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How do you keep on top of gardening?

(14 Posts)
2015mom Sun 01-May-16 11:45:32


We have a decent size front and back garden and working full time and have little children and can't afford a gardener so wanted to pick your brains and ask how you keep on top of gardening without spending hours doing it and it still looks perfect.


justwhatineeded Sun 01-May-16 13:53:21

If the garden is really big and you want it looking perfect you will either have to do the work or pay someone else to do it. Perfect gardens take up a lot of work.

Would you be able to spend some time getting it looking good then do a little bit at a time to keep up with it?

GreenMarkerPen Sun 01-May-16 13:57:12

planning ahead
chosing low maintenance plants
closing your eyes to the worst bits.

Ditsy4 Sun 01-May-16 14:15:01

I get someone two or three times a year to do the pruning and heavy work and then I can keep on top of it ...usually.

moomoogalicious Sun 01-May-16 14:17:45

I don't do perfect especially with 3 kids and a dog. It still looks pretty.

Low maintenance shrubs, no bedding plants, bulbs and flowers that come up every year.

NicknameUsed Sun 01-May-16 14:19:48

You need to make it as low maintenance as possible. Slow growing plants that don't require pruning. Cover your flower beds with bark chippings or gravel to discourage weeds. More hard landscaping that doesn't need attention.

In summer the main issue will be keeping the lawn(s) tidy, so if you can't pay someone else to do it for you the best thing would be to have a lawnmower that makes the job as easy as possible.

One tip I read was to trim the lawn edges round the flower beds if the grass is too wet to cut. It instantly makes the garden look tidier even if the grass is long.

BeauGlacons Sun 01-May-16 14:20:28

A hoe. Ground cover. Astro turf (depending on size), shrubs. Avoid bedding planylts and anything that needs rigorous watering. How big I it OP.

In the summer months we give it about ten hours a week plus three hours of mowing and clipping from the gardener for half an acre. And a professional hedge/tree clipping at least once a year.

Ifailed Sun 01-May-16 15:55:34

Astro turf? sorry, that's not gardening, its carpet laying. It's quite easy to sow a lawn and mow it once a week, but the OP hasn't give us any idea of the size of the front and rear gardens.

BeauGlacons Sun 01-May-16 16:47:23

I think it has its place Ifailed. I'm going to have some laid on the verges on each side of the drive. They are shaded and look scruffy and it's a pain to get the mower up the drive (uphill) and they always look scruffy. Having the edges trimmed with stone - will be much better. Also v useful in mossy area or where children play football.

The mowing is the easy bit. The edges need clipping, the aerating, feeding, weeding, moss, etc are what take the time. Did I mention sprinkling?

MaryPopped Sun 01-May-16 21:15:57

gosh, ifailed i find it impossible to stay ontop of mowing my lawn because I don't get home from work until 6, when it is too late and it never seems to b dry enough to mow on the weekend.

I'm interested in this, trim the edges technique. Do you just mean with a pair of sheers, NickNameUSed?

NicknameUsed Sun 01-May-16 21:36:39

I just use edging shears like these. It's astonishing how much neater it makes your garden look even if the lawn needs cutting.

Mowing the grass after 6pm isn't a problem for me in the summer when the evenings are longer. It doesn't get dark until after 10 in June where we live.

Kr1stina Sun 01-May-16 22:51:05

Give up the idea that it will ever be perfect
Grow trees, shrubs and easy herbaceous plants
Use lots of a small number of plants that you know how to look after
Only grow plants that like the conditions in your garden
Minimise bare soil by planting and mulching
No containers
Have a mowing strip around your grass so it doesn't need edged

If you really hate plants and gardening , then just put it all to hard landscaping or Astro turf. Life is to short to have a garden if you don't find it a pleasure .

MaryPopped Mon 02-May-16 00:20:54

Light isnt the problem - its neighbours! Hoping to add a mowing strip this summer but if that doesn't happen then I'm after some of those edging sheers!

shovetheholly Tue 03-May-16 08:56:43

Maintenance wise (weeding, pruning), gardening is like housework. If you clean your bathroom once every few weeks, you are going to have a massive and disheartening job on your hands. If you do it little and often, it's much easier to keep on top of it, and it looks good all the time too. Generally, preventing weeds from happening is easier and quicker than pulling them out - so if you hoe any open soil on a very regular basis, you will stop things appearing in the first place. Alternatively, as kristina says, you can mulch.

The key of that statement, though, is making sure that you really don't have much open soil to care for. Filling the garden with low-maintenance shrubs (these don't have to be boring!), and lots of ground cover really helps.

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