Garden Maintenance – Looking After Your Dream Garden
Now that you have achieved your dream garden, it is time to face the practical side of things, i.e. garden maintenance. A colourful flower bed or a well manicured lawn does require attention to keep looking at its best throughout the seasons. For the plants to grow and bloom, there are specific tasks that need to be done beyond their installation.
A weed attack is a nightmare for every gardener. There are various ways to maintain a weed-free lawn and grassy areas and careful considerations should also be given to the existing plant life. Yes, a weed is still technically a plant, but with their invasive nature, they tend to snatch whatever nutrients and moisture that you have made available for your plants. In the end, they could aggressively take over the space, choking your own plants and depriving them of the intended nutrients you have supplied.
Careful thought and a lot of hours on your hands and knees are needed to keep these pesky weeds at bay, so it is highly important that even at the design phase of your garden, preventive measures are discussed. The key is to skilfully remove the weeds without pulling out a chunk of grass roots or seriously damaging your seedlings. Some people are resorting to hand held flame guns for large areas that require weeding while others are into herbicides. Certain chemicals may have a detrimental effect to the environment and to the fragile creatures of your garden that you have gone to extraordinary lengths to nurture. It is important that you always seek advice and read the product labels thoroughly before using chemical weed killer.
Mulching is another outdoor activity that can help you maintain a thriving garden. A layer of mulch put on top of a garden soil not only combats the growth of weeds but it also releases nutrients into the soil. Opt for the organic kind such as bark, leaves or compost mixes as they decompose faster than the inorganic kind. Organic mulch with fine particles provides an efficient coverage of the soil, a nice way to keep it moist and cool during the summer, while lending warmth during the winter. Periodic application of mulch is necessary, depending on the type that was used as it will break down into the soil with time.
Mowing your lawn can be a boring garden maintenance activity but still necessary if you wish to keep your lawn in pristine condition. Keep in mind though that the leaves of the grass feed the roots, so always monitor the cutting height setting of your mower. For example, certain grass types will have a minimum cutting height tolerance of say 1/2 – 1 inch in length. When the grass needs more nutrients during a drought, a conservative cut of just 1/2 inch could help the grass survive this tough season. It may be time for re-turfing or re-seeding if you already have bald patches in some areas of your lawn. It is good to remember that grass does not grow once the average temperatures get down to below 5°C and you may have to wait until spring if winter comes early.
Before even stepping into your garden, an outdoor area that creates a vivid first impression to your visitors is the patio. Do you think they will be bowled over by the lushness of your garden if they are welcomed by the dusty, moss-covered patio tiles? Not a chance. So take the time to power wash your patio floor and get rid of those weeds that peek between the tiles before re-pointing if necessary.
It is always heart-warming to have a special place to come home to amidst all the hustle and bustle of daily life, but the reality is that it does require a certain level of commitment to keep this paradise healthy and visually appealing. If you have a garden that requires care on a periodic basis, consulting a professional landscaper or landscaping company that provides garden maintenance is a smart decision. While they are out pruning your trees and shrubs, you get to fully enjoy the beauty of your garden with family and friends with your favourite drink in hand.