With the hot sunny days arriving tempting us into our gardens now is the time to put in a little groundwork for a gorgeous summers enjoyment.
The BBQ’s, the croquet, the paddling pool party… whatever you use your garden for, follow these simple steps to achieving a garden that HRH Elizabeth would be proud to visit in her 60 years celebration, or for the non royalists, Tom Daley and the Olympic athletes would love to stop by holding a flaming torch. I know which I’d rather.
So dust off the mower, grease up the tools and get ready to enjoy the outdoors.
1) If you haven’t already then cut your lawns. With the hosepipe bans in place it’s a good idea to cut a little longer and more frequently. You don’t want to see a brown dried out lawn by July.
2) After the first cut take a pronged rake and give your lawn a good raking taking out any of the winter thatch, including dead grass and moss… If you have a lot of moss then you may wish to rake it out in stages for the next couple of months.
3) Apply a good lawn feed remembering that if it doesn’t rain within the next three days then you’ll want to use a watering can to avoid the feed scorching the grass.
4) Turning the beds. Most people put their forks into hard soils the full length and try to turn the impossible usually bending a prong. Instead tease the ground by pushing your fork in 3 – 4 inches. Break up this top soil around all the beds then add a good rotted compost. With the April showers we often get the compost and turned soil will break down and feed the plants in the garden. Once it’s been done you’ll also find it easier to turn the next time.
5) Shrubs. A lot of shrubs will be getting ready for their flowering period if they haven’t already. General rule is to clip back any shrubs after they have flowered.
6) Get ready any beds that you wish to plant bedding plants in. The lovely Baccopa will trail over any planter or raised bed and produce a mass of white flowers well into Autumn. If you are braving bedding plants now then do watch out for any ground frosts in the mornings which can kill off plants even in April.
7) If you have a water feature then check your pump, cleaning off any excess algae.
Have your patio’s jet washed from the winter grime which has collected. There is a hosepipe ban in place but small companies are allowed to use hoses for cleaning. You’d expect to pay between £40 – 80 depending on the size of patio and this little investment will make the difference for the rest of the year.
8) Finally dig out the patio seat cushions, re-fill the Tiki torches, and get the Rose chilled for a relaxing, romantic, party, free time, coffee meeting, place to spend your summer.
by Graham Davies
Love anything edible, the depths of space and mountain walking – Which helps when you work on the 3rd floor!
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