The garden brightens up my house and provides a sanctuary from my fast-paced lifestyle in the outside world. I often end up having the morning coffee while taking a stroll in the garden and during the summer months I host small get-togethers in my garden.
However, I used to neglect the upkeep of the garden for far too long. Only when it used to become nearly impossible to ignore would I clean it, which used to take up a lot of time and effort. I learnt my lesson and now I clean it at regular intervals and try not to delay the essential maintenance work.
If you have a gardener on call, then that’s great. But, if like me, you prefer to get your hands dirty and love the therapeutic feeling of spending a few hours every week taking care of the garden, then you need to keep a few things in mind.
- Know the plants, trees and the hedge in your garden.
- Read up about them online to have a basic understanding of their growth patterns and the kind of care they require.
- Every season has a different effect on the plants and trees. So, you need to be aware of the impact.
- Buy a set of essential gardening tools, including a trimmer, a pruner, a garden vacuum and blower, at least three types of rakes (lawn rake, bush and shrub rake and moss rake), a trowel, a shovel, a garden hose, watering can and a good pair of gloves.
- If you grow vegetables in the garden, then you might need other tools and fertiliser.
- You should also inculcate the habit of making compost at home, as you will be able to take care of a bunch of waste products and have excellent homemade fertilizer as well.
There are a few key cleaning and maintenance tasks you need to do to keep the garden clean and tidy. Some of these need to be done at regular intervals — once a week or at the very least once every fortnight — and the others are long-term tasks that need to be done seasonally.
Hedges Need to Be Trimmed
This is a comparatively simple task, but an essential one nonetheless. In fact, this is one of those tasks that I used to ignore for long periods, which would result in the hedges going out of shape and parts of the bushes and shrubs getting affected by disease or insects.
Trimming the hedges once in a month or two is fine. It ensures that the garden looks neat and tidy. To make your job easier, buy a cordless trimmer. It’s really easy to operate and manoeuvre. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the length of the cord or need to buy extensions.
Prune the Plants as Often as Necessary
Regular pruning helps in keeping the garden clean and it also helps the plants and trees grow better. In case of a flowering plant, it promotes blooming. If you have a shed in the garden, then keep a plastic bucket and a pair of pruners ready, so that you can get rid of dead branches or leaves and leaves that have been affected by insects or mildew immediately. The typical frequency of a comprehensive pruning of the plants in the garden is about once a month. However, if say you notice a dead leaf while taking a stroll in the morning, get the pruner and take care of it. It will take no more than a couple of minutes.
Do keep in mind that ideally you should trim and prune all the trees, plants and shrubs towards the end of winter, instead of waiting for spring to arrive. This is especially true for trees that might have damaged branches, which could become infected with a disease if left unattended right through the winter months. What trimming and pruning during the final phase of winter does is that it prevents the disease from affecting the new growth that comes about in spring. You take care of the garden all through the year, so don’t ignore it during the winter either.
Deal with Weed Growing in the Garden Right Away
There’s no doubt that tackling weed growth in the garden can be extremely frustrating because soon after you have dealt with one set another set pops up. There are essentially two ways to tackle weed — a spray weed killer or dig them up. The first option is a little less time consuming and requires lower effort than the second option, but for the long-term health of the garden, digging up the weed is a better option.
Use a Garden Vacuum or Leaf Blower to Deal with the Fallen Leaves
Just like you’re bound to find toys scattered around the floor, if you’ve kids at home, you will find a layer of fallen leaves and other sundry debris on the garden floor. There are a variety of tools to tackle the leaves and debris. Depending on how much you want to spend and how much time you want to spend cleaning the leaves, you can opt for one of the tools or a combination of tools.
Garden vacuums and leaf blowers are your new-age tools, while the trusty rake is the old school tool. These days garden vacuums and leaf blowers are available as a combo. So, you switch modes in the same machine and make it either suck in the leaves and debris or blow them away. It makes sense to use the leaf blower mode to assimilate the leaves and debris in one area and then use the vacuum mode to clean them up.
Alternatively, you could buy just a garden vacuum and use a lawn rake to perform the task of the leaf blower. You also have the option of just using a combination of rakes to gather all the fallen leaves, dead branches, fallen fruits, etc. in one area and put them in a garbage bin. It’s totally up to you. Though, it must be mentioned that garden vacuums are simple machines and are much cheaper than regular vacuums.