What Is Flower Garden Maintenance?

The basic needs for a healthy flower garden are simple – well-prepared soil, careful sowing and planting at the right time, warmth, food and moisture; attention to pest and weed control.

Undisturbed weeds will compete with your garden plants for food and moisture and can be, a source of diseases and pests. For fruit, flowers, vegetables and shrubs, all of them can be, controlled with chemical and cultivation measures.

Chemical methods use weed killer on paths or drives. Aminotriazole or simazine are suitable materials when used to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and, are very affective in most conditions. Cultivation is the most convenient method to use in most gardens. Use a hoe regularly in the summer to chop off the seeding weeds before they have a chance, to develop and take over. Start this job in the morning or as early in the day as you can. In the winter months dig the weeds into the soil. Large weeds are best dug out completely or cut off and pulled out.

Stopping and dis-budding Stopping means removing the growing point after four or six leaves have formed. (The first two leaves which form do not count.) This causes the plant to make shoots and to bear more blooms in a bushy way, rather, than a tall slim form. Sweet-peas, dahlias, antirrhinums, fuchsias and geraniums respond very well to this procedure. Some varieties produce more shoots than can be, supported and bloom to perfection, but by judicious thinning better quality, earlier flowers can be, produced to beautify the flower garden.

Simplify Your Garden Maintenance With These Eight Tips

Does your beautiful garden turn into an alien landscape by the middle of summer?  Why not use some expert tricks to keep maintenance to a minimum?  Yes, you have to invest a couple of weekends in the beginning but the pay off is a place to relax, entertain your friends and add to your home’s well kept appearance with a minimum of effort.

  • Develop a garden plan – Your plan can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.  It’s purpose is to give a sense of direction to your gardening efforts.  Your plan will help you realize that even if some things have to be put off until next year, they will come eventually.  This step alone reduces the stress of creating an outdoor living space.  What do you want this space to be like?  Is it for outdoor entertaining or simply a place to relax after a busy day?  Your master plan will help your make quality “easy care” purchasing decisions when it’s time to shop.
  • When choosing your garden’s hard surfaces, consider future maintenance.  Are you starting with a deck or a cement patio?  By developing the seating area first, you can begin to use the area even before the rest of the garden is finished.  If the deck or patio is already installed, does it need to be refinished? Sealing it will prolong it’s life and keep it cleaner. Remember, a little care now can add years to its life.  If you are starting with bare ground, you might prefer a greener option.  A patch of lawn looks nice but remember that it will need ongoing care.  If your site is very shady, another option is to install patio blocks with a low growing moss between them.  It’s an attractive option that doesn’t need constant mowing.
  • Define your planting areas.  Do you need to add trees?  If so, the sooner the better because each year will increase their usefulness.  Don’t forget to consider the density of the shade they will produce, their mature height and if they are very messy.  Some flowering specimens are beautiful but do better in the corner of your landscape where you don’t have to deal with dropping blossoms or seed pods in your seating area.
  • Now consider the planting beds themselves.  If the ground is very compacted, it is worth it to rent a tiller or have someone do it for you.  Have your soil tested for ph and adjust if necessary.  This is a good time to have organic matter and compost worked in as well.  The better your soil is, the more successful your future gardening efforts will be.  Once the beds are ready, plant permanent greenery that will become the backdrop for your seasonal additions.  This is one of the secrets to having gardens that don’t require starting from scratch each year.  Once a permanent bush is planted, you can easily add color with flowering plants in front of it.
  • Plan to water – Not all of us can afford an automatic watering system but you can simplify your watering task.  Even if you can’t afford timers this year, you might be able to set up a pvc sprinkler system that can be manually operated.  Doing so will give you better water coverage and simplify the task.  Timers can be added when your budget allows.  If that is outside your budget and you have to rely on a hose and sprinkler system, consider adding separate hoses for each area that you have to water.  A simple shutoff splitter will direct the water where it’s needed without having to reposition the hose each time.  You are more likely to stay up with needed watering if all you have to do is turn a valve.
  • Put landscape fabric under your mulch.  Some people use strips of plastic but unless you poke holes in it, the rain can’t penetrate.  Other people use newspapers, whatever you choose, putting mulch on top of a weed barrier keeps weeds from taking over your garden.  If any do sprout, you will find that they have shallow root systems and pull out easily.  Along with this, add permanent edging.  It not only defines the edges of your flower beds, but also helps to keep grass from creeping into them.
  • Pick tables and chairs that are weatherproof and easy to clean.  If you are in an area that gets a lot of rain, add a garden chest where chair cushions can be kept clean until you need them.
  • Choose a garden statue over a fountain.  Both add charm and help to give your garden an established look but fountains need to be cleaned weekly.  If you want something that makes soothing sounds, try larger windchimes that ring in a lower note.

Essential Tools for Easy Lawn and Garden Maintenance

Whether you have a big or small lawn, a garden area or a wide array of shrubs and flowers, there are essential tools that you need that will allow you to keep the area looking its best. Here are some essential tools you should have on hand:

Rake

A rake is a basic tool that just about anyone with any yard area around their home will have on hand. It is especially critical if you live in an area where trees and bushes flower or shed their leaves. In the Fall, your rake is likely to get a big workout, so make sure you keep it clean and maintained.

Mower

If you have any amount of lawn or grass around your home, having a mower is important for keeping that area trimmed and beautiful looking. There are mowers available in many sizes, and for many types of lawn and ground. If you have a small amount of lawn around your home, then a small mower that is just for lawns would work fine. If you plan on mowing an area that has a lot of weeds or is on uneven ground, then you might go for a mower that is more powerful and has larger wheels for better traction and stability.

Trimmer

Another essential tool is the trimmer, also called “weedeaters.” A trimmer is an upright tool that you carry around instead of push around. A trimmer will allow you to get into areas that a mower simply can’t get to. A trimmer is also great if you have a lot of tall weeds or need to trim tall shrubbery or fauna for fire protection purposes. A trimmer will also be essential if you have a slope on your land which makes it impossible to use a mower safely.

Pruner

A pruner is a hand tool that you can carry around to cut bushes, flowers or anything else in your garden. You can also use a pruner to pick fruit from your fruit trees, including cherries, plums, apricots, figs, lemons, oranges and just about anything else. Pruners are an essential tool for any garden and for even the smallest yards.

Hose Sprinkler

If you have a home, you surely have water spigots around your home. You can attach a hose with a sprinkler to any spigot and walk around with it to water any of your lawn, plants or trees that need watering. You can also use your hose to wash off your sidewalk, paths, outdoor furniture or even wash your car. A hose sprinkler is a handy tool for many things.

Hedge Trimmers

There are many types of hedge trimmers, including manual style and electric trimmers. The best type for your use really depends on what type of hedge you have. If you don’t have a hedge, you don’t need this tool. If you have a tall or long hedge more than a few feet long or tall, then consider investing in an electric hedger, it will make your hedge look great with little work. If you have just a few bushes or a small hedge, then a manual trimming tool would work fine.

Shovels

Lastly, you never want to forget the shovel. You should have a large one and a small one. A shovel will have many purposes in your yard, from digging new holes for planting to turning over garden soil. No homeowner should be without a shovel.