IF you are struggling with weeds on your lawn, one expert has three steps you can take to fight back and get a healthier yard.
“A lawn which is low in nutrients will always struggle against weeds and moss,” the expert explained.
The Homebase gardening expert recommended Qualcast Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller, Miracle-Gro Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 Lawn Food, and Homebase Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller.
You should see a “visibly thicker, greener, and healthier lawn” after following those three simple steps.
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Number of plants in a hanging basket
According to experts from Thompson-Morgan: “A general rule of thumb when planting a hanging basket is to use one plant per inch of basket diameter – so 12 plants per 30cm (12″) hanging basket.”
‘Ensure there’s room for them to grow’
Pearce explained: “Quite often I see people include too many or too few plants in the hanging baskets.”
“Ensure there’s room for them to grow and their roots to spread, but equally not overwhelmed by soil or water.”
Serious mistakes with hanging baskets
The errors some gardeners could be making when it comes to hanging baskets can have a huge impact on your flowers.
Jonathan Pearce, head gardener at Pensthorpe Natural Park, a nature reserve and gardens in Fakenham, Norfolk, spoke to The Daily Express, and revealed the errors that many of us are making with our hanging baskets.
Firstly, next time you go to put your plants in a hanging basket, make sure they have plenty of room between them.
It’s important you don’t squeeze them in too tight.
Cut back perennials in the fall
Cut perennials back in the fall. That simple maintenance will create brilliant, full blooms come spring, Yost advised.
Laundry detergent can kill moss
You can also use remove moss by sprinkling laundry detergent powder over the moss.
Gardening experts advise that it’s best to do this on a day where it will rain as this will kill the moss.
However, you can make your own solution by mixing together the detergent and water and pouring it over the moss.
Once the moss has turned brown (an indicator it is dead) you can sweep it away with a hard-bristled brush.
Vinegar can remove driveway moss
The rough surface of tarmac, typically used in driveways, gathers and retains water more than other materials – making it the ideal breeding spot for moss.
Luckily, a simple solution of distilled vinegar and water can kill moss.
Gardening experts recommend filling a spray bottle with the mixture and spraying daily until the moss dies.
Flattening a bumpy lawn, conclusion
Fill the uneven patches using a hard-bristled brush to create a level surface, and water them well to encourage new grass to grow.
Finally, sow some fresh grass seeds on any areas that are bare and need re-covering.
Make sure to distribute more on scarce patches or on lumps that have born torn up.
Always lay grass seeds on a mild, spring day and make sure to water them well once the seeds have been sown.
How to flatten a bumpy lawn, continued
Make sure to water the areas well to encourage new grass to grow to create a seamless finish.
For larger lumps and bumps, you’ll need a few extra tools.
Start by mowing the lawn and then use a rake to uplift thatch (clumps of dead grass) and other organic matter.
Once you’ve removed uneven patches, top-dress them with sand and soil using a 40:60 ratio.
How to flatten out a bumpy lawn
Flattening out bumpy ground can be done at any time of the year, but the gardening experts at The Daily Express reported it is best to get started in spring.
Start with smaller bumps (less than one inch) and simply use your foot to press them firmly down.
If you have holes made by animals, fill them with topsoil, compressing the earth with your foot to create a solid surface.
Twitter user shares image of her Poppies
A regular gardening Twitter user, @CandaceSotela, took to the platform to share an image of her poppy flowers.
Some plants need to be left alone
If your plants are in your garden or lawn, it will be harder to inspect their roots, so you’ll need to do something much more difficult: wait.
Remember that cold snaps and heat waves can impact your plants for weeks to come.
If something in your garden isn’t blooming, it might be a later-season plant that needs a little grace period.
Summer bloomers may have no signs of life on top, despite sturdy stalks and leaves, or you may have plants that don’t show signs of growth until July.
The best thing to do is to keep watering and feeding plants regularly and leave the plants alone.
How to inspect roots
If you have a plant that’s yet to bloom, it could be tempting to write it off as dead and rip it out of the ground.
But if you can check on the plant’s roots, you’ll have a little more information to work with before you toss it out by looking at its roots.
You’re looking for plump, healthy-looking roots and if you see slime or mushy textures, that’s an indicator of root rot.
You can sometimes cut root rot away or treat it with a tincture of hydrogen peroxide, but if you don’t intervene soon enough, that might be a death knell.
Your garden can last year-round
With some clever timing, you can make your garden last throughout the year. The trick is planning when to get things in the ground, and how to overlap your seeds and bulbs.
If you choose plants to bloom in different seasons, you can extend the life of your garden.
You can also extend your garden’s life by scattering new seeds among the existing sprouts so as one batch dies down, another one will be coming up.
When you’re growing plants from seed, allowing them to establish themselves results in longer-lasting plants in years to come.
Save your toilet paper tubes
Save the tubes and cut them into two-inch lengths before placing them in a waterproof tray.
Then simply fill the tubes with potting soil and start planting your seeds.
According to the site, when you’re ready to move them into the garden, they can be planted right in the tubes and, because it’s cardboard, they’ll decompose organically.
You can start your seeds inside
Buying seeds from the Dollar Tree or the clearance section in stores is a great way to save money because they come for as low as 25 cents a pack.
Aspiring gardeners can use common household items to plant the seeds indoors, instead of buying new pots.
Items like used plastic cups, egg cartons, apple sauce, and yogurt containers are perfect for housing seeds.
How to make cut flowers last longer
Cut flowers can last for weeks with just three simple household items: sugar, bleach, and optional fresh lemon juice.
It’s also important to change the water often and trim the stems.
About a teaspoon of sugar and a drop of two or bleach will combine with the flower’s water to help the plants stay fresh.
Water your plants with ‘magic’ water bottle trick
Gardening experts have said that a cheap, plastic water bottle can be an eco-friendly watering tool for gardeners.
“Using a plastic water bottle to create a simple, yet effective, watering system is a great solution to repurpose an item that could otherwise end up in a landfill,” expert Sara Dixon said.
To make the irrigation system, simply poke holes in the water bottle and cover it with a sock or another piece of fabric before burying it inside of the planter – with the opening visible at the top of the soil.
The small holes mean the bottle will act as a slow-release watering system.
Call your local garden center
If you are unsure of how to care for your plants, hop on the phone or online and get in touch with your local garden center, rather than resorting to the internet.
Nursery employees will have an up-to-the-minute understanding of your area’s conditions, and any plant care tips that are unique to your climate and soil.
Calling them with a question or stopping in is totally fine – they want your plants to thrive, too.
Easiest herbs to grow revealed
Boston chef Jason Jernigan has his own rooftop garden, where he grows multiple herbs and vegetables.
He named the two easiest herbs for first-time gardeners to grow.
“The first thing I started growing was basil. It’s just such a versatile herb, and it is easy to grow,” he told local ABC affiliate WCVB.
Another easy herb for fire-time growers, according to Jernigan, is mint.
“Mint is one of the things that you can definitely start off with. It is very hearty.
“It is forgiving, so if you forget to water it, just like anything else, it is going to let you know. It smells great.”
Give your lawn a quick fix
Gardening experts say that you can use a rake to dethatch the surface of your lawn.
Dragging the rake across your grass will loosen a layer of dead grass from under the new growth – that dried-up grass is known as thatch.
“The goal is to remove a thick layer of built-up, dead plant material, and allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the soil again,” said Blythe Yost, co-founder and CEO of landscape design company Tilly.
“It’s one of the best ways to stimulate lawn growth quickly and naturally.”
Types of plants to prune
The most common types of plants that need to be pruned are:
The importance of pruning
It’s easy to forget to prune your plants and bushes when your lawn looks dead, but once everything else is in order, it’s important to prune.
The pros at Gardeners’ World explained, “By pruning in summer, you can reap the rewards of better displays from ornamental plants, you’ll also encourage bigger crops from fruit trees and bushes.”
“Removing new summer growth before it turns woody reduces growth-promoting nitrogen, allowing potassium to build up – and more potassium means more flowers and fruit.”
“You’ll also keep plants, such as shrubs, climbers and rambling roses, within bounds and maintain an attractive shape.”
Perennials can last decades
“Plants like peonies and iris will easily live on for 50 years if left undisturbed,” said Yost, who is a landscape architect and CEO and co-founder of landscape design company Tilly.
Meanwhile, other plants, like coreopsis and nepeta, don’t live quite as long, but their lifespans can be lengthened with regular division.
Often, gardeners will choose to plant “showy” annuals that need to be planted again after they’ve died off.
Companion plants that help each other
The experts at Old World Garden Farms suggested growing basil next to tomatoes and pepper plants.
Since basil is a deterrent against tomato hornworms, aphids, and beetles, planting it next to other plants will help protect them too.
The green-thumbed pros suggest planting it “close proximity to tomato and pepper plants,” since it protects them naturally.
“In fact, as an added benefit, basil supposedly even improves the flavor of tomatoes when grown nearby.”
They also suggested growing onions and garlic near cabbage.
“Both onions and garlic are known as an excellent repellent for cabbage moths, worms and loopers, and help keep cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower pest free.”
$4 weed killer
According to the experts, the secret to a weed-free garden and lawn is lime, and no, it’s not the kind you eat.
Lime used in gardens is made from crushed-up limestone, rock, or dolomite, and when applied to soil, it raises the pH level, making the soil less acidic.
Lime also contains magnesium and calcium, which are vital for a healthy garden.
It’s actually the lack of calcium in soil that provides the condition for weeds to thrive in.