The four-day Easter weekend promises us the opportunity to get stuck into some projects in the garden.
With most of us spending more time than ever at home, it doesn’t matter if you have a garden, balcony, window box or even no outdoor space at all. There are plenty of ways of bringing greenery into your life.
Below are a few questions from my followers on my Instagram account @thediydads that I hope will be helpful to you as we head through Spring.
Q) How often should I water indoor plants?
A) As a rule, most indoor plants will require less water than you think. It’s important to water them only when they need it, most indoor plants will be quite forgiving if you forget to water them, but they don’t like being overwatered. I use a sprayer on my indoor plants and once a week I’ll check the soil, if it is dry, I will water lightly, if the soil is damp, I will leave it until next week. I also give the leaves a good spray too which stops dust building up on them and keeping them at their best! Most indoor plants are tropical, and they will enjoy the humidity of a good misting from a spray bottle.
Q) Can I use anything for a container in the garden?
A) Absolutely! There are a few things to keep in mind when using containers in the garden however I’ve used pots, vintage tin baths, an old sink and even an old metal watering! The most important thing to remember is all plants need good drainage. I will mix compost with some horticulture grit to make soil which will let the roots of your plants easily get through the soil. Make sure whatever container you use has a few holes so that your soil doesn’t become waterlogged. I use some old broken crockery/pots to cover the holes (to stop the soil falling out the holes!) fill with compost and then add the plants. If you can try to raise the container off the ground to help any excess water flow out of the bottom to make sure your plants get all the water they need without being over watered.
Q) Our lawn is looking a bit tired after the Winter. What can we do now ready for the Summer?
A) Now is the perfect time to give your lawn a bit of TLC. I would start off my giving it a good rake over to clear any moss. If you have a build-up of weeds, try and clear as many as you can (don’t forget to pull up the roots). Aerating the lawn will help ensure plenty of air and water can get to the roots. I do this by pushing a gardener’s fork into the lawn two or three times for every foot of grass. If you have any bare patches, loosen the soil, add some topsoil, grass seed and then add more topsoil on top. Use a sprinkler or hose attachment to ensure it is well watered whilst it establishes and throughout the summer to keep it looking its best.
Q) What can I do to revive our decking area?
A) Start off by clearing the deck and brush any loose leaves, soil etc from the surface. Use a stiff brush to apply some decking cleaner and leave for a few hours before using a pressure washer or hose to wash any algae off.
Once the area is complete dry you can apply an oil, stain or wood preserver. You can even find specialist decking treatment which help the space become less slippery.
Q) Do I need to feed my plants?
A) I like to use a natural fertiliser in our garden and we drain this from a kitchen composter which is diluted in watering can.
I use a specialist feed for my hydrangeas, and this promotes lots of flowers which last for the maximum length of time. Last year the flower heads were so big I had to take them so the stems could take the weight of them.
Q) What’s the best time of day to water my garden?
A) The best time to water is first thing in the morning or in the evening once the temperature is cooler and the sun is not directly above the garden. Water droplets on leaves will scorch in direct sunlight so when watering try to direct water to the base of the plants for the roots to get the best chance of absorbing this. An irrigation system or hose with a Spray gun will help you direct water to where it needs it.
Q) We are hoping to go on holiday later in the year, how can we make sure our plants don’t die?
A) An irrigation is a great way to ensure plants receive adequate water. A timer can be attached to the tap to help manage this whilst you are aware, or you could even try the Hozelock Cloud controller to help you manage the system every day. By checking the local weather, you can ensure you only water your garden on the days you need to and reduce water wastage.
About the Author
James created @thediydads in December 2019 sharing home renovation, gardening and lifestyle IGTV’s (Instagram TV) from his Hampshire garden. Along with videos on his Instagram account, he will be a guest host on our blog and later in the year will be running a giveaway for his followers.