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Come On, Knock Your Garden into Shape!

by Love Wrexham Magazine
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Father and son gardening

With all that time on your hands and the fine weather we’ve been having, I’m afraid there’s simply no reason to keep putting off those jobs you know need doing in the garden!

Here are some ideas to knock your garden into shape!:

Get Your Children Involved

Little girl gardening - Come On, Knock Your Garden into Shape!

Projects around the house and garden are always that little bit more special when your kids are involved. Start off a little project for them using planting bulbs or seeds so they can see the wonders of the plant developing as the days go by.

You could, of course, be a bit more adventurous and task them with creating a vegetable patch!

Sunshine is key! Find a spot that gets at least six hours a day, upcycle a pot, or help them build a small box. Fill it with a store-bought potting mix, and choose some fast-growing vegetables like cherry tomatoes, peas, or green beans.

Get them to use their fingers to dig shallow holes, drop in the seeds and sprinkle on some more soil. Decorate the area with pebbles or popsicle stick signs and make sure they water it daily with a spray bottle.

Tackle Those Weeds

Buy some weedkiller, one or several different kinds of weeding tools and get stuck into those flower beds and lawns. It’s a slow process, but will be worth it when you’re finished and can see how good everything looks without those dandelions and thistles! Weeds steal water and nutrients from your desired plants, so a good back garden starts with a clean slate. Here’s a step-by-step approach to tackling those unwanted guests:

Preparation Is Key

  1. Timing is Everything: Choose a dry day when the soil is moist but workable.
  2. Gear Up: You’ll find a pair of knee pads or protectors or a soft cushion to kneel on will help your poor knees no end. A trowel, a hand cultivator (claw tool), and a bucket will be your weapons of choice.
  3. Identify the Enemy: Knowing your foe will give you the edge. Familiarize yourself with common weeds in your area. Some have deep taproots, requiring extra attention.

The Battle Begins

  1. The Big Pull: For shallow-rooted weeds, grab the base firmly and pull straight up. If needed, loosen any packed soil with the trowel.
  2. Cut at Source: For deep-rooted weeds like dandelions, use a dandelion fork or trowel to dig and sever the taproot below the surface. Leaving a fragment can lead to regrowth.
  3. Strategic Strike: For weeds stubbornly clinging to desired plants, use the hand cultivator to loosen the soil around the base. This allows you to remove the weed without damaging your prized plants.
  4. Bag and Dispose: Don’t let the enemy return! Place all weeds in a bag for proper disposal. Leaving them on the ground can allow seeds to disperse.

Post-Battle Maintenance

  1. Spoil the Party: Once the weeds are gone, spread a thin layer of mulch around your plants. This helps suppress weed growth and retains moisture.
  2. Stay Vigilant: Keep an eye out for new weed sprouts and remove them when still young to prevent them from establishing.
  3. Plant Power: Consider filling the bare patches with your desired plants. Dense planting helps crowd out weeds naturally.

With a little effort and these tactics, you can make your back garden a weed-free zone!

Treat that lawn

After you’ve finished the above, you may feel you need to do something about the bare patches on your lawn. Make sure you sow the seed evenly and respect the dosage instructions on the packet. Water if necessary afterwards and mow as soon as you start to see the new grass sprouting.

Plant some new flowers

Watering

This is so easy and just requires a packet of seeds and a watering can so you’ve no excuse. Sunflowers, marigolds, sweet peas and pansies are among the easiest and most rewarding ones to start off with. Take it one step further: buy yourself an empty hanging basket, a bag of compost and create some real works of art!

Build A Rockery

Make sure the area you choose is in an area of maximum light and away from the shade of trees, walls or fences. Use local rocks if you can to keep the look as natural as possible. You can use building rubble for the base if necessary as this will not be visible. It will provide good drainage and support. Make sure the ground you choose is free of weeds as this can destabilise the rockery over time. Make sure to place a layer of porous fabric over the base to maintain the stability and prevent any weeds that might have survived from poking through. Start with the largest rocks and aim for a kind of peak shape. When you’ve created that basic form, start to use your imagination and rework the top part of the rockery to your taste. Aubretia, Aster Alpinus and Phlox Subulata are great as basic rockery plant choices.

Finally, we hope you enjoyed “Come On, Knock Your Garden Into Shape!”. For more gardening-related articles, click here.

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