Top tips on lawn care and garden maintenance
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The advice and expertise you need to get your garden ready for summer.
When peak summer is on the horizon, more and more people begin getting ready to enjoy the sun from the comfort of their gardens. But after a long winter, your outdoor space is likely not quite looking its best – therefore during later spring/ early summer is your best opportunity to invest a little time into getting your garden summer ready.
If you don’t consider yourself to be much of a gardener and really don’t know where to start, this guide is for you.
Love your lawn
A neatly mown lawn is the base of a perfect summer garden, so make sure yours is in tip top condition before you begin any other work.
Lawn treatment can be easy. Get started by re-sowing any poor patches of grass, aerating the lawn to encourage root growth, and giving the lawn a good scratch with a wire rake to allow light and water to reach the soil. The removal of common lawn weeds is also a beneficial task that can be done early on.
Lee Bloomfield, parts and showroom manager, at Ernest Doe Power, a company that supplies agricultural, construction and groundcare machinery across the South and South-East of England says: ‘Little and often’ is the key when it comes to summer prep in the garden. Keeping leaves off hard surfaces will delay growth of moss and weeds on patios, and checking borders regularly for weed growth and removing unwanted weeds quickly ensures roots do not develop in the ground.”
Lee also provides more lawn care advice. He says: “Mowing the lawn is even possible in January and February provided the weather is mild. You should keep off the grass though if it is waterlogged or frozen.
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“In June, mow your lawn twice a week and stick to the same pattern. Never take more than a third off the top of the tips, and water the grass in between if necessary. Coming into July, apply a summer fertiliser and water in if needed. Don’t cut the grass too short but continue to cut twice-weekly where possible.”
What gardening tools are essential?
Getting your garden ready for the summer is going to include the use of many gardening tools. There’s the hand trowel for planting young plants and bulbs, the pruner for cutting jobs, and shears for trimming hedges and long grass.
Lawn mowers however are the most commonly used machine for overall garden and lawn maintenance. If you’re looking for a lawn mower for sale, Lee adds: “The best type of lawnmower depends on the size of your lawn. For a small or compact lawn I’d recommend the lightweight petrol Atco Quattro four-wheel lawnmower. It’s the ideal size mower for small gardens, with a 40cm cut.
“For the medium sized lawn, the petrol Hayter Osprey 46cm push mower, or if you like your lawn with stripes, the Atco Liner 19 self-propelled petrol mower, is ideal. For the larger lawn, offerings from Honda and Hayter, as well as Stiga lawnmowers, are very good options.
“You should look out for a quality engine. Brands such as Briggs & Stratton, Honda and Kohler are built to last! You should check the mower is robust, has good quality handles and a sturdy blade housing.”
You can buy many of these gardening products online, but what makes good gardening equipment?
“The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely applies when it comes to gardening equipment. When purchasing machinery such as a lawnmower or strimmer, only buy from a retailer who offers the full package.
“You should always check that the retailer you are buying from can offer spare parts, support, servicing and warranty, because too many times mowers can be purchased, but replacement blades, strimmer line and other parts cannot be supplied later on.”
How to clean gardening tools
If you care for and maintain your gardening equipment it will always be a joy for you to use and, as a result, will last you generations. Regularly cleaning and oiling garden tools will prevent rust, while also keeping them sharp and strong.
“Tools with engines should be maintained after each use to prevent damage. Modern fuel does not last long, and if left sitting in any engine for a prolonged time period, could cause damage to the carburettor, leading to a potentially expensive service bill! I’d recommend draining fuel from engines if you are not planning to use them for a while.
“Regarding smaller hand tools such as shears, sharpen the blades before the season to ensure they cut through branches well, preventing damage to plants and trees. Once again, little and often is the key.”