Winter Garden Care: How to Make Your Garden Last through the Tough Season

As soon as summer is over, you need to start preparing for another long and cold winter. This
means packing the kids back up to school, returning to a regular routine and putting the garden
to sleep for the winter. Your garden has enjoyed a long and bountiful spring and summer but
now that fall has rolled around, it’s time to put your garden to bed.
Most people think that spring and summer are garden seasons but, as gardeners know, fall is
just as important. Fall is the time to take extra special care to ensure your plants last for the
winter. Below is a checklist to ensure that you get everything done before the first snow falls.
· First of all, you need to take extra care with all your winter crops. If you have leeks, kale,
parsnip, Brussels sprouts or anything other winter crop, put an extra amount of mulch
around them. This will comfort and protect them through the colder months.
· Next, gather up all the leaves that have fallen in the last couple of weeks. Go through
your garden and pick up any dead vegetation and additional dead leaves and add them
to your compost bin. Take special care not to pick up any seeds in the process. They
should be left in your garden.
· Don’t forget about the weeds. Fall season is also the time to get rid of any access weeds
that have crawled into your garden. Many people will also get rid of any vines that have
taken over their garden as well, but others like to keep the vine for a more Christmas
feel.
· You need to take extra special care of your soil during the colder climate. Till the soil to
start with and then add some compost to give it more nutrients. For those who are
thinking about expanding their garden, the fall season is also the time to till more ground
and prepare it for planting and harvesting in the spring. It is a lot easier to till the soil now
than after the frost. Furthermore, this will prepare your ground for garden season in the
New Year.
· Finally, don’t forget about your garden tools. They need to be cleaned and free of dirt
which can stick to the tools causing problems next year. Linseed oil can help keep your
wooden handle tools in good shape. Make sure you dry your tools after washing and
scrubbing them as the extra water can cause rust.

How To D.I.Y. Tips & Maintenance For Synthetic Grass Installation

No Worries Turf is affiliated and working in partnership with professional landscapers and gardeners who specialise in installation services. You are most welcome to utilise their expertise and services but if you decide to give it a go yourself then this is what you will need to do:

Planning

• The area for turf installation should be clearly defined and marked out as necessary.
• Pay special attention when you unroll your product.
• Always run the grain of the turf against any slope, if possible.
• Another useful forethought to have is on how you want the edges to look.

Recommended tools for the job:

1. Stanley Knife with a new blade. (Get a heavy duty tradies knife. Anything lesser in quality will cause hours of annoyance and potential injury)

2. U Shaped synthetic Grass Pins. These pins are used as anchors to pin and anchor the grass down to the crusher rock sub base to secure it in place.

3. Joining / Seaming Tape. You will find there are two types of joining tape for synthetic grass: Self Adhesive (no glue needed), more expensive but cleaner and faster to use and Non Self Adhesive Tape, cheaper and the bigger the project and the more join you will need to do the more economical it becomes (glue will be needed), 1L will glue down approx. 4sqm of turf or will be enough for approx.20 linear meters of non adhesive tape depending on its width. Now which one you will need for your project I suggest will be decided by the size of your project and budget you have allocated.

4. Infill Sand. From professional installation point of view we recommend Kiln Dried Silica Specialty Sand, because it comes nice and dry and that makes it an easier and faster sand to use, as well as because of its high density it takes a much longer time for it to get washed out by rain and that is good from the maintenance point of view. However, if for some reason you cannot get it than use the White washed sand or Play sand that’s OK as well. Now how much sand infill you will need will really depend on the type, style, pile height and density of the grass you have decided to get as well as the overall size of your project. (As a rule of thumb you want your infill level to be no higher than half the length of the grass fibers, for example, if your chosen grass strands are 4cm high than you want your infill to be about 2cm deep).

5. Flat Tip Shovel.

6. Garden Brush. A good stiff bristled plastic outdoor /garden brush. You will need it to brush the infill in to the grass and to give the grass a really good brushing as a finishing touch from all sides and I mean 360 degrees so it really looks good as well as you will need to use it in the future for maintenance to introduce more sand when needed and to give it a good brushing from time to time especially in the heavy traffic areas.

7. Synthetic grass glue; Only to be used if you have chosen to use the Non Adhesive Joining Tape or if you are installing on a hard solid base sub structure like decking, concrete or any other solid base as long as it is not dirt or sand based, think of it this way, glue will not stick to dust or dirt.

8. A plate compactor;
You will only need this tool if you are installing on a crushed rock / crushed dust sub structure. You will need to use this to compact the crushed dust and rock in to a stabilized hard smooth surfaced sub structure to install your synthetic grass. You can rent it from any equipment hire place.

You will find most of these Accessories by clicking on this link  “Accessories” Tab

SYNTHETIC GRASS INSTALLATION

Synthetic turf should be installed on a compacted base of fine crushed rock at least 50mm thick (more if in a sandy area). All joins should be attached using Joining tapes and adhesives. Importantly the turf should be in filled with a mixture of SILICA sand (not washed sand or brickies sand) and/or rubber granules to at least HALF WAY. Once installed properly you should not be able to pick up the turf.

A solid compacted base is vital, but more importantly the correct amount of fill is vital. The fill not only helps keep the grass upright, but also protects it from UV. Sand fill on its own will compact over time and make the area very hard, and pure rubber will eventually wash away and leave no fill.

*Please note, a natural consequence of a roll of turf is the look of creases due to compression in packing and delivery. However, the creases will naturally straighten out after a few hot sunny days after laying the turf.

To make it easier for you to install the turf, it is recommended to unroll the rolls and leave them unrolled for a couple of days, which will help the turf relax and straighten out. Furthermore, infill helps to secure the integrity of the strand.

1) Mark off the area that you will install with an outdoor spray can marker. Consider the dimensions of your Turf to try to get as few seams as possible with your layout.

Installation 1

2) Remove sod, you will need to remove approximately 50mm-100mm of soil. Ideally, the sub base will be pitched slightly towards the best direction to allow for water drainage to run-off. Also, after the sub base and the Turf are installed, you will want to have the edges of the Turf at an even level with the natural landscape.

Installation 2

3) Cap Sprinklers. Turn off valves, compact existing ground to “firm it up fully” (you can rent a vibrating plate compactor at most rental centers). Spray weed/grass killer and place a weed barrier mesh down (not always necessary in all areas).

installation 3

4) Sub-Base: It is very important to ensure the sub-base is completely dry before laying any crushed rock to reduce settling and ensure proper compaction for the surface. Once you confirm that the sub-base is dry, add a top layer of crusher dust or a 5mm crushed rock (these types are best so you don’t feel any protruding rocks when you walk on your Turf) – ask your local garden supplier or nursery what material local landscapers use under paving bricks, etc. The purpose is to firm and level your base, 50mm -100mm of base is usually enough, although in some areas of the country where soil is especially unstable you may need up to 100-150mm of base material; just ask a local expert like a nursery, landscape center, or rock yard if you are not sure. *** Please note if more than 75mm of base material is used, you will also need to increase the amount of soil removal.

Instalation 4

5) Spread, and then compact the sub base material twice. Use the plate compactor again.

6) Finishing Sand layer (not always required if crushed rock is adequately smooth). Spread a fine layer of sand (approx. 2-5mm using just an ordinary seed drop spreader) on the surface to make it more level, bags of “play sand” are available at garden suppliers, some hardware stores. You may also use a water-filled sod roller for an even more level surface.

7) Check surface for depressions. Any depression areas 10mm-20mm or deeper should be filled-in and re-leveled. Although the turf also drains vertically through the drainage holes that are manufactured in the turf, it is still advisable to give the sub-base a slight slope, to avoid any pools of water (slope away from buildings).

8) Roll out Turf. Position the turf where it goes, be accurate (so you don’t cut off turf you actually need). Note: Try to avoid dragging the turf as this may dislodge some crushed rock or sand.

Installation 5

9) Cut the turf. Cut off excess material so it’s easier to work with. Always use a sharp blade in your utility knife! Make sure turf is still positioned where it goes. Now, trim turf more exactly with straight lines. For optimal performance and beauty, make sure the turf is installed exactly over the prepared base.

10) Seaming. Where two pieces of turf come together you will need to make a seam. You can always pay a local synthetic grass installer or carpet layer to help you for a few hours with this process if it makes you feel more comfortable although it usually isn’t necessary for most. The seams are simply glued together with outdoor turf adhesive and 150mm wide seaming tape.

Installation 6
At the joining seam, a 150mm wide piece of seaming tape should be cut to the length of the seam. The turf is to be laid seam to seam the way that it should look to ensure it fits tightly together before it is glued. Note: The pattern of turf stitching on the underside must run in the same direction before the two pieces are adhered. Both sides of the turf at the seam must be pulled back in order to install the seam tape. Note: Before adhering both pieces ensure that both edges have been properly trimmed, straight, and will match up perfectly.
Lay the seam tape down on the base directly between the two pieces of turf that are to be joined. Apply gluing compound to the entire piece of seam tape with a notched trowel. Place one side of the turf in the middle of the tape (approximately 150mm) to the center of the tape. Lay the other side of the turf over the middle of the seam tape to match up exactly to the turf that has just been adhered to the tape. Mesh the fibers together with fingers or brush. Note: Allow 24 hours for glue to properly dry. The following procedures can be administered during the drying time, but turf may shift and require repositioning.

11) Infill Preparation. Once glue has dried, trim off turf so your lawn fits as desired. Next, it is a good idea to nail the perimeter every 500mm-800mm with steel pegs (80-120mm length). In order to prepare to infill the turf, rake or power broom the turf in the opposite direction that the turf is laying on the roll. This will allow the infill material to infiltrate the turf rapidly and prevent turf blades from getting trapped in the infill. The infill process will now commence using a standard seed drop spreader with either sand or crumb rubber as an infill. The infill helps to weigh the turf down, and stabilize the fibers so as to help avoid “matting”.
Most use sand infill as it is the least expensive compared to rubber infill. Of course rubber is more shock absorbent than sand, so choose what you can afford and prefer, although it is advisable to have at least the top half in rubber infill. You want to calculate the amount of infill in advance, as you will want to leave around 15mm of grass blade exposed. As a general rule of thumb, approximately .75 of a kilogram of sand equals around 10mm of infill height. Spread the infill in several passes. As you spread the infill you should make one entire pass on the surface then sweep it down into the fibers, repeating the process until all of your infill has been spread.

Installation 7

12) Optional Edging. Depending on your yard, you may want to install some type of edging material around your new lawn. Examples are natural stone, brick, rock borders, metal edging, plastic edging and timbers edging (similar to what is used around flower beds) are popular.

Congratulations!!! The installation is complete!

Synthetic Grass Maintenance
Compared to natural grass, artificial grass maintenance is a breeze. After installation has been completed, there are no more worries about mowing, weeding, fertilizing, or regular watering. Even still, synthetic grass is not entirely maintenance free.

Artificial Grass Maintenance: Remove Debris Regularly
Your synthetic grass should be kept as free from debris as possible. This includes leaves, animal waste, and smaller objects like discarded paper wrappers and branches. Inspect your lawn regularly for these objects. Remove them by hand or use a plastic garden rake. Never use a metal rake. It is also safe to use a leaf blower on synthetic grass.

Artificial Grass Cleaning
For homeowners who live in areas where it rains periodically, rainwater will usually be sufficient to remove dust and bits of soil from the synthetic grass. If desired, the area can also be hosed down periodically.

Clean up after your pets by removing solid waste as you normally would. Wash off any remaining debris with a hose. However, if there has been no rain for a long time we suggest you prevent pet odors and dirt by spraying the turf with Simple Green or a ?green? household cleaner and thoroughly wash down the area with a hose. If there are stains that cannot be removed with water alone, a mild detergent may be used. Gently wipe the surface until the stain is removed. Solvents or harsh chemicals should never be used to remove stains.

Artificial Grass Maintenance: Considerations for High Traffic Areas
Synthetic grass installed by a knowledgeable professional will be quite durable. However, it is important to keep a close eye on the areas of the lawn that receive the most traffic. Two problems in these areas are common. First, the fibers can become flattened over time. To remedy this, use a brush to return the fibers to their original position. Brush them in a number of different directions for a more natural look. Secondly, the infill under heavily-used sections can become compacted, resulting in noticeable depressions. To fix this, all that is needed is some infill and a stiff brush. Simply apply infill to the depression and work it in using the brush. Continue to add infill until the surface is once again uniform.

Professional Artificial Grass Maintenance
Removing debris, inspecting high traffic areas for depressions or flattened fibers, and artificial grass cleaning are all tasks that can quite easily be handled by the homeowner. However, there are times when it is advisable to call in a professional. If large portions of your synthetic grass lawn are flattened, it will likely be too time-consuming to fix this problem with a hand-held brush. Similarly, if your lawn requires major repairs, you would like to change its appearance, or you want additional synthetic grass installed, a professional is your best bet.

How to Make Garden Care a Fun Filled Family Activity

Gardening is a great hobby for those who love the peace and quiet of outdoors. However, it can
also be a fun activity for the entire family. If you are looking for an outdoor activity this summer
that your whole family can get involved in, then why not start a family garden?
Pick Together
Head to the garden center together and stroll the aisles as a family. Let your kids all pick out a
few flowers that they want in the garden. Just make sure they are suitable for what you are
looking for. Kids tend to pick favorites and they will become devoted to ensuring that their
flowers of choice grow the best. Let everyone in the family have a few favorite plants to nurture
and care for. Plants are a lot easier to maintain, especially considering the alternative of a family
dog. A great gardening choice for summer is annuals which are fairly easy to plant and tend for
and only last for one season. After all, once February rolls around its back to school time, the
garden will most likely become your own responsibility.
Allocate Jobs
One of the best ways to get the kids involved (and away from that couch/internet/Xbox/etc) is to
give everyone a certain task in the garden. Of course, this will depend on the age of the kids.
You do not want to put your two year old in charge of weeding after all. Some great jobs for kids
include watering, pruning (if a little older), raking, emptying the wheel barrow and fertilizing. Make
sure you also give your spouse a task all his own, perhaps like mowing the lawn, placing the
rocks or any of the more strenuous activities.
Reward the Hard Work
Sure, a beautiful garden should be reward enough but often kids want a more tangible reward.
Perhaps give in to the constant summer calls of the ice cream van and enjoy a cool treat in the
backyard overlooking your new beautiful garden. After a weekend in the garden, maybe a family
dinner and movie night is in order?
If you are looking for cheap, fun and easy ways to spend the summer with your family, then
gardening is a great way to bask in the summer sunshine, work together as a family, and enjoy
one another company for the entire season

How to Make your Seedlings Grow

Growing a garden takes a lot of tender, loving care. Sure, it may not be as challenging as
growing a family, but you need to give your garden love and attention to ensure that those little
seedlings grown into something beautiful. The best way to ensure that your seedlings will
blossom into beautiful flowers and plants one day is to know what to look for:
· When you are starting a garden from seedlings, use propagation kits which can be found
at any garden or hardware stores. Most propagation kits come in a four or six pack and
are plastic. Consider the propagation kits the cribs for your little seedlings where they
can comfortably grow in a smaller space. If your propagation kits do not come with
drainage holes on the bottom, take a knife and poke some out yourself.
· Always read the instructions. Although many gardeners can go with their gut, it’s always
a good idea to follow the seed packet directions to ensure the best success. Seed
packet directions include timing, light, sowing depth, germination and growing
temperatures, all of which are important in the growing and nurturing stages of seed
development.
· Instead of using gardening soil right away, use a sterile seed starting mixture. Again, this
is like baby food for your little seedlings. You need to let them try the baby food before
they move onto solids. Sterile seed starting mix should be as moist as a wrung out
sponge for the best growth conditions.
· Lighting is important for the growth of baby seedlings. Make sure you keep them by a
bright window or a fluorescent tube (if you have it). Seedlings like to have sun for about
16 hours a day and shade for about 8 hours a day, just like humans.
· When you notice your seedlings sprouting leaves it’s time to give them fertilizer along
with their watering once a week.
· When your seedlings are ready to go outside, make sure you start them off slowly. Put
them in the shade first for about a half a day and let them gradually get used to the
outdoor environment. Do the same when it comes to sunny and windy areas in the yard.
This takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention movement, but, in the end, your little
seedlings will thank you. And it’s worth it.

How to Choose and Maintain Annuals

How to Choose and Maintain Annuals
Annuals are a popular choice when it comes to a backyard garden or outdoor area. This is
because they are easy to plant, straightforward to maintain and only last one season. For those
who like to switch it up every season, planting a few annuals in the spring will ensure a bright
and colorful summer.
Visiting the Nursery
Annuals can be planted anywhere and come in a variety of colors and types. All annuals will
have a tag that will help you determine the condition of growth best suited for your annual.
Annuals are great in flower beds, in potted plants, in rock gardens and anywhere else inside or
outside the house. Furthermore, they are fairly inexpensive and can be purchased from any
garden center.
Annuals will come in small plastic containers, usually in a set of four to six. It’s best to choose
annuals that are little baby plants that have not bloomed yet. Check the tags to see when they
will bloom, what they need and what you can expect when you take your new little babies home
from the nursery.

How Not to Care for your Garden: Common Garden Care Mistakes to Avoid

Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something right is to learn how to do something
wrong. That’s why we have outlined four mistakes that gardeners make so you know what to
avoid in your own garden care endeavors.
· Till, Soil and Go: many people will work their butts off for one weekend in the spring,
bringing in soil, clearing away overgrowth and purchasing a nursery full of bright
beautiful plants. However, once the initial ground work has been laid and the flowers are
in place, they walk away. Gardening is not a weekend task; it is a fall, spring and
summer job that requires constant attention. You will need to keep your garden
maintained long after the planting has occurred. This may include watering, fertilizing,
tilling the soil, pruning back the large leaves and taking the necessary actions for
insects, pests and weeds.
· Too much Love: many people will also love their plants to death. Too much of a good
thing can always cause issues. Many people will devote too much time to watering and
fertilizing their plants which can cause them to become too wet. Too much wetness can
lead to growth problems, drowning, as well as fungal infections and diseases. Most
plants need to be watered twice or three times a week. When the days are really hot
during the summer, you may need to water them every day but that does not mean
dumping a bathtub full of water on them.
· The wrong plants for the wrong atmosphere: another big issue surrounding garden care
is to purchase and place plants in surroundings they are not suited for. Check to see if
your plants need sun or shade, water requirements, soil, fertilizer, etc. All of this
information should be located on the labels that come with the plants.
· Shopping blindfolded: it’s important that you do the required research when it comes to
garden care. Do not just go into a shop and pick the prettiest plants on the aisles. Most
plants that are in full bloom in the store are past their blossoming prime. Ask for
assistance, read the labels and consider your garden surroundings and environment for
successful plant growth. You can check online for the best plants for your garden
situation.

Herb Garden Care

Most herb gardens are fairly easy to tend to. In fact, more herbs can live on about an inch of
water per week. If your herbs are in a bed or a container, you will need to give them more water
than this as they tend to dry out faster.
Another thing to always be on the lookout for are insects. Although the beautiful smells that
herbs give off will usually repel any pests, they can still get attacked by insects such as aphids.
A common herb disease is powdery mildew which you should always be on the lookout for.
And finally, when it comes to herb garden care, make sure your kids know not to trample on
your garden. More importantly, make sure your dog, cat or other pets know that the herb garden
is off limits for eating, digging, urinating and any other doggy behavior.

What is needed for Herb Growth?

The first thing you need for successful herb growth is moderately rich soil with excellent
drainage. If you find that your soil does not have this, you might consider growing the hers in a
raised bed or containers.
Next, you will need the perfect planting position. This all comes down to your needs. What will
your herb garden be used for? If you plan of using the herbs for cooking purposes (and why
wouldn’t you), then consider planting your herb garden near the house, or at least within picking
distance. You do not want to have to trample through flowers in order to reach the chives.
Herbs prefer the sun so it’s important to also plant them somewhere where they will get sun for
at least six hours a day. The herbs that can handle shade include chives, cilantro, dill and mint;
however, most other herbs are sun lovers.

Herb Garden Care: Types, Tricks and Tips for Success

Looking for a fresh way to save on herbs, to spruce up your meals and to glorify your garden?
Why not add some herbs to your gardening mixture?
Types of Herbs for Herb Gardens
There are a variety of different herbs that are easy to grow at home and also helpful for
everyday household cooking and ailment cures. Herbs, like plants, are usually classified into
three different categories:
· Perennials- live for several years. These include catnip, chives, lavender, lemon, mint,
oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme.
· Annuals- grow for one season and must be planted each spring again. These include
bail, chamomile, cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel plus many more.
· Biennial- grows for two years and end at must be planted after the end of the second
season. This includes parsley.

Good Garden Care starts with Good Plants: What to Look for in Plant Selection

Good garden care does not start with your green thumb (or lack thereof). Good garden care
starts with your plant selection. If you do not choose the right plants for your gardening situation,
then you are already selling yourself short and putting a halt to your gardening dreams.
· It all starts with the garden center. You need to choose a well maintained high quality
garden center that offers plenty of choice and quality plants. Look to see if the garden
center has arranged the plants logically and labeled the various plants for a better
understanding. Garden centers are the Mecca of garden care and thus there should be a
variety of how-to-grow information, expected size, climate conditions and various tidbits
of information about every plant. Furthermore, a good garden center should employ
knowledgeable, qualified and friendly staff who can help you out. And finally, garden
centers should look aesthetically pleasing. After all, they are the garden care experts
and thus their set up should be beautiful.
· Look for balanced, healthy looking growth with well colored leaves. This can be a good
indication that the plant is healthy. Leaves that are yellow, brown, stunted or slimy can
suggest a sign of insect infection, wilting, frost or other diseases.
· Don’t be fooled by color. Make sure you do not choose plants simply because they are
colorful and in bloom. This may be an indication that they are almost out of season.
Although a plant may be blooming in the store, it may not do the same in your garden.
Make sure you read the labels.
· Know your garden environment. Some plants thrive in shade; others must have sun to
survive. Think about your garden and how the sun/shade hits throughout the day. Some
of the sun-loving plants include perennial flowers and roses while shade-hoppers include
astible, hosta, cranesbill, columbine, foxgloves, bleeding heart and many more other flower that may be more appropriate for you immediate location and area   . The
seasons and climate preference should be on the labels.
· Check the roots. If it’s possible, check the plant’s roots by taking it out of the container.
There should be a good proportion of roots to soil. If there are too many roots with
weeds or moss around them, this is a good indication that it has been in the pot for a
long time and may not fare well in your backyard garden