Tips for a Green Lawn and Beautiful Flower Beds
It’s the start of the season… you’ve cleaned up your flower beds so that your perennials can grow and you’ve planted annuals that will add to your colour scheme. All you need to do now is to maintain your garden throughout the summer.
With a bit of effort and maintenance, you can thoroughly enjoy the beauty of your garden. Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your landscaping projects throughout the summer.
In the spring, you may notice that the soil in your flower beds has suffered during the winter: lack of mulch, granular soil, uncovered roots, weed shoots, etc. If this is the case, bring your soil back to life by turning it, adding enriched garden soil and mulch, and removing the weeds that were starting to show. Once you’ve done this, you will see that your perennials will brighten up and you can add some annuals.
But what should you do if you have unwanted visitors invading your flower beds? Here are some tips for letting them know they are not welcome:
- To get rid of harmful insects, some flowers, such as marigolds and lemongrass geraniums, produce aromas that disrupt insects’ detection system, and thus have a repellent effect.
- To keep slugs away from your hostas and other low, broad-leaved plants, spread a few handfuls of crushed egg shells around their feet.
- To get rid of earwigs, build traps by stacking several square sections of cardboard and piercing them through the middle with a metal rod (150 mm nail) or a piece of bamboo and stake these traps in areas where the critters gather. In the morning, simply remove the bottom layer of the trap where the earwigs have taken refuge and place it in a bucket of soapy water to get rid of them.
In the spring, spread a few centimeters (5 cm) of garden soil mixed with fertilizer on your lawn, then vigorously rake the lawn to spread it out. Before doing so, it is recommended that you check the soil compaction of the lawn and if it is too tight, use an aerator to allow the lawn to breathe better.
To ensure a nice cut and to avoid "ripping up" the lawn, be sure that the blades of your lawnmower are sharp. In addition, adjust the cutting height, as mowing a lawn too short will make it vulnerable to drought. In July and August, typically the hottest months of the year, it is recommended that you leave the grass at a height of 50 mm (2 inches) so that it stays greener and better shades the soil. It is also better to not pick up the cut grass; most lawnmowers allow the grass to be finely mulched which, by staying on the lawn, will help make the soil denser and keep it moist.
Irrigation of flower beds and lawns
It’s important to remember that watering your lawn and your flower beds is done differently.
The best way to water your flower beds (especially if you’re going to be away for a long period of time) is to place a long porous hose that snakes through the plants and leave it there all summer. Once connected to a water intake, the hose will let the water seep to the base of the plants so that they enjoy continuous moisture throughout the summer. As for your lawn, it’s better to water it twice a week for at least two hours each time.