn’t present any problems.

A slightly trickier area is the bumps and high spots in the lawn. When you approach these it’s worth stopping to raise the height of your blades, otherwise you could end up with a slightly too close shave that leaves bald patches on your lawn, or worse, you could accidentally stop the blade. The same is true when you’re approaching slopes or shady areas.

Maintenance

Of course, it doesn’t matter one jot about your mowing technique if your tools are in poor condition. There are a number of maintenance steps you should take on a regular basis to ensure good mower performance.

If you have a cylinder mower and you find that the blade stutters regularly, or the lawn is coming out in a “ribbed” or “rippled” effect, it could be that the blades are blunt or the mower is under-powered   The same is true if the lawn starts to take on a frayed look, or a sort of silvery sheen.

Getting just the right look

Now you’ve got the basics sorted, you need to focus on getting the look of your lawn just the way you want it. There are a number of tricks to this. Firstly, if you’re using a cylinder mower, change the direction that you’re mowing at least once a month. This stops the grass being constantly pushed down in one direction.

If you want the famed “striped” look on a large lawn or one without a straight edge, the best place to start isn’t on one side of the lawn but straight down the middle. From there you can mow outwards on either side of the central strip.

Naturally it’s important that you have the right tools for the job, whether you buy lawnmowers online or from a store direct it’s worth spending time to make sure you have the right machine

Finally, when you get to the edges of the lawn, don’t worry about getting all the grass. A quick final cut once or twice around the edge of the lawn will give it a professional looking frame.

Attached Images:

Mark Bartram is Managing Director of Lawnmowers Direct, so he knows a thing or two about lawn maintenance.

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