With summer just around the corner, Tesco recently teamed up with TV presenter (ITV’s Love Your Garden) and gardening guru, Katie Rushworthto dish out her top tips and advice to get the nation’s gardens set for summer.
I certainly feel our outdoor space could do with some extra help, so was delighted when I got the chance to ask Katie for some advice about our garden’s problem areas which may be issues for you, too:
The Problem: Bald patches in the lawn
Solution: You could re-sow with a harder wearing grass seed yes, something like a rye grass mix would be tougher: However, you would need to allow this time to germinate and establish a root system before you let the boys back on it which could take 3-4weeks. Otherwise artificial turf is a great idea, it often gets dismissed by the gardening community which I can understand to some extent, but I also think that if having artificial grass is going to make you enjoy your garden more and take away the stress of not knowing how to look after your real lawn then do it. Spend your efforts on areas of the garden that is away from the knocks of a ball instead, you could always reinstate a real lawn when the children are grown.
The Problem: Boggy lawn when it rains
Solution: You need to improve the drainage, the easiest way to do this is ‘pricking’ and you use a garden fork. Stand on the garden fork and puncture holes all over the lawn as deep as the tines on your fork, give the fork a little wiggle around before you pull it back out. Then using a stiff brush, brush into the holes some horticultural sand. This should aid drainage. Should things not improve over the summer and you still have an issue, you may have to look at installing a land drain.
The Problem: Lack of colour
Solution: Choisya is always a reliable shrub, as are Hebes which come in a huge variety of sizes so check the label to see how big it grows before you make your decision which ones to buy. Peiris is another flowering shrub and has fabulous bright red new foliage. As for hardy flowering perennials try: Alliums, Bergenia, Penstemon, Rudbekia, Salvias and Hardy geraniums. All the plants listed come in many different varieties so as I mentioned above, read the label for more information on colour, maintenance and the mature height and spread.
Great practical advice there from Katie.
Tesco sent me a useful gift box filled with a selection of gardening and al fresco dining essentials to help me get started on the improvements, now that I know what I need to do! If you are keen to get your garden, patio or balcony spruced up for summer, there are some great gardening buys on the website – from all the tools, seeds, pots and planters you could need:
to stylish solar lanterns and string lights (£20 bulbs for £10) that will dress up patio areas and decks to give you a beautiful summer garden.
All you need now is a glass of summer punch and to get the barbecue going!
How do you intend to enjoy the outdoors this summer?