How to maintain a garden without problems


Maintaining a lawn need not be difficult.In our last survey on lawns, almost half of our respondents said they would spend more time outdoors in their gardens this year. Although fun and personal satisfaction are high on its list of activities, losing time and money are not. We give you 10 tips to teach you how to care for your garden.
A better lawn with less work and money are not mutually exclusive ideas.Our experts and specialists in turf can help cut an hour or more of the average of six hours per week that people spend tending the garden and cutting grass.

You can also save $ 100 or more this season and have a better lawn fixed.Our last test lawn mowers and tractors shows that the best mowers easier to use, often costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than the competition. Our informative tips can help keep your tractor and mower running well. We also offer safety tips for tractors and mowers with wheels. 


Stop the urge to fertilize your lawn as soon as the weather starts to turn warm. A strong dose of spring fertility flourish your lawn quickly, but also makes it more vulnerable to weeds, pests and heat of summer, says Martin Petrovic, professor of turf science at Cornell University.

Instead of storing fertilizers, clean your garden waste and do a soil test.You will find the pH of the soil, which lacks nutrients and the amount you need each and when to apply. A soil test can save someone obsessed with their plants $ 50 or more in materials, plus several hours of work per year.You can also prevent phosphorus and other unnecessary chemicals to leak to the local water supply.

Tip: The economic evidence to ground 'DIY', sold in garden shops and home stores do not provide sufficiently accurate results according to our tests. Best for you to pay about $ 10 for their cooperative service area to do the analysis for you.


While waiting for the results of soil testing, employs a few hours (or between $ 50 and $ 150) for the maintenance of your mower or tractor. More than a quarter of people surveyed admit they have never sharpened the blade of his lawn mower.

Dull blades stress the grass, making it susceptible to disease. In addition, a sharp blade cuts faster and balanced and more accurate, so you get even more uniform cut and reduce the time it takes to cut it. Along with oil changes and basic maintenance of motor, sharp blades can reduce fuel costs up to 25 percent.



Tip: Sharpen and balance blades three times during the growing season and invest in a second blade ($ 15 to $ 20) so you can use while the other is under maintenance.


In the case of a lawn, that means quickly weed cover vacant lots. Unless your garden is full of weeds or has large empty spaces in the existing grass planting will help to make this bigger.

Choose a lawn that suits your climate, soil conditions and lifestyle. Your local cooperative organization should have a list of recommended species and varieties, including those that require the least amount of fertilizers and irrigation.

For example, the variety high fescue is a good low cost alternative for grass Kentucky and ryeperennial in the northeast. The buffalo grass is the preferred option does not generate problems west of the Mississippi, and zoysia and white Ch├ępica developments are popular in the south.


Always check the label of the seed to see clearly the varieties you have.Also look for a date of germination is less than a year. And buy seeds "that have no grass."

Tip: Cover the seed with a thin layer of soil, compost or sawdust. Add basal fertilizer and the rods, the back of a hoe or a shovel. The seeds do very well with slightly compacted soil.


Leave short grass is like a time saver, but it weakens the roots. Never cut more than one third of the total height of the blade. Also be sure to increase the cutting height. Mow less frequently as the mercury increases as it is at the time when the garden grows more slowly.

This will promote a deeper root system and prevent weed seeds and other warm season weeds. "If you're mowing the lawn in cold weather periods of extreme stress, just get exterminated," says Mike Goatley, turf specialist at Virginia Tech area. It makes the grass a little long in the shady spots to maximize the leaf area of the plant where photosynthesis occurs. 



Tip: If your lawn has a whitish color, you're probably cutting a lot of the top. 




The application of a quarter inch layer of compost once or twice a year to improve the lawn stays healthy land and eliminating pests and diseases.Also saves money by reducing fertilizer use and water. Take credit after your lawn has budded, with aeration of lawn to help mix the soil organic matter.

You can buy compost in stores, but sometimes you can get for free in some places offer municipal composting. Apply using a fertilizer with a trailer in the rear, together with his tractor. If your garden is not very large, cut it manually.



Tip: A compost container provides a number of organic fertilizer to your lawn and allows organic food waste recycling. Smith & Hawken's BioStacked Composter, a better option to buy according to CR, was excellent for comfort and durability at a price of $ 130.  



Do not believe the myth that grass clippings become straw. Cover these herbs with mulch instead of putting them in a bag natural nutrients back to land, saving time, bags and more than 30 percent in fertilizer costs. "Think of the cut grass as a slowly spreading fertilizer at no cost," says Goatley.However, mulching if the garden is in full outbreak of a great plague.


Tip: Use a hose to wash the mower blades and the bottom of the cover of this after each use to better cover with mulch and cut clutter.


Our surveys have found most people washed down with too much water or no water at the right time. It can make you spend more than 25 billion gallons of water a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Adequate irrigation saves money and helps prevent diseases and pests.

Watering deeply and infrequently: an inch a week is generally, but may need to irrigate with water and often during the warm seasons. And do not be afraid to let the grass is dormant during a dry spell, will turn green again when the rains return.

To differentiate whether it is dormant or dead, some half a stalk. If you see white, fleshy and strong means that it is dormant. On the contrary, if the stem falls apart, you are dead.


Tip: Water early in the morning before the sun and wind prevent water reach the roots. Watering at night causes mold.



8. Improving the efficiency of sprinkler irrigation system



Irrigation systems will make it easy with the grass, but some are more effective than others. For shrubs and plants, drip irrigation systems get the highest scores because they put the water directly to root system, where water is lost due to wind, runoff and evaporation.

In sprinkler irrigation systems exist, install a rain sensor is activated only when the air is dry, or soil moisture sensor is activated only when the soil is dry. In the new systems, advanced control technologies using local weather reports to determine the hours of hydration. 


Tip: Even if you use simple irrigation systems, check out the uniform distribution of plastic containers placed throughout the garden while watering. And be sure not to water the paths or driveway.


The lush and extensive gardens look great in the ads but will not grow anywhere. In their place, considered covered for shade garden or gardens and ornamentals. Do not forget the trees, flowers and shrubs that attract birds and other species, creating anecosystem balanced. If possible, choose native species, since they are already adapted to your area.

Tip: Place your shrubs and plants with similar watering needs together.Also plant flowers and shrubs likely to pests near the plants that repel. Most cooperative organizations provide information on associated plant through its Master Gardener Program.


If you leave footprints in the garden needs more water. Check if the lawn and your garden plants are stressed. These are the most prone to pests and diseases that can then spread to healthy areas. Remove diseased plants and stressed plants moved to a more appropriate place. 

Look for places discovered, resulting in the emergence of weeds and other weeds. The weekly removal of weeds may facilitate this. Look for heavy soils with a screwdriver, if not found easily, the soil is compacted and must be vented. Rent a machine in about $ 65 or $ 75 a day.

Tip: Early morning is the best time to inspect. The dew on the garden will highlight the signs of damage and stress.

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