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.
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.
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.
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 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.