Save Water and Money in the Garden this Summer

Top Tops for Saving Water in your Garden this Summer

Summer is just around the corner folks, but don’t break out your sunglasses and ice lollies just yet, because we’ve put together a fantastic list of water and money-saving tips to help you slash water wastage and reduce water bills!

During the spring and summer months, millions of litres of water are used whilst watering the garden and washing cars, a huge percentage of which could be saved by making a few simple changes to our gardening habits.

Here’s a list of our best tips and tricks to help you reduce water wastage in the garden this summer!

Recycle Water

To reduce or even eliminate the need for a garden hose when watering your garden, you can look to make good use of water collected by other means. By collecting rainwater in a garden water butt, you can keep a stored source of hydration for your lawn and plants without ever turning on the tap! Simply use the water butt to fill your watering can and off you go!

When in the kitchen, instead of running fresh fruit and vegetables under the tap when cleaning them, fill the wash bowl with water and then sink your fresh produce into the water to rinse it; even water from the bottom of your kettle can be reused!

Afterwards, use this water to hydrate garden or houseplants, or add it to the water butt.

Nourish Your Soil

Another way to use less water in your garden is to add some quality organic matter into the soil.

Doing this will effectively make the soil more ‘bulky’, and when rain falls onto the soil or you water the garden, the soil and organic matter mix will hold onto the water instead of letting it quickly pass through.

In many cases this can mean you would only have to water the soil once a fortnight as opposed to once a week in warmer periods!

Know Your Garden

Knowing more about the watering requirements for the trees and plants you have in your garden can eliminate unnecessary watering. For example, plants such as Echeveria are much more at home in dry soil, and don’t require watering at all.

Knowing about the conditions of the soil in your garden will help you become more informed about which plants are right for your garden, better-preparing you for your next trip to the garden centre.

Do what you Can

Avoiding the hosepipe is the best way to slash water wastage in the garden dramatically.

When watering plants, trees and your lawn, opt for the trusty watering can instead, this can save thousands of litres each year per household. Similarly, when washing you car, opt for a bucket and sponge instead of the hose, not only will this save water but it will allow for a more comprehensive cleaning!

So there we have our top tips for saving on water wastage this summer! Be sure to check back with Pride Home Services soon for more fantastic tips & guides!

Preparing Your Garden for Winter with Pride Home Services

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There’s no doubt that summer is officially over and winter is well on the way, and for those who take a personal pride in their beloved garden, there are a few precautions to take to ensure your garden is properly equipped for winter.

Getting Started

For the most part, preparing your garden for winter is mostly a case of cleaning up and covering up.

As autumn progresses and temperatures continue to drop, plants that aren’t killed quickly by the cold and frost prepare for dormancy during the winter months.

To begin, clear out any blackened stems and foliage from yearly flowers. This prevents the possibility of your garden harboring disease pathogens and insect eggs during the winter. The cool weather provides a great opportunity to make a cold frame, dig and box in raised beds, and make general repairs.

Add Extra Mulch

It may appear that all activity in the garden has stopped once temperatures drop, however there is still a lot going on under the soil until it completely freezes. For example, recently transplanted trees and shrubs and some bulbs will continue to grow roots, drawing on soil nutrients and moisture around them.

It is likely by this time of year that any organic mulch you spread to protect the soil during the summer months has mostly decomposed, so now is the time to spread a thicker layer of new mulch to protect plants during winter; this will help keep the temperature in the soil even.

Dealing with Weather

Snow can be a double-edged sword when it comes to gardens, as it both protects and endangers plants.

For example, good snow cover across your garden insulates the soil like a mulch. However, snow piled on evergreen branches can weigh them down, potentially resulting in breakage.

To combat this, knock snow from the bottom branches first, then work upward; this way snow from above will not add weight to the already burdened lower branches. If branches are bowed by ice, don’t try to free them. Instead let the ice melt and release them gradually.

So there you have our key tips for readying your garden for winter, be sure to check back as winter approaches to remind yourself of our top tips and find more useful guides!

How to Install a Garden Fence

How to Install a Garden Fence.

fencehowto

Putting up a garden fence can be a really easy job, as long as you know what to do. Here, we’re going to tell you all the equipment you will need and take you through the process of fully installing the fence step by step.

Equipment.

  • Fence panels
  • Panel clips
  • Fence posts
  • Spade
  • Spirit level
  • Nails
  • Tape measure
  • Concrete mix
  • String

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Step 1.

First, if your old fence is still on the boundary, remove it. Also ensure that you get rid of any plants that are encroaching on the boundary, as you will need a clear space to work in. Next, roughly mark out a straight line along your boundary with a piece of string.

string

Step 2

Now, you should dig out a hole for your first fence post. The hole will need to be dug 60cm deep and will need to be roughly as wide as the width of your spade, so that you will have enough room to apply the concrete mix later.

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Step 3

Take your fence post and place it into the hole, ensuring that it is secure. Now, take your concrete mix and pour it into the hole as it instructs you to do on the packet. Before the concrete sets completely, use your spirit level to make sure the post is completely straight.

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Step 4

Wait for the concrete to set fully and move onto the next step. This involves marking where you want your second post to go.

Step 5

Now, you can dig out the hole for your second fence post. Also, use your panel clips to attach your fence panel to the first post.

Step 6

Insert the second fence post into the hole and ensure that it is supported and standing upright. Then, attach the panel clips to the post and attach the other fence panel. Once you have done this, you can pour the cement mix into the hole.

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Step 7

Repeat this process along the boundary until your fence is complete.

Cheap Design Ideas For Your Garden

The summer months are almost upon us and many people are looking at redesigning their gardens and outdoor spaces so that the next few months can be spent outside, topping up tans, drinking fresh jugs of Sangria and entertaining guests in a garden that you can be proud of.

Not everybody can afford to have their garden kitted out with the newest features and fads which is why we have compiled a few cost effective ideas designed to inspire the budding gardener within!

Water features

Birdbath

As we all know, water features and ponds can be quite expensive which is why a good old fashioned bird bath can offer an ideal solution. Bird baths are cheap to purchase, easy to locate, look amazing and help our feathered friends. Everybody wins!

Trellis

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A trellis is a perfect addition to any patio, are easy to build and do not tend to be overly expensive!
A trellis will always add a beautiful setting to any garden whilst offering hints of privacy and look amazing when surrounded with plants and lighting.

For a perfect addition, look up climbing plants that will work well with the Trellis – Honeysuckle and Clematis are great options!

Colourful Furniture

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Decking and patios sometimes require the odd boost in order for a person to truly appreciate their garden. To add a unique touch to the area why not introduce some colourful items to an otherwise plain setting and really stand out from the crowd.

brightly coloured cushions, lights, lanterns and candles are all really cheap and easy work with yet really add a warm touch to the garden. Why not restore an old piece of wood or furniture by sanding down and painting in a bold vibrant colour.

Unique Garden Lighting

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Garden lighting is such a good addition to a garden. Visibility is assured, regardless of time as well creating a tranquil area built to welcome late night socialising. There are so many options that are available to a person. For those that like to recycle, why not use some old Christmas fairy lights. They are great to work with and will compliment other furniture especially when weaved within a trellis or pergola.

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Another fun option is to use some old jam jars or empty bottles. A simple tea light candle will make all of the difference as well as being fun to make. The result is stunning and it really is a case of ‘the more the merrier’.

And there we have it!

Introducing fun, unique ideas to the garden do not have to be expensive, time consuming or difficult. There are no limits to what you can do.

The above ideas should should hopefully give you a push and get those creative juices flowing. The internet is a great place for inspiration and if you do run out of ideas, a good bit of research can really help you.

Keeping on top of your composite decking

Composite decking has proven to itself to be one of, if not the best alternative to the more commonly opted for Timber treated decks as the material used are proven to stand the test of time for years to come.

As composite decking is usually more expensive than other decking services we always recommend that you take certain steps to keep on top of maintenance, ones that will ensure a life span that far outlives the warranty!

Clean your decking!

Most people assume that due to the hardened materials used in a composite deck it is not susceptible to corrosion (usually caused by typical british weather and household spills) however, this is not entirely true, especially when repeated spills over time can and will take effect.

Window cleaning agents, bbq liquids and alcohol can take their time to detrimental effect which is why we suggest cleaning the decking at least twice a year.

Cleaning your decking

Warm water and soap is usually a good option, without a metal scrub. If you choose to use a power wash then please keep the pressure below 1500 psi and wash at 12 inches + away from the surface.

Brush often!

Another preventative measure is to ensure that the gaps between the decking are kept free and unclogged at all times. Failure to do so can create an unsightly blockage and affect the colour of the deck surface. A simple decking brush with good bristles can be used for this and all other decking!

decking brush

Flower pots and plant beds.

Items such as these can increase the beauty of a garden and indeed a deck but like the above, one must exercise caution.
Water and mulch can gather underneath and around the pot due to prohibited evaporation. This can and will affect the decking if left for long periods of time.

decking stain

And there you have it, a few easy pointers that, providing you keep on top of, will ensure your deck stays as good as new for many years.

Dealing with moss on your lawn

If moss is a problem on your lawn you will need to scarify it out. You may also consider applying a weed and moss-killer product before scarifying. This will help to kill and remove more of the moss. Allow the moss to turn brown/black before scarifying.

It is important not to scarify too early in spring, the grass should be growing fairly well to avoid gaps being filled with unwanted weeds or weed-grasses. Scarification is best combined with other operations, like topdressing, overseeding and applying fertiliser. Where other work is planned, scarification should be completed first.

scarifying moss

If the resulting sward is very open (perhaps if there was more moss than grass), over-sowing with a quality grass seed after scarification will help to improve the sward. If you do over-seed, choose grasses that suit your lawn (fine grasses for ornamental lawns (non-ryegrass mixtures) and wear tolerant grasses for utility lawns (with ryegrass mixtures).

Moss is more of a problem on shady damp lawns and the best control is to address these problems. Damp lawns should be regularly aerated and top-dressed to increase drainage potential. Shade from trees and shrubs may be relieved through sensitive pruning, however, this may not always be possible. In such cases make sure that you do not cut the grass too closely, but continue to cut it regularly. We would suggest that a cutting height no lower than 1 inch (25 mm) would be appropriate.