New home, new garden
Typically, most house moves take place over spring and summer, with people desperate to take advantage of the bank holidays to have extra time to move and organise themselves.
Often a new house comes with a new garden; a garden that might be immaculate but filled with flowers you’ve never even heard of, or a garden so overgrown you’re not quite sure where to start, or you could even just be looking at a plot of dirt behind your house with not a blade of grass in sight. Here are some tips on how to tackle an unfamiliar garden;
If your new home is a new build, you might not even have a lawn. Before you invest in some turf, you’ll need to prepare the ground by removing any rocks or stones, and try to level the ground as much as possible. Once you’ve bought your turf, start laying it from a straight edge, making sure each now roll is firm against the one next to it. To make sure the turf takes root, press it into the soil beneath it.
Avoid walking on the turf until it has taken root. This could take a few weeks, so a cursory mow might be in order before you can start to enjoy your new lawn.
As mentioned in our blog on Getting your Lawn ready for Summer, mowing an overgrown lawn might take you a few attempts. Start mowing with a high blade, so that you are only cutting the tips. Give your lawn a bit of a break, but keep at it, moving the blade lower each time you mow, until your grass is the desired height, without damaging the root in the process.
If you have moved into a house with mature borders, don’t start celebrating your good fortune yet. Borders have to be maintained frequently in order to remain under control, if you let your borders grow wild, or have moved into a property with a neglected border, than you’re going to have to do a little planning before you tackle anything.
Firstly, assess what’s there. If there are plants that you like, in places you would have put them anyway, then leave them be and just prune them back to get them healthy looking again. Remove any dead or unwanted plants.
Secondly, start removing weeds. In a neglected border, this can be a very long job. You’re not only going to have to find the weeds, but also remove them at the root to make sure they don’t come back. See our previous blog on Tackling Weeds for advice on what weeds to look out for and how to remove them.
Finally, fill in the gaps. If you have any empty spaces, it’s time to have some fun. You can design your garden based on colour, type, ease of maintaining, or simply based on your favourite flowers. Sketch out a plan of where you want any new plants to go, then clear the soil of stones and lightly rake before planting.
With the lawn and borders back under control, it’s time to tackle any shrubs you may have acquired in your new garden.
Start by removing any dead branches, then neaten up overcrowded or unsightly areas. For very neglected shrubs, you may have to do some hard pruning to rejuvenate growth. Cut all branches down to anywhere between 4-8 inches off the ground. Whilst it may take time for the new shrub to grow, when it does it will be much healthier.
Although completing your garden might not be the first priority when you move in, when it’s all done and dusted it will be worth it!
As always, if you have any questions relating to weeding, lawn care and general garden maintenance just reach out to us #grabagardener on Twitter & Instagram or tweet us with us @grabagardener and one of our expert lawn specialists will get right back to you!