Is gardening one of those jobs you dread, as you’re just not quite sure what you’re meant to be doing?
Maybe you love gardening and thrive in the fresh air, surrounded by sweet scented blooms.
Either way, here are some top tips to get your garden looking picture perfect…
- Keep flowering plants blooming by deadheading – it might seem silly to cut all those colourful flowers but it will keep your plants producing even more flowers for longer. This is especially important with rose plants and other annuals and perennials.
- Get the shears out, it’s pruning time – removing dead branches on shrubs and small trees will encourage new, healthy growth.
- It’s not too late to start from seed – if you have a vegetable patch, get your seeds set for crops like spinach, lettuce and other greens. They’re pretty hardy and if well-tended will keep growing well into winter and even deal with a light frost or two.
- Less mowing, more often. Confused? Don’t be. Raise the blades on your mower and detach the clippings container. The smaller grass clippings can then be left on the lawn as a moisture retention barrier to cut down on watering.
- If you do use a sprinkler, save water by placing an open jam-jar on the lawn and leave the sprinkler running until 13mm (0.5in) of water collects in the bottom of the jar. This is the optimum amount to avoid wasting water, while still wetting the roots sufficiently.
- Water appropriately – when it gets hot, our instinct is to get the hose out and soak everything in sight but many plants will be ok (particularly established plants). Anything in a container or that was planted less than six months ago will need a helping hand.
- Where possible, use recycled or stored rain water. Try and do it early morning or late evening to reduce the amount that gets lost to evaporation.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy – research by psychologists has shown that gardening is linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, conditions that affect as many as one in four adults.