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Garden maintenance and Lawn care

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A well maintained and tidy garden has many benefits.  It can increase the value of your property and help to sell it.  Many house buyers can be put off a property if the garden has been left unattended, as it is usually the first thing they will see when going to view a property.  
Having a tidy garden does not have to be expensive and time consuming.  Below I have listed 5 low cost ways to improve the look of your garden 

  1. Removing weeds and turning over the soil (also known as tilling or cultivating soil) is a very simple but effect way to improve the look of your garden.  Dry soil is the best to till , even though it may be a little tougher but it breaks into smaller chunks and is better for aeration in the soil.  Once this is done and the weeds are removed the area is ready for planting or mulching.

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Box blight (also known as boxwood leaf drop) was first found in the UK around 1990. Since then it has been found throughout Europe and as far away as New Zealand, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York and British Columbia to name a few places.  There are two types of organisms which can cause box blight and they can both occur at the same time. Volutella buxi which is the asexual stage of the fungus Pseudonectria rousseliana and the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola that produces symptoms similar to Volutella.
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  What time of the year is it best to scarify your lawn is a very important question and the answer is basically when the lawn is actively growing and able to recover from the process.  The two main  seasons in the year when this is spring and autumn.  
Scarifying is a process that removes large quantities of dead organic matter, usually in the form of
grass clippings and dead moss and even the most healthiest of lawn benefit from being scarified. This organic matter will very quickly form a dense layer on the surface of the soil, and is known as thatch (please read my other article regarding lawn thatch).  The most effective way to dethatch a lawn is with a scarifier. It uses a series of revolving vertical knives that cut and pull through the thatch and moss and bring it to the surface of the lawn. The debris is then raked away for disposal.  It is suprising how much can be removed.  Once the lawn has been scarifyed it is advisable to over seed the lawn.

Below is a guide of the best time of year to scarify your lawn:

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   Turf or sod (as they are sometimes called) is an excellent and quick way to transform your untidy worn out lawn.  Only a few tools are required and turf can be laid all year round.  However frosty conditions and extended periods of hot, dry weather should be avoided.  Two factor to achieve a lush healthy green lawn are excellent quality healthy turf and good soil preparation.
                     Measure area for turf

   Turf can cost anywhere from £2.50 to £5 a roll so it is important to calculate the correct amount you require.  Here is a link to a turf calculator to help you work out how much you require.  Once you have worked the area out add between 3 - 5% on to make up for any off-cuts.

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   A definition of a weed is a plant that is growing where it is not wanted, it can have strong and healthy growth, and is able to overgrow valued plants by overcrowding, thus depleting soil nutrients and moisture that would otherwise be available to preferred plants. Most lawns sufferer from lawn weeds especially if they don't use any sort of weed control.  But in order to control weeds in your lawn you need to be able to identify them as there is no one fix for all weeds, so I have listed some of the most common weeds you might find in your lawn below with a description of how to control them.
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     What is thatch?

  Thatch is an organic layer in your lawn consisting of tight intermingled dead, dying and living roots, stems and leaves which is between the layer of grown grass and the soil below.  Thatch is not unusual. It is a normal part of growing grasses and is not a problem unless it gets to thick. You are more likely to have high amounts of thatch on a high maintenance lawn with lots of traffic.
Not all grasses in lawns produce thatch for example rye grass, though it is not one of the finest grasses but it is known for being hard wearing and it does not produce thatch.  A typical luxury lawn grass that will not contain any rye grass will be more susceptible to thatch and need scarifying but a hard wearing type lawn grass will contain rye grass with i high content and will be less likely to need scarifying.
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         Have you just been to your local garden center to buy fertilizer for your lawn and was confused buy all the choice, symbols and numbers. There is a large range of lawn fertilizers on the market from granular to liquid feeds depending on you requirements and needs but there is one thing they will all have in common and that is printed on the bag or box  N-P-K. This stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and understanding these numbers is an important part of buying the correct lawn fertilizer.
Below is a list describing what each chemical does,

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Correct mowing techniques is a vital part of having a healthy lush green lawn and it is free. Grass that is 2" long has quite a bigger leaf area. Give the grass lots of sunshine and the grass will produce plenty of food making the lawn green and healthy. Restrict the amount of sun going into the plant by cutting the lawn to short and this will result in less food created by the plant.

When the amount of sun is reduced whether by shade or 'close' mowing, the plants protection systems kick in. It starts growing leaves faster so that it can replace the leaf you cut off or make up for being in the shade. This means the closer you mow the faster the grass grows!

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Thank you for making the right decision to start blogging in your Joomla! website.


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