For many of us, the thought of garden maintenance doesn’t span far away from mowing the grass and removing any weeds that pop up but to get a truly beautiful garden there are a lot of different things that need to be considered.
In this article, we’re going to talk all about mature garden maintenance and everything you’ll need to consider to make sure your garden is as best maintained as it can be. With many different components of a garden, its key to make sure you’re looking after the right areas in the right way otherwise you’ll risk causing further damage to your garden.
To learn more about mature garden maintenance, see our list of headings below!
When it comes to mature garden maintenance, there are a lot of things to consider. Your garden contains a lot more than just the green grass, so it’s important to understand what other components go into making your garden what it is and how to properly look after them.
In this article, we’ve broken out each section of the garden to give you an idea of what different sections there are that need to be considered, and what steps need to be taken to properly look after them. See below!
The grass is a staple of most gardens. Most gardens are recognised for their greenery and as it makes up a large part of the floor, its crucial to make sure that the grass is properly looked after. A lot of people tend to stick with a tradition mow of the lawn every week or two, and that be that, but there is a lot more that goes into keeping your grass looking its best.
Mow the Grass Regularly
The first step to looking after your garden is regularly mowing the lawn. We don’t mean every day, but once a week is plenty sufficient to keep your grass from growing too long and causing complications for itself.
If the grass is left for too long, it can grow too long and cause a block for water to easily flow into the ground of the grass and makes a great home for ants and other critters to start burrowing. Because of this, keeping the grass mowed regularly helps to keep these creatures at bay.
Go Around the Edges of Your Lawn
When it comes to going around the edges of your lawn, you’ll need an edging tool to get the job done properly. An edging tool allows you to cut away the edge of the lawn and ensure you have a smooth line along the edge of your garden, ensuring you’re never cutting into the flowerbed with your lawnmower.
Grass likes to grow over the edge of your lawn, so you’ll need to ensure this grass is cut back too. Once this is done, you’ll have a clean edge to your garden and a clear transition between your garden and the flowerbeds.
You’ll likely need to do this once a month or so, as this typically takes less time to need maintenance compared to your lawn needing mowing. By keeping on top of this, you’ll prevent the edges of your lawn growing out of place and making your garden look a lot better.
Water the Lawn Frequently
If you’ve not had rain for a week or so, use a sprinkler or a hose to get water into your grass. Like most plants, grass needs water to be able to grow naturally, and without water it the grass can start to die.
Similarly to mowing the lawn, watering your garden shouldn’t be any more frequent than once or twice a week. If it’s rained during the week then there’s no need to water the garden unless you feel that the ground is very hard and dry, but typically it should be fine. If you overwater a garden, you risk drowning the grass and causing it to become waterlogged, meaning that the grass cannot pull the water through its roots.
Additionally, if the grass is left for too long without being watered, then it risks becoming too dry and subsequently can die off as a result. Watering the lawn is easy to get right, as long as you make sure it’s watered once or twice a week (with the exception of rain), then you’ll be alright.
Weed the Lawn Frequently
Weeds can grow in grass and provide those unsightly green leaves in between the blades of grass. To weed your lawn, there are two key things you need to take into account.
If you have weeds in your garden, simply use a small to medium-sized knife and hold the weed upright in one hand, pulling till you feel resistance from the roots of the weed. Then, simply slice into the ground at an angle that cuts through the main root of the weed. You’ll know if you’ve got it as the weed should come away from the ground without resistance, and you should notice a clean severe in the root.
This is important as it kills off the main root of the weed, preventing it from growing back. It also prevents the risk of any holes in the garden, meaning you’ll still have a great looking lawn afterwards. Once this is done, you’ll need to follow the next step to help prevent and kill off any small spores of weeds.
If you don’t have weeds in your garden, you’ll need to look at getting some weed treatment to ensure there are no small weeds hidden away that are growing. Weeding is very easy to purchase and you’ll be able to get this in most superstores and garden centres. Simply follow the instructions and make sure that it’s spread evenly around your garden, and you’ll be good to go!
Flowerbeds are a great way of adding some colour and unique styling to your garden. The range of colours available in flowers is almost limitless, and there is a wide range of styles of plants too. A flowerbed gives you so much freedom to change the look and feel of your garden that it’s a popular choice for many.
To maintain your flowerbeds, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of. Many people think that once plants are in the ground, they just need watering, but there’s a lot more that’s needed to keep flowerbeds looking good. Let’s explore what needs to happen to keep your flowerbeds looking their best!
Inspect The Flowerbed for ‘Spent’ Flowers
Spent flowers refers to flowerheads that have just finished blooming. By removing these with a pair of scissors, this will remove the flowerhead before it starts to grow seeds. This is especially important as your flowerbed will already have lots of plants, so to avoid overcrowding this is a key step.
By removing the spent flowers, this also helps to plant to focus its energy in growing itself rather than growing seeds. This will help the plant to grow larger and healthier and prevents additional plants from growing in the flowerbed, so it’s definitely an important step!
Take a Close Look For Any Insects or Signs of Pests
A plant’s number one enemy is pests that live among and eat the plants. Insects can burrow down and cause damage to the roots of the plants as well as eating them, so it’s important to deal with them directly.
If there are no signs of any pests, then great! If there is, however, you’ll need to take some remedial action. A few things to look out for are:
- Bite marks out of leaves
- Small holes/tunnels in the soil
- Visible signs of any insects, such as ants
- Anything that looks unusual.
If you spot anything that looks insect-related, taking action is always the best course. There are plenty of ant killers that are safe for plants out there, so do make sure you find one that’s safe to use with your plants. Once you’ve found the right one, apply this to the affected areas and let it do its job. Make sure to keep checking on it and ensure it’s working!
If you spot any weeds nestled away in the bottom of your flowerbed, it’s important to get these removed at the earliest opportunity. Weeds can grow and damage the roots of your plants, slowly killing off the plants in your flowerbed.
To remove them, you can either dig them out, or you can use the same technique as you would in the garden. To do this, simply hold the weed in one hand and keep it upright so you can feel the weed’s roots holding it into the ground. Using a sharp knife, push into the ground next to the base of the weed and through the main root of the weed. If don’t correctly, you’ll feel the weed come out of the ground in your hand and the main root will be severed, preventing it from growing back.
Remove Any Dead Plants
If you’ve noticed there’s a plant that has died, using a gardening glove you should be able to pull the plant out of the flowerbed. The dead plant will only cause complications for other plants that are growing in your garden, so it’s important to keep these out of the way.
If you’re unsure what to look for, as plants start to die, they slowly ‘give up’, meaning they lose their colour and start to droop. Some plants look like this naturally, so do be careful not to pull up any plants that are living quite happily.
As a plant dies, the roots stop working to hold the plant into the ground and therefore don’t provide much benefit to the plant. When you pull the plant, they should quite easily start to come away from the ground. If not, they may have some life left in them.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to trim then down to the core of the plant, removing any excess offshoots. This gives the plant the ability to focus solely on its growth and recovery.
Lastly, Water Up!
The task that everyone knows, watering the plants. Giving plants enough water to happily grow is vital to their survival, so it’s important to make sure you do this. If you’re unsure of how much water a flowerbed needs, below explains what you can expect from too little/too much water.
If the flowerbed is under-watered, the soil will absorb water very quickly. The ground may feel quite dry too, so it’s important to use the soil as an indication as to how much water is needed. A press of the ground and this should give you plenty of information.
In this instance, the plants will slowly start to die as they aren’t getting the nutrients they need from the water that they need to survive. You can expect them to start losing their colour and start to droop.
If the flowerbed is overwatered, the soil will not absorb water easily and you’ll notice that pools of water can appear on the top of the soil. If this is the case, the plants are going to start to struggle as they’ll have too much water surrounding their roots to survive.
Plants can, unfortunately, start to drown if they are watered too frequently, which is why it’s crucial to get the balance right. If a plant is overwatered, it’ll start to droop and may lose its colour.
In both instances, plants will start to show similar signs that they’re struggling, so it’s down to the ground to understand what the problem is for them.
Patio and Path Maintenance
Your patio is an important part of your garden, as are any paths. They provide your grass with the protection from people walking over it, keeping the greenery looking at its best. Although they require minimal maintenance, you’ll still need to spend some time to make sure they are properly looked after and nothing is growing around/in the patio.
Due to the many different types of the patio out there, we’ve included a list of the common types of patios and the maintenance requirements for them. Paths are often a continuation of the patio, and therefore they’ll fit into each category too. See below for more information on how to take care of your patio!
Pressure washing is a fantastic way of removing any stains or marks that have accumulated over time. These are often very difficult to see, which makes them tough to handle and deal with. You’ll need to spend time to make sure you’re getting the pressure washer set up correctly, which should be done as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once you’re set up, using slow, straight-line motions, go over the patio and blast away any marks that are left on the patio. This will help to restore the natural colour of your patio, helping you to make the patio look like new again.
Once complete, use a hard brush to wipe away any excess water and dirt to prevent anything from staying on the patio. A clean patio not only looks good, but it also prevents the growth of any weeds.
Inspect The Patio
If you have a paved stone patio or a brickwork patio, you’ll need to first inspect the patio and take a close look in between each stone to make sure that there are no signs of any weeds growing through the gaps, nor are there any signs of any ant nests. These can slowly start to damage the foundation of the patio underneath, so making sure these aren’t causing any problems is a number one priority. For concrete or tarmac patios, this doesn’t need to be done as there are no gaps in between the concrete.
To resolve this, you’ll simply need some weed killer and some ant killer. These can both be bought from most garden centres and supermarkets, and are often safe for use as long as you use them correctly. You’ll need to sprinkle the ant and weed killer into the affected areas, leaving them to do their job. This will then tackle the root cause of the problem and prevent any regrowth.
It’s important to make sure that you always follow the instructions set out by the manufacturer’s to be on the safe side.
Filling The Gaps
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need a yard brush and some sand. The objective is to use the yard brush to spread the sand evenly so that it lands in all of the gaps in the patio, helping to reinforce the stones that are in the patio and preventing any ants or weeds from getting into there and growing again.
This only applies to paved stone patios, brickwork patios or slabs. For concrete or tarmac patios, this doesn’t need to be considered as there are no gaps for the sand to fall in.
Additional Garden Maintenance
With any garden, there are things that you’ll need to keep on top of and make sure you’re looking after so that it’s fully useable. See below for a list of things you may not have considered!
Are your gates well-oiled and in full working condition? Does the bolt work and securely lock your gate? Over time a gate can start to sink into the ground and the security functionality doesn’t quite line up, rendering it useless. If you take a little time to investigate and explore this, you’ll be able to take remedial action.
Do you have outdoor lighting for your garden? Whilst you’re looking at the garden, it’s a good time to inspect and make sure the lights are working. Many people have security lights that are designed to deter burglars, so if you do have one of these it’s vital to make sure it’s working as it should be.
If you’ve got decking in your garden, it’s important to make sure it’s being looked after and treated correctly. Wood can slowly start to warp due to the outdoor conditions, but by using the correct maintenance for your decking, this can be avoided.
Decking oil can be purchased from most hardware stores or garden centres, making it very easy to get hold of. Once or twice a year, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll need to use this oil to keep the wood in the best condition it can be.
If you notice any signs of warping or damage, it may be worth consulting a professional decking company to talk through the requirements to replace the damaged planks of wood. Over time, the damage can get worse so to ensure the safety of the occupants of the house, it’s always best to get it looked at.
In this article, we’ve talked in great detail about how to maintain and look after the key areas of your garden. The areas we’ve covered are the ones that almost every garden has, or at least some part of the garden has, and therefore needs to be looked into.
We’ve discussed the best approach for taking care of your lawn, not just from a mowing perspective, but from an in-depth perspective to understanding how to deal with weeds, how to maintain the edges of the lawn and more. Similarly, we’ve also talked about the dos and don’ts for looking after a flowerbed and what needs to happen to keep your flowerbed looking at it’s best.
We’ve also talked in detail about how to look after your patio and ensure that it’s in the best condition it can be, from fighting off weeds and ants to typical maintenance.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and that it’s helped you learn all about mature garden maintenance!