Make More Time for Playtime by Creating a Low Maintenance Garden

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Having a home with a garden when you have a family is always a huge bonus. Kids love to play outside, so having a backyard where they can do precisely that is a great way to get them out in the fresh air and being active.

Before kids, your garden may have been a neat and tidy place, a space where you could feel serene, relax, and listen to the sound of the birds in the trees. After having kids, you probably found that this all changed and that your garden looks more like a playground than a place to relax.

If you aim to spend more time outdoors having fun with the kids, the chances are that you want to make your garden a place that’s easy to maintain. A low maintenance garden will make life a lot easier, and of course, leaves much more free time for fun outside with the kids. Having a low maintenance garden means that everyone can enjoy the space more, without needing to worry about its upkeep.

Here are some ideas on how to create a fuss-free garden that can be enjoyed by all the family:

Divide it Up

Keeping parts of your garden separate for different uses can make it a lot easier to keep neat and tidy. Keep breakable items away from the area where kids play football and other ball games, to prevent broken greenhouse windows, or plant pots cracked by rogue footballs.

Manageable Flower Beds

If you are struggling to keep up with weeding your flower beds, you may want to transform them and make them easier to manage. One way to help prevent weeds growing amongst your flower beds is to fit some garden membrane. Garden membrane covers the surface of your flower beds and prevents weeds from being able to penetrate through. You can buy garden membrane on a roll from most garden centres, simply choose the size that you need, and you can then trim it to fit your flower beds at home. When buying the weed control membrane, don’t forget to purchase hooks or stakes that are designed to keep it in place.

At home, simply clear your flower beds, taking care to remove sharp stones that may damage the membrane. Once you have done this, you can fit the weed control membrane and secure it in place. The next stage is to add your chosen aggregate over the top; this could be bark chippings, or how about slate chippings. This will provide you with an attractive, easy to maintain and weed-free flower bed, which you could place some beautiful pots of plants on to.

Go Potty

Plant pots are the ultimate easy to look after addition to your garden. As mentioned above, they are ideal for adding some extra interest to your weed-free flower beds. The kids will love helping to take care of the potted plants and flowers in the garden, as they are so much easier to water with a watering can as opposed to needing a hose.

If you want to teach the kids about growing food, why not give them a pot each to grow their own? There are loads of fruit and vegetables that can be grown in containers, from strawberries to peppers, and the kids will love watching them grow, taking care of them, and eventually eating them.

If you are keen to let the kids learn more about wildlife and nature, this is still entirely possible in a low maintenance garden, and regardless of the size of your garden. Lavender in pots is a great way to fill your garden with beautiful colour and fragrance and is really easy to take care of. With lavender in your garden, you will find that butterflies can’t stay away, so there will be plenty of them to spot. Lavender is also great for attracting bumble bees too.

Love Your Lawn

Your lawn is an area of the garden that requires constant work, whether it is weeding it or mowing it. When you are trying to achieve a low maintenance garden, it can sometimes feel like getting rid of the lawn altogether is the only solution. However, artificial grass is a fantastic alternative and is something that can be added by synthetic grass installers, or you could even have a go at doing it yourself. Either way, you will be left with a great lawn for the kids to play on that requires very little maintenance and no mowing at all!

Common Garden Problems- And How to Fix Them!

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Is your garden looking a little worse for wear? Maybe it’s not been touched since last summer, or perhaps several years have gone by where it’s not been given any attention. You might have moved into a new home and inherited a neglected garden. Either way, getting it back up to scratch will provide you with a place to sit and relax and to host friends, and somewhere for your pets and kids to play. Here are some common issues, and how to fix them.

Overgrown trees

Established trees in the garden can be a wonderful addition to the space. They look nice, and can provide you with added privacy and shade. However, when trees grow too large it can become a problem. They might block out so much light that the inside of your home looks dark and dingy. They might have been planted in the wrong place and so make your garden feel smaller than it is, and in some cases the roots can grow so large that it can affect the foundations of your house. In some cases, giving the tree a good prune and cut is all it needs, but if it’s affecting under your home, it will need to be cut down. Find a local tree surgery company and see exactly what needs to be done. In some cases, cutting down trees will make the garden feel so much better and you can always plant some more suitable varieties or just some shrubs to stop it from looking bare.

Pests

We should all be doing what we can do invite wildlife into our garden- birds, amphibians like frogs and toads and pollinators like  bees and butterflies can all struggle to survive in more built- up areas. However, when we invite wildlife in, it’s the good kind that we want! We don’t want pests that will enter our gardens (and possibly our homes) and cause damage, spread disease and generally be a nuisance. Pests like rodents, termites, aphids, spider mites. slugs and locusts can all be detrimental to our plants, pets, property or our health. Sometimes, biological control can work well. For example, encouraging ladybirds into the garden with various plant and planting schemes will naturally keep aphid levels down. If you’re going to use pesticides, be careful that you’re not going to harm other creatures in the process. Things like slug pellets for example can be fatal to dogs and cats, but there are other varieties which are safe to use. So do your research.

Cherry Laithang
Weeds

Leave your garden for a few weeks and weeds will quickly take over. These species are highly adapted to live in our soil and climate, they can establish very quickly without much in the way of nutrients or space! It’s why you’ll find dandelions thriving even in the cracks of your patio, or various weeds poking up from small breaks in weed barriers on the ground. Again, be careful of chemicals if you’re going to use weed killer, it’s advisable not to spray it on a windy day since the toxins can fall onto other plants. Used carefully, it can be helpful to get things under control. From there, each week you could go up and pull up any weeds that have sprouted by hand.

Broken slabs and rotten decking

Patio slabs are built to last, but over the years the wear and weather can take their toll on them. Broken slabs can really bring down the look of the garden, the same is true of rotten decking. You might be able to patch things here and there, but in some cases it might be best to just start from scratch. Rip out your current patio and throw it into a skip, and have a new one fitted. If you’re a dab hand at DIY you might be able to do this yourself, otherwise have a gardening company come in. The patio is where most of us tend to spend our time in the garden, it’s where furniture like garden swings and table and chairs are placed. So if this area looks a mess, it’s going to affect the look of the entire garden. If you’re not good at maintaining your wooden decking, go with a composite type which is a blend of wood and plastic and won’t rot. Otherwise, stick with patio slabs.

A thinning lawn

A bald and patchy lawn can be caused for a variety of reasons. From people standing on it when it’s wet, to it being flooded in the winter to urine from pets, and general wear and tear from kids running around. Achieving a lush green lawn isn’t as difficult as you might think, and in most cases you won’t need to rip it up and start again. Use a scarifying tool or rake to remove all of the thatch (dead grass) and then using a garden fork, create lots of holes to aerate the ground. Purchase a fast growing grass seed blend and scatter it down between March and October and keep the ground moist. Within a month you’ll have some decent growth, and after six weeks you can give the grass it’s first cut. The more its cut, the more it will be encouraged to grow, and before you know it it’s back to looking good again. If your lawn dies each year due to flooding problems then the issue is with your soil. It’s best to take it all up and start again. Make sure you lay down enough high quality top soil so that the lawn has nutrients and drains freely to stop it from going boggy.

Overgrown ponds

Overgrown ponds are an eye sore and bad for the creatures that live in them. Floating weeds can quickly cover the surface, trapping too much co2 and creating a toxic environment for wildlife. If you don’t have time or the energy to maintain a pond, have it drained and filled in. Otherwise, do some research and find out exactly what’s involved in keeping it ship shape.

Fast and Easy Ways to Spring-Clean your Garden

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If you want to spring-clean your garden, then you will find that this is very easy to do. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and you would be surprised at how much of a difference this could make to your home.

Add some Plant Feed

Gardeners love to nurture their gardens and early spring is the best time of year to give everything in the garden a boost. Try and apply a good amount of new soil and the next time it rains, scatter some pellet fertiliser too. This will break down and it will eventually filter into the soil. When this happens, it is then absorbed by the growing roots and it will also fuel flowering and even plant growth in general.

Take care of your Lawn

Lawn nutrients can be added to any grass areas that you have. Try and use a sturdy rake to remove any build-up of thatch or anything that is left underfoot. If you find that the lawn is looking sparse then now is the time to re-seed it or even add more turf. Before you decide to replant anything, it is a good idea for you to dig down in any organic matter with a wetting agent. Everyone needs to stay away from these areas until they are established and until the new grass grows vigorously.

Annie Spratt
Plant a Good Range of Vegetables

Early spring is the best time for you to plant some vegetables and it doesn’t matter whether you are starting a new garden or whether you are maintaining an old one. If you want to get started, then it helps to plant as many herbs and vegetables as you can. This includes summer salad vegetables too, as this will add a lot of colour to your space and it will also make it much easier to manage. Peas, lettuce, basil and rocket are all great options. If you want to make the most out of your garden, then you might even want to look into large greenhouses. This way you can plant a huge range of crops without having to worry about them shadowing each other.

Colour

Most flowers can be planted with ease and they can give your garden a super quick lift. They add instant colour too. If you want to get some ideas then focus on pansies, flowering bulbs and even petunias too. Other flowers that you need to consider include phlox and seedlings. You can plant these out in garden beds and they will add a huge amount of colour.

Clean and Mend

 

Warmer weather ultimately means that you will be spending more time outside eating and relaxing. For this reason, you need to make the effort to check any furniture and seating areas too. Wooden furniture may need reoiling or even repainting. Nuts and bolts may also need to be tightened too. Over time they can become loose and you may even find that your furniture is weaker as a result, so it is worth looking into this.

Using Shade Trees to Enhance Your Family Garden

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If you have the space to do so, planting a tree or two in your garden is a very good idea. Doing so will enhance your home as well as be good for the planet.

There are many different types of trees you could use. But, today, I thought I would look specifically at shade trees. As you can see here there are dozens of varieties for you could potentially plant. All you need to do is to select the right one for one of the projects below.

Create a shady spot in your garden

Unsurprisingly, most people use shade trees to create somewhere cool they can go and sit. To do that all you need to do is to select a variety that will grow in your climate, plant it and wait for it to grow.

Once it is mature enough you can build a nice bench around the trunk. This type of seating is surprisingly easy to create. It will great and this type of bench is surprisingly comfortable. There is something really special about sitting with your back up against a tree on a warm summer’s day. It is a great way to while away a couple of hours reading a book or perhaps resting a chessboard on the bench and playing a game with someone.

Hung Tran

Protect your home from the elements

Shade trees can do far more than just provide somewhere cool for you to sit. They can also be used to keep your home cooler in the summer. Provided you plant them in the right spot they will cast a significant shadow over your home, which will help to keep it cooler. Using this method it is possible to shave a significant amount off of your summer electric bill. You will rarely have to use fans or air-conditioning.

Create a tree house

If you have the space to plant some of the larger varieties of shade tree, in time, you may be able to create a tree house. These are a wonderful addition to any home. They have the potential to be used in lots of different ways.

Gone are the days where tree houses were only for kid. Increasingly, home owners are turning them into retreats for the adults in the family. They are an especially good place to meditate or sleep. There is something really relaxing about being as close to nature as you are when you are in a tree house.

Hopefully, you will like one of the above ideas and be motivated to plant a tree in your garden. But, before you go out and buy one, I suggest that you go online and do a little more research into the varieties that have caught your eye. There are a few things you need to bear in mind to make sure that you end up buying the type of trees that are suitable for your garden and family. It is really easy to find out what you need to know online, especially if you take that advice from local government websites.

The 3 Big Reasons Why Winter Lawn Care Is Still Important

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Ways to tackle winter lawn care for busy parents… 

It is so easy in winter to throw everything garden-related out the window and stay cosy inside as much as humanly possible.

The issue with this is that when summer starts to show its face, you will no doubt have a very sad-looking lawn and garden to contend with when all you really should be doing is soaking up as much vitamin D as you can!

For this reason, looking after your lawn in winter is an important task. Granted, winter lawn care doesn’t need to be a daily or even regular chore; doing odd jobs now and then like clearing leaves will go a long way.

Or, if you would prefer not to have to venture out in the cold, you can let professionals take over.

Jonas Weckschmied

Let’s have a look at the three main reasons why winter lawn care is just as important as looking after your lawn in the warmer months…

  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…

The first big reason why you should look into winter lawn care is the big pat on the back you can give yourself when your lawn isn’t looking forlorn and deprived by the time summer arrives.

Although the amount of winter lawn care you can really do is restricted with rain, snow and all things in-between, there are some little tasks that can make a big difference in the long run!

Clearing leaves and debris from your lawn’s surface is one way to help it survive autumn/winter – if your lawn is constantly covered it will simply be unable to breathe. To help with allowing your lawn to breathe, you could also get ahead of the game and poke small holes into the surface of your lawn before the colder weather comes around. You will thank yourself later.

If you feel like you simply don’t have the time to invest in lawn care – as a busy parent I can relate – there is, of course, the option to let professionals do the work. Greensleeves offer an affordable lawn care service with a range of seasonal treatments, even in winter, to keep your lawn happy and protected from the elements. If you are always on the go and preoccupied with children and family duties like most parents, you can schedule Greensleeves’ visits in all year-round to keep your garden looking its best without so much as a thought.

Aaron Burden

  • Safe space for children

The second important reason why even parents/guardians with busy schedules should take winter lawn care into account is for the children. Having a safe and healthy space for children to play in outdoors is an important part of childhood and whilst there is the option to take children to local parks, having your own space will make both yours and their life so much easier!

Picture this, it’s a sunny day but you have some jobs in the house to be getting on with – if you have a healthy and secure garden you can let your kids loose to entertain themselves. What a luxury!

  • For appearance’s sake

The third and final big reason for investing time or money into winter lawn care is simply for the sake of appearances! Think of all the summer gatherings, barbecues, firework displays and more that you could host if you are proud of your lawn…

If you keep your garden in good nick you will no doubt be pleasantly surprised at the nature that congregates too. Leaving bread or seeds out on the grass or in a bird feeder will encourage winter birds like the famous robin to pay your backyard a visit. There is nothing more serene than looking out the window on a chilly winter morning and seeing a multitude of animals happily enjoying your garden.

Hopefully, these three big reasons why you should spend some time on your winter lawn care have motivated you to layer up and get stuck in – or to give the professionals a call and book in some lawn care treatments!