Common Gardening Mistakes

Common Gardening Mistakes

Gardening is a fun and rewarding task, but it can be incredibly stressful and complicated too. No gardener is perfect just like there is no such thing as the perfect garden, so, whether you’ve been gardening for six days or sixty years, we all make the odd mistake here and there. Of course, making mistakes gives you the opportunity to learn, but it’s always better to learn beforehand and avoid them when you can. Keeping that in mind, here are four common gardening mistakes everyone makes. Planting Way Too Early Once you’ve bought your seeds, soil, and everything else you need, it can be tempting to get planting right away. We all get impatient now and then, but you have to hold yourself back and resist the urge to start planting. You need to take the time to prepare your seeds, and your soil or nothing is going to grow. Make sure you dig and double dig the garden beds, adding plenty of compost as you do. This ensures that the ground is fertile and loose enough for your plants. Forgetting About The Sun Before you start to dig and plant, you need to ensure that the spot you have chosen is suitable for your plants. We know that plants require sunlight to grow, but different varieties have different needs. Where some require almost constant sunshine, others prefer to be in the shade for most of the day. Because of this, you should do some research on the plants you intend to grow before you buy them and make sure that you have a spot in your garden that will work. Letting Weeds Grow  Weeds will compete with your plants for light, water, and other resources, so it’s crucial that you deal with them as soon as you can. Unfortunately, weed control can be tricky to master, so you need to do plenty of research to avoid damaging your own plants. You might even want to consider hiring a professional to help you out. Whatever you do, ensure that you stay on top of the issue or it will quickly get out of control. Over Or Under Watering You need to make sure that your plants get the right amount of water or they simply won’t grow. If they get too little, they’ll start to wilt and will eventually die, and if they get too much, then their roots will begin to rot, leading to the same result. Most plants need watering between one and three times a week, but this will depend on the variety and weather. Make sure that you get the ground, rather than the leaves, or the water won’t reach the roots. Everyone makes gardening, and while they offer a great opportunity for you to learn, it is best to avoid them when you can. Hopefully, with the tips and advice above you can do just that and ensure that your garden remains beautiful and healthy all year around. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Pond Life: Building Your Very Own Pond

Pond Life: Building Your Very Own Pond

Your garden is your own  private piece of mother nature’s bounty. It’s your refuge from the world and all its problems. It’s a place in which you can relax, unwind and meditate while surrounded by nature’s subtle perfumes. We all have a slightly different idea of what makes the perfect garden. Some will use their garden as a resource to grow delicious and nutritious food for their families. Others will use it to make a statement, filling it with a dazzling array of plants and statement pieces like water features to wow guests. Others will simply aim to create an outdoor haven in which they, their family and guests can be at peace, sip lemonade, read a book and simply enjoy the psychological and spiritual benefits that come with being surrounded by nature. For these people, some form of water feature is a wonderful way to not only make a statement but add to the soothing ambiance of their outdoor space. We all find proximity to water relaxing and a pond is a wonderful way to add character to your garden while also enhancing its relaxing and restorative qualities. Think adding a pond to your garden will be too much hard work? Think again. Like anything else, installing your very own pond is easy… When you know how. Pre-made or create your own? If the prospect of installing your own pond makes you a little nervous, you can always opt for a premade pond available in most garden centres. Premade ponds have their own inherent advantages and disadvantages. You are beholden to a particular shape when using a premade pond but they are relatively quick and easy to install and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They tend to be smaller and shallower than traditional liner built ponds. As they’re smaller it may be harder to maintain an ecological balance within them, meaning that your pump and skimmer may need to work a little harder. Moreover, smaller ponds are prone to overheating, resulting in disproportionate algae growth. Preparing and marking off the area Your first decision is where your pool will go. If you’ve already been to the garden center to check out some premade ponds then you likely have a good idea of the kind of size and dimensions that you will be dealing with. If you’ll be starting from scratch using impervious lining, you will have more freedom in deciding your dimensions. Perform a rough check of the measurements and it’s also worth checking in with your local authorities to ensure that there are no underground cables or pipes in the area that may be disrupted by your excavation. When you have decided on your location, mark out the dimensions of the pond in rope or spray paint. It’s more than likely that you will need a water pump and skimmer. You can check out a selection of pumps for your pond right here. Place your pump and skimmer at opposite ends of the pond. If you’ll be using a waterfall filter, install this at the opposite end from your skimmer. Excavation Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Dig your pond area approximately 6-8 inches deep. If you’ll also be installing a waterfall, use the dirt to build a wall to seal in your waterfall box. If you’re using a premade pond, it’s a good idea to leave around an inch or two of leeway between ground level and the dept of your pond. Once the area has been dug out, use some spray paint to mark out an outline for the deeper area of your pond. The size and shape are entirely up to you, but since will be filled with rock, it’s a good idea to avoid tight curves. The inner area should be excavated to a depth of around 2 feet. Finally, excavate a separate area for your skimmer box. Plan so that the skimmer opening will be around 1″ above water level. Install your skimmer and pump and connect an outflow pipe to the back of the skimmer. Laying down the liner Again, assuming that you haven’t opted for a premade pond, it’s now time to lay down the liner. But first we need to add a layer of underlay, working it into the rough corners of the pond. The best bet is to start at the middle and work your way outwards. The pond will move and settle over time so it’s a good idea to lay it down fairly loose. If you’re at all unsure there’s a great tutorial video here. Repeat the process again with your pond liner. Attach the liner to your skimmer box using the faceplate. Boulders, rocks and gravel Now it’s time to rock! Put larger boulders down first for structural support, and mark out the pond’s vertical walls. Next, fill in with smaller rocks, starting from the bottom and stacking on the inside of the pond. There’s no real right or wrong way to do this. It’s time to get creative, and feel free to rework the area as much as it takes to get it right. Attach your liner to the water box and use a layer of gravel to fill in any gaps in the rocks and boulders. The finishing touches Before you fill the pond now is the time to add any lights you may want to nestle between boulders or add bog plants or lillies. You may also want to apply a fish friendly waterfall foam to fill in the gaps between rocks in your waterfall area. This will lend it structural support and help to encourage water flow. While the pond is filling with water, go around the perimeter trimming off your lining. Leave a margin of around 6 inches which you can then cover with gravel for a seamless appearance.   Et voila! A perfect and peaceful pond! Now it’s simply a matter of choosing the right fish! This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Redesigning Features of Your Backyard

Redesigning Features of Your Backyard

When it comes to gardening, many of us focus on maintenance. We mow the lawn, trim bushes, prune trees, pull up weeds, and water any herbs and plants that we’ve bedded and are nurturing. However, every now and then, you might want to take larger, more significant, and more structural change into consideration. Why? This can really make your outdoor space look like a completely different place in a positive way. Now, these changes take a little more time, planning, preparation, and investment, but the outcomes are more than worth everything that goes into them. So, if this sounds good to you, here are a few different options for you to consider! Installing a Patio When we think of backyards, we tend to think of relatively green spaces. But your backyard has so much more potential than hosting lawn alone. Patios are a brilliant addition to almost any property’s space. Patio makes your outdoor space useable, providing you with a flat surface outdoors where you can place tables and chairs, sun loungers, or other furniture. Realistically, you’re not going to be able to install this yourself. That is, unless you want to invest some serious time and money into becoming qualified as a professional contractor. So, collaborate with professionals in the field who will be able to carry the work out on your behalf. Once the patio is fitted, you can add extra touches for flair, functionality, and comfort. High-quality backyard furniture from patioproductions.com will suddenly become a feasible option, as you’ll have a stable flat surface to rest it on! Installing a Pond While ponds may not be the best option for those with kids and pets (any expanse of water could pose a safety risk), they are great for many. Not only do they act as a source of water for various animals and birds, but you will see little eco-systems starting to establish themselves within the pond itself too, as it will provide a habitat or water source for birds, small mammals, and amphibians such as frogs, toads, and newts. The easiest and most sensible way to establish a pond is to leave the work to professionals who will have all of the necessary equipment to dig a deep enough hole, line it, fill it with water, and make everything look a little better finished and a little more natural than a DIY job would be likely to produce. These are just two different options that you have on hand if you’re considering doing a little extra work on your backyard this summer. Not only will they make the space more appealing and functional for you to spend time in, but the latter will also help local wildlife and your local ecosystem too. Your project will result in winners all round!   This contributed post may contain affiliate...
You’ve Done the Work: Now Enjoy Your Yard!

You’ve Done the Work: Now Enjoy Your Yard!

You’ve spent months working hard on your yard. You’ve toiled, you’ve been sweating, you’ve put all the reading you’ve done about gardening into practice, and now in it’s finally finished! While you’ll always need to stay on top of your gardening to ensure nothing falls into a bad state, for the most part, your job is done. So what now? Why, it’s time to enjoy your creation from the inside – that means, making your outdoor space an enjoyable place to be. We take a look at how you can do this below. Into the Outdoors It’s more enjoyable if your outdoor space and the interior of your home aren’t exclusively separate. They should feed into one another, as if they were joined (which they are). To do this, look at opening up the back of your home to let in more light. If you have french windows, then you’ll be able to see outside and be more tempted to spend time there. It’s also much nicer to have a home filled with natural light, especially during the summer months. Getting Comfortable Once you step into your backyard, you’ll want to find decking or a patio there, upon which you can spend long days enjoying the sunshine. Add some affordable outdoor furniture, and a BBQ, and your summers will be filled with family and friend get-togethers. While you’ll spend your evenings on the patio, you might want to spend the summer days on your grass. In which case, you should strongly consider buying a hammock. There are easy enough to store, and will transform the relaxation levels of your outdoor space.  Lighting You’ll have your decking, chairs, tables, and so on, and now it’s time to add some outdoor magic. Adding fairy lights and other lighting fixtures to your garden will make your yard feel more charming and enchanting. When the sun goes down, there’ll be no need to head indoors to see each other – just switch on the lights. If you want to take the magic a little further, you can look at adding a firepit. These are especially awesome to have in early spring and fall, when the weather is pleasant but chilly in the evening. Privacy For all the additions to your yard, you won’t be able to enjoy fully until you feel like it’s private. Even though your neighbors probably aren’t watching, no-one wants to feel like they’re being watched! Adding fencing and hedges around the edge of the garden to add an extra level of privacy. Bring the Fun Finally, don’t be afraid to bring a little bit of your personality to the yard! Colorful gnomes, works of art, and other staples of “you” will make the yard feel more homey. If you’ve got kids, make the yard fun for them too by adding a splash pool or a swingset. With these additions, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard for years to come! This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Garden Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Neglect In the Summer

Garden Maintenance Tasks You Shouldn’t Neglect In the Summer

If you would like to make your garden look fresh, lush, and impressive all through the summer, you should make sure that you are not neglecting some of the most important tasks that help your plants grow and stay healthy. With the heat of the summer, insects and parasites will arrive, threatening your harvest and your beautiful shrubs. Below you will find a few tips on how to stay on top of your summer garden. Getting Rid of Infected Branches or Plants No matter how well you have tried to prevent common tree and fruit diseases, chances are that the lack of rain and the abundance of sunshine have attracted some. If you have found any infections, nests, or sign of parasites, it is not only important to wash your trees and fruit plants, but you also have to get rid or the affected branches. You might want to invest in professional Chain Cutting equipment to prevent the infection to spread throughout the plant.   Feeding Your Grass Even if it rains regularly during the summer, and you don’t have to water your lawn, it is important that you use feed to keep it strong and lush. In case you  have kids or pets, your lawn will have a lot of pressure to endure, so it is important that you get rid of the dry grass and feed your grass to look its best. Repairing Patches It is inevitable to have patches in the lawn, if you have kids or pets, or wildlife visiting. Whether you lie on the lawn and sunbathe or play football, you will have patches. There are some great fast-growing patch repair kits that will help you restore the shine and the strength of your lawn. You might consider choosing a lawn seed variety that is able to withstand the traffic and the dry weather as well. Natural Insect Repellents To keep insects and parasites at bay, you might want to create your own organic fruit spray that will keep them away. From bicarbonate soda to common soap and lemon juice, as well as the more prevalent cayenne pepper, there are several ingredients that will not pose a health risk on your family or the wildlife. You can still grow organic vegetables and fruit and keep the pests away. Cutting Back Bushes after Fruits Have Ripened To keep your garden in a tip-top condition in the summer, always cut back the bushes once the flowers are dry, or – in case of fruit shrubs – cut the branches after the fruit has been harvested. If you leave the dry flowers or stems on, you might have to deal with dry branches and dead plants later on in the year. If you want to make sure that you and your guests can enjoy the garden throughout the summer, stay on top of your lawn maintenance, cut back bushes and branches, and prevent infestation by using an organic insect repellent spray. This way, you can have a garden you can be proud of.   This contributed post may contain affiliate...
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