Enjoy your garden: 10 hacks for creating a low-maintenance garden
Every gardener dreams of an easy-maintenance garden where flowers bloom, weeds take care of themselves and the grass is always cut. But can this ever be a reality?! Almost. We reveal 10 hacks to help your garden virtually tend to itself – you'll just have to lend a helping hand every now and again. So sit back, get in the mood for some fun and relaxation, and enjoy the time spent in your garden.
Low-maintenance plants to reduce your garden workload
Shrubberies like mullein, lady's mantle and yellow coneflowers bloom in the summer and are low-maintenance yet incredibly durable. Herbs like lavender and rosemary will also make your garden look great, without the need for constant watering. They simply have to be cut back each spring to help keep them thick and healthy.
Easy fruit and veg only, please!
Some fruit and vegetables don't require constant care to really bear fruit – including courgettes and radishes. They grow virtually all by themselves, without fertilisers or other interventions. All you need to do is water them every now and then. Likewise, berry bushes such as autumnal raspberries and redcurrants are easy to grow. Just be sure to avoid tall varieties of redcurrant bushes, as they require much more care and attention.
Do you hate having to water the garden constantly in the summer? If so, you need an automatic watering system to take care of watering your lawn and planters. Once you've set it up, you can relax and enjoy more free time in your garden. If you're on a tight budget, get a helping hand from Mother Nature by capturing rainwater in a water butt and use this to water your garden – rainwater is lime-free and just the right temperature to keep your plants happy.
Get a personal lawn-mowing assistant
Do you love your robotic vacuum cleaner? Then you're sure to adore this robotic lawnmower. After set-up and installation, the little device operates all by itself, cuts the grass as you see fit, and then returns to its charging station, leaving you with more time to relax in the garden. As the robotic lawnmower does everything by itself, it can also cut the grass more often than you might do yourself. This is great for your lawn; regular mowing of shorter growth will help to make the lawn thicker and suppress weeds, meaning you have to rake the lawn less often.
If you prefer to mow the lawn yourself, get a little extra help
Not ready to delegate your lawn-mowing duties to a machine? No problem! We still have a tip to help you maintain your lawn and garden with ease. We recommend mowing the lawn with a cordless lawnmower, which has no troublesome cables for you to accidentally run over with the mower blades. What's more, the lawnmower is like a vacuum cleaner for your garden, hoovering up leaves and foliage to help keep your lawn looking perfectly manicured. It makes strenuous raking a thing of the past!
Fight pests the natural way
Insects like bees, butterflies and caterpillars can also lend a hand in the garden. They attract birds, which then eat garden pests – making pest control simple! To help support this cycle, you can plant stinging nettles, which grow pretty much anywhere and are butterfly caterpillars' favourite food. Tip: stinging nettle fertiliser also helps to ward off aphids.
Remove moss and weeds with ease...
Every gardener dreams of a thick, green lawn with no moss or weeds in sight ... if only that didn't involve the chore of regularly pulling out new, unwanted plants. With a lawn rake, you can free your lawn of moss and grass once a year and won't have to repeat the process for another 12 months.
... or stop them growing in the first place
One of the most tiresome gardening chores is weeding. To avoid spending any more of your time on this task, you can lay down weed control fabric when building your flower bed or laying your patio or path. The fabric allows water, air and nutrients to reach your plants, but stops annoying weeds in their tracks. Have you already built your flower bed and don't want to rearrange it? Then opt for ground cover plants like creeping thyme and waldsteinia – weeds will struggle to grow if another plant is already established. Alternatively, spread a thin layer of bark mulch on unplanted areas to keep weeds at bay. If you don't want to spend any more time thinking about weeds, you can also consider using a robotic lawnmower.
Why use heavy equipment if there's an easier option?
The right garden tools, and especially electric tools, make it easy to tend to your garden. With an electric grass and shrub trimmer, you'll have to get back to the gym for an arm workout, as you'll no longer be working up a sweat in the garden.
Secret tip: add a shrub-trimmer attachment to the IXO cordless screwdriver and you can also use it for gardening.
Use garden waste as organic fertiliser
A garden compost heap can turn garden and food waste into excellent soil. Simply create even layers of grass cuttings, leaves and vegetable peel, and wait. Thanks to the natural fermentation process, the compost will heat up and organisms will break down your waste into excellent soil. After nine to 12 months, you can then use the natural fertiliser for your garden. Simply check the temperature now and then to ensure it's between 45 and 70 °C – then sit back and simply let nature do all the work.