THE exact time you water your lawn and plants could make a huge difference to how green your garden is.
For a "perfect lawn," a gardening expert has revealed that you should water your garden in the early morning to give you a healthier lawn.
This allows the water to soak deeply into the soil, with little evaporation, the expert revealed.
"Unless you water with a drip-irrigation system, avoid watering in the evening," says gardener Melanie, from family-run business Factory Direct Hose.
"Plants often remain wet throughout the entire night when watered in the evening, which is a recipe for plant disease."
Other tips to keep your garden green include giving your lawn a "feed, weed, and moss treatment."
Read our Gardening Tips live blog for the latest news and updates...
- Amanda Castrojust now
Companion plants that help each other
The experts at Old World Garden Farms suggested growing basil next to tomatoes and pepper plants.
Since basil is a deterrent against tomato hornworms, aphids, and beetles, planting it next to other plants will help protect them too.
The green-thumbed pros suggest planting it “close proximity to tomato and pepper plants,” since it protects them naturally.
“In fact, as an added benefit, basil supposedly even improves the flavor of tomatoes when grown nearby.”
They also suggested growing onions and garlic near cabbage.
“Both onions and garlic are known as an excellent repellent for cabbage moths, worms and loopers, and help keep cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower pest free.”
- Amanda Castrojust now
Meadow lawns mean fewer chemicals
If you cultivate a meadow lawn, you’ll be applying fewer chemicals to your lawn.
Plus, you can skip the pesticides, too.
“When you plant a meadow, you’re essentially inviting all kinds of critters in and actually increasing the chances that an annoying pest will be kept in check by its natural predator,” the experts at Domino added.
To convert your lawn into a meadow lawn, go to your local garden center and ask an associate about native grasses and flowers that will suit your lawn and family’s needs.
You can use fewer chemicals in a meadow lawn, and no pesticides are necessaryCredit: Getty
- Amanda Castro24 minutes ago
Skip mowing with a meadow lawn
Gardeners shouldn’t expect to see bright-green grass with a meadow lawn.
Instead, natural grasses and flowers will create a softer, taller carpet of greenery, which means you can skip the aerating and mowing typical lawns require.
Spreading fertilizer is another task to cross off your list since most meadow lawns just don’t need it.
“Believe it or not, a meadow thrives in soil that is nutrient deficient,” the experts at Domino magazine wrote.
“There’s no need for any of the extra nitrogen, potassium, or phosphorus required to keep grass looking good.”
- Amanda Castro54 minutes ago
Meadow lawns save money
According to a Conservation Fund estimate, within the first year of changing from a traditional lawn to a meadow lawn, you can see an average savings of $7,000 per acre.
After a decade, you could see a total savings of $85,000.
Because meadows start from seed, you’re saving on the initial investment that nursery plants would typically require as well.
- Amanda CastroToday, 13:30
Consider a meadow lawn
Experts at Domino magazine explored an ideology that’s not widespread in the United States, but is common in Europe and gaining popularity.
Meadow lawns, which incorporate wild grasses and native flowers, are the climate- and budget-friendly alternative to traditional manicured green yards.
“A meadow by its very nature is made up of plants that thrive in extreme conditions,” the experts explained.
Meadow lawns do require irrigation at first, but once they’re established, the grasses require little to no water.
Meadow lawns are a climate- and budget-friendly alternative to green lawnsCredit: Getty
- Amanda CastroToday, 13:00
Wait for rain to weed
It is much easier to remove weeds after it rains than trying to dislodge weeds when the ground is rock hard.
It also minimizes ripping the body of weeds from the stem, getting a clean sweep instead.
You can wait for the rain to pass or drench the area you want to work on before getting started.
- Amanda CastroToday, 12:30
Specific time of day you should weed
Weeding your garden can certainly be can be a pain, but it’s necessary to maintain the health of your plants and flowers.
De-weeding after it rains could save you a lot of time and hassle and lead to a healthier garden, according to One Good Thing.
You’ll have a much easier time removing weeds when the ground is wet.
That’s because damp soil is more flexible and should allow you to rip out the root of a weed intact.
- Amanda CastroToday, 12:00
Mulch can be used in place of a lawn
Typically, mulch is utilized in flower beds.
However, it can also work in place of a traditional lawn.
By using mulch, you won’t need to mow, which will reduce the amount of time needed to maintain your lawn.
Mulch can be used in flower beds or in place of a traditional lawnCredit: Getty
- Amanda CastroToday, 11:30
Mulch retains moisture
Mulch retains moisture, so you may not need to water your garden as much if you use it, which also helps with the maintenance of your garden.
When it comes to purchasing mulch, if you plan to use it across a large swath of land, you can buy it in bulk.
But beware of the materials you’re purchasing and make sure that they’ll decompose and enhance your garden.
- Amanda CastroToday, 11:00
Materials used for mulch
Wood chips, leaves, grass clippings, and pine bark are a few examples of materials that can be used as mulch.
By using mulch, you’re adding a protective barrier to the soil, which will work well against the natural elements.
This can also help reduce the number of weeds that grow in your garden.
Smaller materials are better for your garden, and larger materials work well for walking paths and other areas.
- Amanda CastroToday, 10:00
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow sage
When burned, sage produces an aroma that can help ward off mosquitos.
Gardening fans have warned online that sage shouldn’t be grown during the summer or autumn months.
Sage requires well-drained soil and the herb should be planted in a sunny space in your garden.
- Amanda CastroToday, 09:30
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow rosemary
Rosemary is commonly used to flavor meat for a roast dinner, but the herb can also be used as an insect repellent.
The woody smell of rosemary is what helps repel the bug, according to gardening experts at Evergreen.
It keeps the bugs away and also attracts butterflies.
- Amanda CastroToday, 09:00
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow garlic
Garlic is not just a staple ingredient in many foods, but it can also be used to ward off insects.
Planting garlic bulbs will give gardeners some extra protection this summer.
When crushed, garlic bulbs release a compound named allicin.
Patrick Parker, of the SavATree Plant Health Care Program, said: “When garlic extract is absorbed by a plant, biochemical changes take place in its foliage which causes it to actively repel insects.”
“In short, plants are provided with a long-lasting case of ‘garlic breath’ that causes insects to move elsewhere.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 08:30
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow peppermint
Similar to basil, mosquitoes hate the smell that peppermint plants produce.
They also detest the taste of the plant.
Peppermint leaves are useful because they can also be used to treat mosquito bites as well.
It helps soothe the wound, meaning it shouldn’t sting as much.
- Amanda CastroToday, 08:00
Repelling mosquitoes: Grow basil
Basil can be added to salads, put onto a pizza, or used as a garnish to finish off a dish.
It also happens to be a handy way to ward off mosquitos and other pests.
Basil is one of the most pungent herbs and mosquitos detest the smell.
It contains compounds that disrupt the insects’ carbon dioxide sensors, causing them to become confused.
- Amanda CastroToday, 07:30
How to repel mosquitos
Some pest control experts are afraid that this summer will be buggy because of the wet spring.
Mosquitos are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans emit, water, and damp plants.
However, experts say that growing plants commonly used to flavor food can help keep the bugs away this summer.
- Amanda CastroToday, 07:00
Blue grass means no recovery
Silver or blue-colored grass is the worst news for a gardener.
Sean said: “When turf turns a silvery blue, it is dead. At this stage, there is no recovery.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 06:30
Rust disease turns grass orange
Orange is an alarming color for your grass and means that a fungus is loose in your lawn.
Expert Sean Lade explained: “Orange is not a natural color found in grass. This is a sign that your grass is suffering from rust disease.”
“The orange color comes from the fungi spores on the leaves. This comes about in wet and warm conditions and when the grass has not been cared for properly.”
“This can kill the leaves of your turf, but in general, will not kill the entire turf plant.”
“To control this, invest in some lawn fertilizer, mow your turf properly, maintain good drainage, and water your turf properly to the guidelines above.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 06:00
Take action on a red or brown lawn
A lawn with a brown or red tinge is not in great shape and Sean explained that this means you need to take action straight away.
The expert said: “This is a sign the grass is stressed and you should take action as soon as possible.”
“A brown color is usually a sign that the grass is dormant, a natural protection mechanism for grass to withstand weather changes.”
“Grass is very tolerant and can recover from stress with just a bit of care and a regular watering regimen.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 05:30
Yellow means your grass needs water
If your lawn is yellow it probably means it’s been too hot and needs some more water.
Gardening expert Sean Lade said: “Your lawn is deficient of chlorophyll and could do with a little care.”
“This is to be expected in hot and dry conditions. Now would be the perfect time to give your lawn a good soaking to get it looking its best.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 05:00
Green grass is a green light
Different colors of grass have different meanings, and it’s pretty obvious that green grass is the best sign of a healthy lawn.
Not only a good sign on traffic lights, green means all systems go in the garden too — as it means you’re doing a great job.
Gardening expert Sean Lade said: “The darker the green, the healthier your lawn is.”
“You shouldn’t expect your grass to be a dark green 24/7, but this is a sign that your lawn is very happy and healthy.”
- Amanda CastroToday, 04:30
Prevent blossom end rot with the right soil
According to Walliser, it’s necessary to ensure the plant is absorbing sufficient levels of water, which in turn helps allow the plant to get enough calcium.
“The calcium is there; your plants just aren’t getting it,” she said.
“Blossom end rot is especially common in container-grown tomatoes or during years of inconsistent rainfall.”
If you water your plants consistently and have high-quality soil, you’ll help avoid the rotting problems.
- Amanda CastroToday, 04:00
Blossom end rot is a disorder
According to the gardening expert, blossom end rot is not a disease or something that is caused by insects – this type of rotting is actually a disorder with the plant itself.
“It is a physiological disorder thought to be caused by stress combined with a lack of calcium in the developing fruit,” expert Jessica Walliser wrote in a blog post.
As she explains, if the plant is low on calcium, which is needed in high amounts as it grows, then the fruit breaks down.
A few issues that can contribute to the lack of calcium include not having enough calcium in the soil itself, but typically it has to do with soil that isn’t retaining steady moisture levels.
- Amanda CastroToday, 03:30
Blossom end rot explained
Blossom end rot is a problem that can foil your plans of eating vegetables straight from your garden.
This type of rot has a “distinctive appearance” and one expert describes it as “blackened, sunken cankers appear on the bottom (blossom end) of the fruits.”
Often the tops of the vegetables will look as if they are totally fine, only to have the rotting flesh on their underside.
“They are always on the blossom end of the fruits, never on the top,” the expert warned.
- Amanda CastroToday, 03:00
Aerating your lawn can be fun
If you have $20 to spare, you can purchase a pair of aerator shoes that make it easy to poke holes in your lawn.
Aeration allows water, air, and nutrients to reach the grassroots in your lawn, making for healthier grass.
Slip your feet into a pair of aerator shoes and go for a walk around the lawn to get some cardio in and improve your grass’s condition.
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