With warmer weather on its way, the thought of getting the garden looking lovely is an appealing one, yet many of us hold back because we don’t think we’re knowledgeable enough. But it doesn’t have to be too difficult. Professional gardener Will Nash would like people to feel more confident and says anyone can do wonderful things in their garden if they just have a go and don’t make their plans too complicated.
Here are some of his simple insider gardening tips to get you started.
Will doesn’t like to use slug pellets. The slugs avoid them, and they’re toxic to pets and wildlife. If the slugs do eat them, birds who eat the slugs can be harmed by the pellets too. Instead, try to encourage hedgehogs – they’re the perfect slug-clearer!
Don’t presume the lawn needs replanting just because it’s gone pale under a few pots. However, it can die away when it’s in a shaded area. Try to keep fallen leaves cleared and in spring re-seed in those patches that died during darker months.
It’s nice to add a bit of colour to your garden walls by putting up trellis, but it’s a common mistake to drill the trellis too close to the wall. It needs a good couple of inches’ space behind the frame to let the plants wind around it from both sides.
Don’t buy bedding plants too small at the beginning of the season. By late May or early June they might look more ragged but their roots will be better developed. They’re cheaper by then, too.
Some mulch is fine, but don’t lay down too much or the base of your plants will no longer be protected by soil and they will be too shallow to get nourishment from the ground itself.
Knowing your soil sounds kind of technical, doesn’t it? But it’s actually not that tricky.
Sandy soils will be more crumbly, a peaty soil is more spongy, a loam soil keeps its shape when you squeeze a handful in your palm but not quite so solidly as a clay soil. A chalky soil will have white flecks. You can buy an acidity tester from any garden centre but usually a soft water area is more likely to have acid soil.
Do you have any simple gardening tips? Let us know in the comments section below.