Working in your garden doesn't have to be hard work. You can get a gorgeous plentiful garden with less effort by using these simple tips and tricks
- Pick a border
Consider one large, well-stocked flower border rather than several that contain fewer plants with space between them. Mother Nature always fills a gap – usually with weeds. A closely planted border can save you hours with the hoe over the course of the year.
- Avoid lots of containers
They require so much maintenance, from planting up, repotting and feeding to endless watering. If you like planters, go for the largest you can accommodate. They will hold a greater volume of compost, and so won’t dry out as quickly.
- Consider evergreens
Many require little care once they’ve become established, while shrubs and herbs can provide welcome colour and fragrance and largely look after themselves. A slower growing plant doesn’t need as much pruning, and if you buy plants that fit the space, they might never need pruning all.
- Get mulching
A thick layer on your borders in early spring will stop weeds from getting established. And it’s easy enough to plant through weed-suppressing membranes, which you hide with mulch such as bark or gravel. Done properly, this can keep weeds at bay for several years.
- Take the collection box off your mower
If you mow regularly, you won’t be troubled with an unsightly layer of dead grass sitting on the surface of your lawn. By allowing nutrient-rich shorter clippings to simply drop back onto the grass means it won’t need so much feeding. And, of course, less time and effort is spent emptying the grass box.
- Change your attitude
Relax your regime of weeding, feeding and moss control, and while your lawn may look less than pristine, it will often stay greener for longer when stressed by drought or waterlogging, and it is more likely to support a greater variety of wildlife.
- Mind your hedges
Keep shrubs and hedges at a manageable height. If you can’t trim the top from a step ladder you’re making life unnecessarily hard on yourself.
- Pick perennials
Plant bulbs and perennials that can be left in place. They will provide colour, die away at the end of the season and quietly return again year after year.
- Try the “no dig” method
Use this this method on your vegetable beds. This minimises cultivation of the soil through the use of organic weed-suppressing mulches such as bark, garden compost, rotted manure or even cardboard overlaid with grass clippings. You cover the beds at the end of the growing season and leave the worms and winter frosts to break it all in time for spring.
- Tool up properly
Invest in the right tools and equipment to make jobs easier. New ergonomic tools will give your muscles and joints a break. And a wheelbarrow will come in handy more than you might think.
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