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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Artificial Grass

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Artificial grass is a perfect way of enjoying nature when you are too occupied with other things throughout your day. As you don’t need to maintain it like watering or spraying pesticides regularly while you can relax on your couch whenever you want. You can feel this comfort especially in summers when noon time makes the grass extremely hotter that even gardeners avoid being in the garden for any kind of work. All such things make the artificial grass a blessing but there are some common mistakes that people make while buying one for their backyard. Let’s have a look at a few of them below.

 

  1. Not Doing Enough Research Beforehand

If you are a first timer, then no research beforehand is a big mistake you are going to regret later for sure. It is important to understand the installation process and dynamics of artificial grass like its types, pile thickness and different densities as it is not a piece of cake when you need good quality and durability. All such factors require deep research before finalizing any for your beautiful backyard.

 

  1. Considering It Completely Weed Free

It is only like making a fool out of yourself if you think that artificial grass will be completely weed free. No, it is not like that and it does require maintenance as well but not as strictly as it is required with natural grass. However, the wind in your surroundings along with some birds and insects are very likely to attack your grass so you just need thorough cleaning with a brush every alternate day or maybe twice a week.

 

  1. Relying on Samples Shown

Samples are always samples and bulk is always slightly different than samples which is a universal fact. So relying on samples and considering it as final outcome in your backyard will bring you a good disappointment. Also, you may select one based on soft hand feel but it might not have the longer durability or maybe the lush green color fades sooner after installation. So, it is always recommended to check the installed gardens rather than just relying on samples. And must check other features as well along with the looks and hand feel.

 

  1. DIY Installation

No doubt you can have a number of videos and tutorials available online on DIY installations but it is not that easy as it looks like. It is because it is not your normal carpet for room and you will be needing different tools for fixing it in the perfect shape. Also, different corners or places might require different treatment depending on the temperature and climatic conditions. 

 

  1. Ignoring Drainage

Well this is something which makes you end up with the pools of water in your garden every time it rains. It is a very important which is often neglected by people which then complains about the water pools in the end. So make sure the installation process has well considered the drainage part to keep the desired height of clay under grass and different important factors to have good results and durability.

 

How to care for artificial grass

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

If you’re the type of owner who’s tired of having to fertilize, mow, or aerate the grass, you’re in luck. You can keep your lawn picture-perfect without ever touching a lawn mower. All you need are some reminders and a bit of water.

Of course, we’re talking about artificial grass.

 

Why artificial grass?

Opting for the artificial grass on your yard instead of a living one comes with lots of benefits. The most important benefit is that they don’t die or wither, regardless of the abuse they receive. Love to run around on the lawn? With artificial turf, you don’t have to worry about dead spots.

 Unfortunately, having artificial grass doesn’t mean you can ignore it. You still have some responsibilities and work to do. Most of your work involves cleaning and maintaining the turf’s appearance. The tools you need will slightly differ depending on how you use your yard.

 

Make time for regular cleaning

Regular cleaning sessions for your artificial lawn will be your most common activity. Usually, a long hose and a steady flow of water are enough to give your artificial turf a rinse. The goal is to dislodge and wash off any dust and small debris from the turf’s surface.

 Depending on how frequent you use your artificial lawn and who uses it, you may have to do regular cleaning every week. If you always have kids playing and pets relieving themselves on the turf, a weekly rinse is needed. Doing so helps prevent odor-causing bacteria and grime buildup from accumulating. You may also consider investing in some environmentally-friendly turf deodorizer.

 On the other hand, if your artificial lawn doesn’t get much activity or if you live in a low-pollen/low-dust area, a biweekly rinse is enough.

 

“Grooming” your lawn

Because artificial grass doesn’t spring back to shape after getting bent, you’ll have to coax the leaf blades back into shape manually. To do so, you can take a flexible rake or a hard-bristled brush and run it across your lawn. This will push the blades back up, along with taking any debris in between blades.

 You can incorporate this in your regular cleaning schedule, especially if your artificial lawn gets a lot of activity. Doing so also ensures that the soil underneath the turf gets evened. Neglecting this activity flattens not only your turf but also the land.

 

Schedule some deep cleaning

Keeping up with a regular cleaning schedule is vital for your artificial lawn, but so does a good deep cleaning. Ideally, you want to use a motorized brush for this process. But if you don’t have one, some good old elbow-grease will also do the job. Regardless, your goal is to scrub the entire yard thoroughly to dislodge anything that the regular cleaning missed.

 Deep cleaning is also the best time to run a magnet through the yard to ensure that no stray metallic items are left on its surface. This is also the perfect time to apply anti-microbial solutions on popular pet urinating spots, along with a thorough deodorizing of the artificial turf.

 

Other ways to care for your artificial lawn

Regular cleaning and faithful deep cleaning schedules are just a part of your responsibilities in maintaining your artificial lawn. You have a few more to keep in mind if you want to keep your turf pristine.

 If you or anyone in your family is a smoker, make sure they don’t toss live cigarette butts on the artificial grass. Doing so will create burn spots all over the yard. You also need to be careful if you do a lot of grilling on your yard; the flying embers may land on the artificial lawn and leave a burn spot. Of course, the burnt spots can always be replaced, but frequent repairs will cost money.

 Also, make sure that you’re not dumping or leaking stuff like motor oil and battery acid on the artificial grass. Not only are those hard to clean, but they can also leave stains that are tough to remove.

 

Final thoughts

Even though artificial grass still requires some work to maintain, it’s not as demanding as keeping a yard full of live grass. So before you even begin researching for the best artificial grass to put on your yard, you need to study and prepare for a few things. Regular cleaning ensures that your artificial lawn is always pristine, and deep cleaning sessions guarantees that your perfectly manicured turf will last a long time. 

Treat your artificial lawn with care to continue enjoying its benefits.

 

Best Tips for Hedge Trimming You Need to Know

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

One of the most appealing plants to have in your garden are the perfectly trimmed hedges. They can serve as fences and decoration, if maintained properly. The amount and timing of trimming depends very much on the species of the hedge. So, before you read this article, make sure you’ve found out what your hedge is. Here are the best tips on trimming a hedge for a beautiful garden.

The Shrubs That are Perfect for Hedges

As we said earlier, it’s important to know what shrubs you have in order to adapt different techniques for trimming. For example, species like Conifers don’t do well when old woods is cut into. There are many shrubs that will look great in your garden, but there are a few which are notably suitable and deal well with trimming. Those are camellia, cypress, strawberry tree, wild privet, weigela, photinia and flowering currant.

Tools for Trimming a Hedge

It’s not impossible to trim the hedges by hand with scissors, but a hedge trimmer is definitely preferable. You should, however, always have a hand held shears, which will help you will smaller trimming projects or quick fix-ups. You can buy the hedge trimmer from a gardening or home improvement shop. To ease your job, you can buy a trimmer with double blades. That would save you time and energy by cutting your work in half. 

It’s advisable to pick a cordless hedge trimmers for smallers shrubs as it has the same power as the electric or petrol ones. For shrubs taller than 5 meters use an electric or petrol hedge trimmer in order to reduce some workload. And, for the larger branches use pruners and shears. 

You need to make sure the trimmer is well maintained so you don’t damage your hedges. A blunt blade can damage the branches by tearing and shredding rather than cutting them. You should also ensure that the blade is kept clean as while you trim a hedge, sap can accumulate on harden. 

You have to accept and understand, though, that even with the best trimming machine, you won’t become instantly good at this process. You need steady hands and patience, but also a lot of practice. But don’t worry too much about it! Make mistakes and learn from them. 

Perfect Time for Trimming

Timing of trimming also depends on  the type of shrubs you have. Major shapings should happen once a year when the growth period is finished or has slowed down. Most hedges flower in spring or summer, so make sure you are familiar with the plant cycle of yours. For those that flower in spring trim them after they are done blooming. Those that flower in summer trim them at the end of winter or early spring. And, for those that don’t flower at all, trim them after any new growth appears to be fully formed. You can also do occasionally light trimming every now and then with hand shears.

Best Techniques to Trim a Hedge

If you’ve recently planned your hedges, it’s good to trim them early on. That will help them grow healthier and will determine their shape. But no matter the age of the hedge, a good trim should leave the hedge wider at the bottom and slightly narrow at the top. This way the sunlight is able to reach the whole hedge equally for a healthy growth. 

Help Yourself With the Clean Up in Advance

Work smart, not hard. Before you start trimming, lay down a cloth or tarpaulin around the shrubs. As you are cutting off the branches and leaves, they will fall down on them. Thus, at the end of the trimming just pick up, fold the cloth and throw away all the waste that was generated.

Start with the Vertical Sides

Take a look at your shrubs and picture the way you want to form them. When trimming the hedge, you should start with cutting the vertical sides first using upward and downward sweeping motions. When you get to the top side of the hedge, you have to angle the blade at 10 degrees to the horizontal and use scything motions.

Cut Off with the Outer Branches

Focus first on trimming the outer branches and thinning out any dense areas on the outside of the shrubs. Cut close to the main stem to encourage new growth all the way along the branch. If you cut near the top of the branches, you promote growth only near the top.

Thin Out the Inside

Then, start trimming little deeper into the shrub. Remove all dead or broken branches since they only interfere with the plants’ growth. By thinning out the inside, you let the plant breathe and prevent forming of mold or other pathogenic growth. Still, make sure you don’t remove more than ? of the shrubs’ inside.

Look for Straight Lines as Guidance

While trimming, look around for any straight lines that you can use as guidelines. For example, the edges of your house, street signs, other hedges, roads, etc. That will help you with staying steady and keeping your eyes on point. Trimming a hedge perfectly takes practice and you probably won’t succeed from the first time. Using straight lines as guidance, however, definitely helps for a well-shaped shrub

Use Strings for Guides

You can also use strings to guide your trimming for straight and clean edges. Stick four stakes into the soil at all 4 corners of the shrub. If you want to shape the shrub in a form, different than a rectangle, stick the stakes at every angle. Lay strings from one stake to another in a parallel to the ground manner. You can use a ruler to help you with that. Now you can start trimming by using the strings as guidelines for a well-leveled shrub.

Enjoy the Process

As we mentioned a few times already, trimming takes practice and patience. This is why there are many professional gardeners who do this for a living. But don’t worry, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. And, you will be able to brag about your skills and perfectly shaped hedges on the next garden party.

There you have it, all the information you need to perfectly trim your hedges for a beautiful and lush garden. Of course, you can always use your imagination and trim your hedges in all shapes and forms. Especially, when you get used to using the tools and learn what your plants need for a healthy grow, you can go all creative. Now, let’s start trimming!

Author’s Bio:

Name: Dimo Koev

Dimo has 10+ years of experience in landscaping services, garden design and maintenance, lawn care, turfing, hedge trimming, weeding, fencing, decking, patio and driveway laying, planting, garden clearance, and more. He is the president of Professional Gardening Services, which delivers the bespoke gardening services in London. Dimo believes in constantly adapting, innovating and learning about his industry in order to deliver the best service to his clients. That’s why he is so enthusiastic and eager to share his knowledge and skills with everyone who needs gardening advice.