Do you ever meet people who are totally into what they are into and believe that the rest of the world should be into the same stuff? I do not want to be one of those people. ‘Gardening’ with abandon and passion is not for everyone. I understand that, for many people, maintaining a good looking lawn and garden that is acceptable to neighbourhood standards is ‘good enough’. Some people prefer to play golf or watching Blue Jays games! I get that. If you enjoy gardening but prefer to ‘watch the game’, this column is for you. The truth is that you can enjoy a relatively weed-free garden without the intense investment of time and effort that dedicated gardeners put into it. My top 4 tips to a low maintenance lawn and garden:
1.The miracle of Mulch.
A thick layer of mulch will insulate the soil from the drying heat of the sun, reducing the amount of water that you apply to your garden by up to 70%. I use CIL Colour My Garden Cedar Mulch in the natural colour. Mulch will also minimize the germination of weed seeds, reducing the need to weed by up to 90% the first year. Again, more time for baseball. Before you spread mulch over your rose bed, perennials or around your shrub border, be sure to remove the weeds.
2. Hoe weeds.
The weeds that do occur in your garden should be cut down early –when they are young. If you take the time to keep your garden weed free early in the season it will be infinitely easier for you to control them later. To stop annual weeds from spreading, cut them down before they flower and produce seeds. This is very helpful for preventing annual weeds.
3. In Hot Water.
If weeds are growing in a spot with no nearby grass or valuable plants, boil water and pour it over the unsuspecting weeds. This is a good solution for small weed problems.
4. Salt & Vinegar.
A great combination of ingredients for controlling weeds. I use this mixture on weeds growing between patio stones and the cracks and crevices in walkways. Wilson Total WipeOut is a solution of 7% Acetic Acid, stronger (and more effective) than the 5% solution (vinegar) you’d put on your fish & chips. Apply WipeOut to weeds on a hot, dry day. Do not spray any plant you wish to keep and avoid overspray which can damage surrounding plants. It is surprising how fast Total Wipeout works: I use it when I want to knock patio and driveway weeds down quickly.