Garden Maintenance

Aftercare for Your Space

Some people love to maintain there own garden and we totally understand why!  When a garden becomes a bit of a handful though, it tends to get overgrown rather quickly, especially during warmer months so why not talk to us about an affordable maintenance plan that fits your budget and time commitments?

Here’s what we can do for you…

What we offer

Qualified Horticulturist

We are passionate about plants and combined with our industry experience we lead the way with plant care, turf culture and horticultural practices. We have a chemical-free approach and like to get our hands dirty!

Regular Maintenance

Let us carry out an assessment of your garden and we can advise a weekly, monthly or quarterly program, ensuring you always know exactly what your garden needs to flourish without any of the hassle or guesswork​.

Seasonal Pruning

Every plant is different and correct pruning at the right time of year ensures good health and also a good display of flower or foliage​. Seasonal pruning ensures your garden stays looking tip top for every day of the year.

Planting Plans

Expert plant selection means you will have the correct plant for the surrounding environment. We advise on planting that will give year round interest, lower maintenance requirements and that wow factor.

Lawns

Many people are quite particular about their lawns and strive to have a ‘perfectly maintained’ look with stripes and perfectly cut edges. Others just need to have their lawn and edges cut regularly. These are two ends of the lawn maintenance spectrum so, if you fit within these descriptions and you need some help, contact us on the phone number above or use the contact page on this site.

Because the subject of lawn care and maintenance is so vast, I’ve written a basic guide that tracks through a 12 month calendar, giving you an idea of the sort of activities needed to improve and maintain your lawn.

 

Maintaining Your Lawn Throughout The Year

January

Walking over your lawn in wet and frosty conditions could cause localised puddling.  As well as compaction, blades of grass can become bruised which become susceptible to frost which could cause brown scorching later in the year. This is not a huge issue though because spiking the lawn in the spring months will help to rectify any compaction and puddling issues.

January is a good time to check over your garden tools and make sure they are all in good working order. This makes good sense and will make your garden chores easier in the long run. Blunt or damaged tools could make it difficult and harder work. Remember to check your mower and spreader, these may also need servicing.

February

If the weather is relatively mild and dry, inspect your lawn’s condition. If it feels soft and spongy underfoot, you could have moss and or thatch it can be treated over the Spring months.  Removing these will promote growth and improve the condition of surrounding soil.

Are the blades of grass different shapes and sizes?  This could be because you have weeds growing which compete for moisture and nutrients. Weeds can smother the grass as well as moss and a treatment needs to be applied from April which is when weeds generally start to grow. Make sure you only use the correct selective weedkiller though because you don’t want to kill off any grass during the process.

After this inspection you should be able to identify any problems you may have that need treatment. A quick visit to the DIY store or garden centre would be helpful as there’s always someone on hand to help you choose the best treatment product for your lawn.

March

As the Spring weather emerges, it’s easy to be tempted to start applying products to your lawn and because it’s still possible to experience Winter weather, it could wash away what you’ve applied. As the soil is still quite cold March is too early to sow grass seed. All seeds need warm soil to help them germinate quickly and they need to survive any remaining frost.

April

Usually regarded as the first month of Spring and it’s time to start your lawn feeding programme. Temperatures are slowly starting to rise with minimal risk of frost.  Weeds and moss treatment can start being applied as they compete with the surrounding lawn.  For best results read the packet labels before you dose your lawn with treatment.  After treatment moss tends to turn black and needs to be raked out, this allows the grass to fill the remaining gaps.  If you end up with any bare patches, they can be dressed and re-sown with grass seed.

Applying any treatment with a spreader requires the correct setting and care needs to be taken when administering to avoid scorching your lawn.  When you start to prepare the area you intend to sow grass seed, you will find that weed seeds lying dormant in the soil will germinate as well, making your new lawn look untidy. Most of the weeds will be annual weeds, which will eventually die with regular mowing. The perennial weeds will need treating with the correct type of weedkiller, when newly laid lawns are more than 2 months old.

Raking your lawn before applying moss control will distribute spores and encourage moss to spread. Raking your lawn first and then spiking it will help with aeration, relieve compaction and will encourage stronger and healthier root growth.

If you have lots of worm casts on your lawn it’s a good thing however you need to make sure you brush them away before mowing.  This will save your mower blades from becoming blunt. Worms casts are a sign that your lawn is in good health as also aid with aeration and add organic matter to the underlying soil.

Soon your grass will grow to a height where it needs it’s first cut.  An initial blade height of 3 cm is sufficient as a general guide for everyday lawns that are used for recreation purposes and ornamental lawns can be lowered down to 2 cm.

Newly sewn patches need to be kept moist at all times – this helps seed to germinate and establish a strong root system. When the time comes to cutting it, you’ll need to ensure your mower blades are very sharp as blunt blades could chew the young grass and possibly tear it out all together.

May

Keep up with regular mowing – the grass is growing much faster now and you’ll probably need to mow it up to twice a week and don’t forget those edges!

Maintain focus on your feeding regimen  – weeds love the warmer weather too and are competing with the grass for light and nutrients so make sure these are treated.  Newly seeded and re-turfed areas need to be left for a certain length of time before any feed or weedkiller can be applied.  If you’re unsure about this information should be found on your product instructions.  If in doubt,  contact the manufacturer or contact us about any other lawn issues.

June

With regular mowing in the previous months,  this is the month where the cut height can to be lowered down to 2.5 cm for regular lawns and 1.5 cm for ornamental lawns. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather and make sure that if it’s going to be hot and dry for a good few weeks, raise the cutting height a tad to prevent the base of the lawn getting scorched.

It’s also best not to apply feed during these long periods of dry weather as the grass growth tends to slow down during these periods and can be  susceptible to scorching.

You should have stepped up your watering regime compared with previous months due to rapid growth and evaporation. However, although established and well maintained lawns are generally resilient to drought, you can get away with a bit less watering unless you need a good looking lawn that resembles a putting green!  If you have to water your lawn give it a good soak by leaving the sprinkler on for an hour or more to allow the water to penetrate into the underlying soil. Spiking always helps water to penetrate and don’t forget that watering early morning or late evening minimises evaporation.

July

Similar to June – Keep mowing, watering and feeding. And keep an eye on our, sometimes inconsistent weather patterns!

August

Keep feeding – keep mowing!

If you go away this month on holiday and return after a couple of weeks later to an overgrown lawn avoid the temptation of cutting it all down at once. It’s always best to take it down in stages over a week or so. This prevents the vulnerable base of the grass scorching and gives your lawn a chance to recover. If you notice any bare patches, they can be dealt with in September when it starts to get cooler.

Preparing the ground for turfing work in the autumn by weed-killing or digging and levelling humps and hollows can also be carried out but most importantly, enjoy sitting in your garden and feeling great about your lawn efforts!

September

This month you can seed any bare patches you notice. Using a garden fork to spike the lawn and lifting gently to crack the soil will remove compaction – this needs to be done in dry conditions – the object of this exercise is to fracture the soil when it’s dry. Raking the surface to produce tilth allows the seed to embed into the soil and this needs to be watered generously.

Giving a final raking over to level the soil and applying the correct amount of sand  – making sure to remove any underlying stones can be carried out before thoroughly soaking the soil and laying the turf. Once laid, water again and keep moist until fully established.

Keep the mowing up and gradually raise the blade height to around 3 cm.

Feeding with an Autumn food product to toughen up the lawn for the winter and killing off any moss which needs to be raked out as before can be carried out again.  Spiking the lawn to aid drainage over the winter can also be considered and carried out.

Falling leaves and tree debris either by raking or shredding will help in the overall composting process during this month.

October

Turfing can be carried out this month if it wasn’t done in September but this needs to be done before the winter weather establishes. Giving turf time to grow strong roots and making sure it’s kept wet is essential but not using a roller just yet.

November

Make sure you give your lawn it’s final feed this month – this will keep it nourished through the dormant Winter months. Although your lawn growth has slowed down because of lower temperatures it may need its final cut before the Winter sets in. Keeping the length down will prevent the grass flopping over and avoid potential diseases and bald patches.

December

This is an inactive month and you can’t really do much. You should, by now have become a bit of a lawn expert and although these recommendations are only a guide, you may want to delve deeper into the vast subject of lawn nurturing.

If you have any questions or points for clarification please give us a call or use the contact page on this site.

Pruning

Pruning of bushes, trees and shrubs is carried out during the entire year and we can happily do this out for you. We recommend a high degree of health and safety guidelines when dealing with trees and large shrubs.

Like the lawn calendar, different trees and shrubs need pruning at different times. For example, Beech should be pruned or trimmed in August because their leaves tend to be retained in a dry state throughout the Winter. On the other hand fruit trees like Apple need to be pruned from January to February – at the end of winter. 

Maintaining Your Pruning Throughout The Year

January

Starting from January, climbers, shrubs and trees are leafless having assumed a dormant state until Spring.  This makes it one of the best months for pruning, especially if large trees and shrubs pose a danger during high winds and storms.  Removing dead or dying branches can be the first step of your pruning regimen.

February

February is the time when a garden is at its most dormant and is the best time for pruning especially if you didn’t get round to it in the Autumn. The rule of thumb is that we need to prune before the sap starts to rise in the early Spring.  Newly planted trees benefit from removing any dead or damaged growth which helps them retain their natural shape and good health.

March

March is the month to start thinking about pruning summer-flowering shrubs to encourage healthy shoots and flowering.  It is also an ideal month for pruning roses but check the variety first.

April

April is the month when we see signs of growth in shrubs trees and climbers. It is an ideal month to check for any damage due to a harsh Winter. Some shrubs like Buddleja (Butterfly Bush) can be pruned back now due to the absence of any frost.

May

The May rule is – if a shrub flowers before May prune it immediately it finishes flowering because the flowers have grown either on old wood or on last year’s wood. If shrubs flower after May they must be pruned during the dormant season as these flowers are grown on new growth or on this year’s growth.

June

June is generally a relaxing month when we can enjoy the fruits of our garden labours.

A few tasks need to be carrying out though. Some early flowering shrubs need will need pruning if they are to continue rewarding us with flowers. This is an ideal month for pruning wall-grown shrubs, Buddleia, magnolias, early flowering clematis, Weigela, Deutzia, lilac, mock orange, Spiraea, Dogwood, Wisteria plus any unfinished pruning jobs left over from May.

July

July is a busy month and there’s lots of pruning to do. Dead-heading needs to kept on top of to enable a continual display of flowers. Dogwood, Lilac, Wisteria and Virburnum are amongst many plants to be pruned. Some fruit trees need to be pruned after they’ve yielded their harvest.

August

August – this is often the best month to carry out pruning. Most plants start to slow down and stops flowering which allows pruning to commence. Pruning in August helps stop the spread of disease and encourages more flowering and yield a more abundant fruit crop. Some hedges like Beech can be given a final trim.

September

September tends to be the Autumn clean-up month and complete the August schedule of pruning and tidying. It is an ideal month to prune late flowering shrubs which keep them healthy and produce abundant future blooms. Pruning and trimming Box, Hydrangers, Lavenders, Birch and Honeysuckle, for example, is ideal in September.

October

October sees a marked slowing down and heading for the dormant season. This is a great time for pruning deciduous trees and tie up any loose ends left over from last month. Pruning newly planted trees and removing any damaged growth helps them stay healthy and retain their natural shape. We advise that you contact us before tackling large trees because of the health and safety aspect and to avoid damaging them.

November

November – although November can be a bit cold and miserable you can still enjoy the vibrant colour of your garden along with evergreen shrubs. There are tasks to be done to prepare your garden for the Winter, starting with covering perennials, tying up loose grasses and removing debris from lawns and borders. November is an ideal month for planting Roses and carrying out that final weeding task of the year.

December

December – It is so much easier to prune deciduous plants in the Winter months as most are in their dormant stage making it much easier to see the shape you are pruning without its leaves. Choosing a dry December day and removing any dead or dying branches increases light and air to the crown of a small tree – as outlined on our tree surgery page.  Pruning promotes quicker and healthier growth in the Spring.  Aim to retain the shape of a shrub or small tree. Branches should be cut at the node which is where leaves are attached to its branches and twigs.

Garden Borders

Whether you’re thinking about replanting or just stripping back your borders – we recommend that you plan your planting so that you have all-year-round blooms. The main problem with borders are weeds so if you can get to grips with eliminating them early, the easier it will be later on when you can enjoy your finished borders.

We recommend the following strategy:
Remove as many roots as you can by forking out as much as possible. This can be a bit back breaking until you get used to it (and this is what keeps us fit!). Bindweed, Couch grass and Ground elder are just a small example of the plants we want to get rid of. Some of these may require chemical control so speak to us so if this is the case and we’ll advise you.

Preparing a border for planting and leaving it until spring is a common practice and gives you a head start with your weeding strategy.  By the time Spring arrives you’ll have a pretty clear area to plant your favourite flowers and shrubs. We can advise you on all planting as well as dividing perennials as these decline in flowering after four to five years, to shrub renovation and maintenance.

Please contact us for any further information about garden maintenence matters – we’d love to support your ideas and help you archive the garden of your dreams!