The period when people have to stay around homesteads due to the Covid-19 pandemic is not over, even when there is no lockdown. Use the moment to improve your homestead by landscaping and the overall design of your garden.
Do not perform the tasks anyhow but organize well to achieve something for the effort, below are some basic tips from Groby Landscapes – professional garden designers that are well-placed to provide advice on keeping your plants healthy and your garden ticking over.
Kill slugs in the garden to save your plants from damage
The number of slugs and snails is on the increase in the UK since 2024. Royal Horticulture Society ranks them as the most prevalent since last year.
RHS advocates for the use of biological control methods to avoid causing adverse effects on other animals. One of the efficient methods is to use eelworm or microscopic nematode that thrives in watered soil. Garden owners can be nematodes from garden centres with refrigerated cabinets to keep them or suppliers of biological controls. Nematodes kill the slugs by entering their bodies and infecting them with fatal disease bacteria.
Another method is to make traps by filling empty jam jars with some beer and sinking them into plants’ soils. Slugs will follow the smell of beer and crawl into jars for a drink but end up drowning. You may also expose slugs to predators by raking over the soil and removing leaves that fee during winter. Birds, toads, frogs, and hedgehogs will eat the slugs more easily. They also eat their eggs.
Create a vegetable patch
A garden serves its purpose when you grow something on it.
Decide on the appropriate location.
Vegetables need sunshine so set up the garden to run along the North-South axis to maximize exposure and air circulation. The location should not be too windy Level any slopping to flatten the patch because it will retain equal distribution of sunlight and water. Isolate the patch from other plants by around 3M because they deprive essential ingredients of vegetables.
Plan the type of garden beds
You can create several beds or one long one in the backyard. Several beds suit a bigger yard where you can grow similar plants together and rotate them to other beds annually.
Raised garden beds are suitable for colder climates because the soil warms faster in spring and will drain more efficiently.
Sunken-raised gardens incorporate soil to save you from the work of importing, but they do not drain well than raised beds.
Build the garden beds
Start by clearing the area, remove turf and weeds from the spot you select. You require some material, tools, and skills to build a raised garden bed. Choose strong material for the bed to be durable. You can build a modern DIY garden with a modular wall kit. You will dig post holes, slide in some panels and backfill like any other garden bed. You can build a timber or masonry garden bed if you have more technical skills. Masonry beds last longer than wood because termites do not attack them, and they do not rot.
Follow these other steps to finish the vegetable patch
• Install weed suppressing fabric
• Prepare unused soil that contains untapped minerals and nutrients
• Test the soil pH to determine alkalinity or acidity. The ideal pH is level 6.0 or 7.0.
• Add organic compost to clump-free soil after turning. Spread the organic matter across the top of the backyard vegetable patch.
• Plant the crop while spacing them evenly.
Harvest potatoes and protect them from rotting
You can harvest and store your crops without experiencing rotting by adhering to the tips below.
• Leave them on the soil surface after lifting from the ground for two or three hours. The skin will dry properly during this period.
• Remove surplus soil, damaged and diseased tubers
• Store the potatoes in paper sacks in a well-ventilated space. Do not store the crops in a warm place as they will respire, and the sack will fill with moisture from evaporating water.
• Stand the sacks with gaps to allow airflow and ventilation. Store the bags off the ground.
Conserve water by leaving the lawn to go brown
Conserve water and save some money from the cost of watering the lawn every day. You will reduce watering to ½ inch per week to maintain the turf’s growing point but not enough to keep a greenish appearance. Minimize traffic because the damage to the increasing point or the crown will make it difficult for the lawn to bounce back. A dormant lawn also saves you from mowing since weed whipping at the edges or tall points is enough.