Garden Maintenance Tips Throughout The Seasons

Although many of us tend to live inside of our homes and don’t really think about the exteriors, there are going to be times when we must turn our attention in that direction. This is especially true when the snow begins to melt in the spring and it uncovers all of the items that were left in our yard over the past winter. When this happens to you, what can you do to bring your yard back to life and to make it an enjoyable environment, both for your family and for your neighbors? Here are a few tips that can help you to get through this difficulty.

One of the first things that you should consider is the fact that yard care and landscaping should be done in the springtime, just as spring cleaning on the inside of your home is done at that time. You should make it an effort to completely clean up the yard during the springtime, as it will be of benefit to you throughout the summer time when most people tend to be out of doors. Of course, the amount of effort that you put into the spring cleaning on the outside the home is going to differ depending upon the needs of your yard. In some cases, it’s just going to be a matter of tidying up a little bit and picking up some of the items that may have been buried under the snow. In other cases, however, more landscaping is going to be needed to beautify the yard and to make it a haven at your home.

Have you thought about planting a garden this spring? This is also something that can be very beneficial but it is going to take some work on your part. Not only are you going to have to prepare the garden in advance, the garden maintenance is also going to be something that needs to be considered. If you find that it is getting away from you, you do have some options which will help you to get back on track again. In some cases, you can bring in the assistance of family and friends who can generally get a garden in good shape in an afternoon’s time. You may also find it beneficial to hire an outside service who can maintain the garden on a weekly basis. That will help to take some of the pressure off while allowing you to enjoy everything the garden has to offer.

You should also keep in mind that after the spring cleanup has been completed, you are going to need to maintain the area. Set aside time every week to do your yard work, regardless of whether it is mowing the lawn or cleaning up after children and pets. If you take the time to continually work in the yard and to make sure that you are not allowing it to get too out of control, you would be surprised with how much you are able to enjoy the area. It will also help to cut down on the amount of work that is required.

Hedge Cutting and Garden Maintenance

Hedge cutting and garden maintenance are extremely important when it comes to defining your exterior boundaries with your neighbours.

Like all garden maintenance jobs, planning is extremely important, and none more so than the equipment to be used. Not only is it important to ensure your trimmers and shears are in good working order but you must also give some thought to your safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and for high positioned tasks helmets and proper boots.

For smaller hedges hand shears would normally suffice however for large scale jobs petrol or electrical trimmers would be seen as the standard option nowadays.

The majority of hedges have to be clipped after planting and then twice a year in spring and late summer. Normally, you would only trim the side shoots of more temperately growing hedges leaving the leading shoots untouched. The most vigorous species might need trimming 2 or 3 times in the growing season. Once the leading shoots have attained the desired height, trim them level to make a flat-topped, wider-growing hedge.

Whilst trimming the hedge, it’s extremely important to make sure you always have a good vantage point to assess how your “lines” are running as it’s very difficult to determine accurately by eye; it’s only when you have finished that any mistakes become apparent.

The great thing about working in the garden is that its a dynamic environment – even if you do make mistakes they will soon be remedied – take for example the rosebush; roses are very hardy and forgiving, so short of cutting them off an inch above the ground, it’s hard to make a mistake. Get a good sharp pair of secateurs for this job. Cut off all the dead branches and the branches that are aiming in the wrong directions. Finally trim the branches that you want to regenerate the new buds for future growth – keep around three growth buds on the branch in question.

Another great tip for freshening up the layout is to move plants from one part of the garden to the other. If you are moving shrubs, don’t try it with anything too big, as you will have problem getting up all the roots. But for smaller shrubs such as daphne, rosemary or roses (again), all you need to do is first dig a sizeable hole where you desire to place the shrub. Put some blood and bone down the end. Then cautiously dig up the shrub you want to transplant, taking as much root and as much soil around the root as you can. Then move the shrub – roots, soil and all – into the pit where it’s going to do. Put in as much soil as you need to fill the hole to the top, then water it.

Summer Garden Maintenance

Summer is a time to sit out in the garden and enjoy the features that you have created; the beautiful flowers that bloom, the well maintained lawn, the soothing water features. But, there is still some work to be done to keep all these features looking their best. Don’t worry; it’s not too much work. Just enough to protect what you have created form the elements. A very hot and dry spell can do a lot of damage to a garden. Here are some tasks which you may need to carry out:

July jobs:

• Make sure birds have water in dry weather. Birds are very important to the gardener’s environment. It may not always seem so (i.e. when they are raiding your fruits) but they do have their place in the natural order of things.

• Keep young plants and bedding fed and watered. Young, fast growing plants need energy sustenance to achieve their full potential.

• Deadhead flowers as they fade. It is important to make way for new growth, and also for appearances sake. There is nothing worse than having dead flowers on display in your garden.

• Prune shrubs that flower in early summer. This will encourage new growth and will also provide a platform for the new blooms. • Plant your autumn flowering bulbs. Get them in now and water them well. Don’t forget to keep an eye on them during the warm weather to come as you don’t want them to suffer from a lack of water.

• Pinch out runner beans as they reach the top of their canes

• Make plans for someone to water your garden if you go away on holiday. You don’t want to come back to a barren wasteland when you have put so much effort into getting your garden looking great.

August jobs:

• Keep ponds topped up – if you have a water feature in your garden the natural heat during the mid to late summer months will have an effect on the water levels. There will be a lot of evaporation and there may even be other factors involved such as animals drinking from the water feature. Both of these will reduce the water levels beyond what is needed to sustain, not only the appearance, but the effectiveness of the water feature to sustain whatever plant and fish/animal life live in the water feature environment. If possible top up with rainwater as using tap water, which is full of nutrients, can encourage the growth of algae.

• Water plants as they need it – keep an eye on plants and if you notice them wilting or drooping then apply water and watch the life return to them. Don’t overdo it as you can drown some plants.

• Trim hedges – cut back in late summer to prepare for the new growth in the spring.

• Prune back rambling roses, and trim lavender as it fades

• Mow grass less frequently if the weather is hot and dry. If you cut grass too short in this type of weather you may lose it.