Grounds Maintenance and Garden Services

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On 18 July, new EU rules on the sustainable use of pesticides were implemented. There is a new requirement for users to give preference to products that pose the least risk to water.


The long days of June will encourage extra growth, so keep on top of your weeding.

Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned back

Longhorn Beetle

Asian Longhorn has been discovered. This pest could seriously damage our trees. It is known to infest maple, sycamore, elm, horse chestnut, willow, poplar, birch and some fruit trees.

The infestation is thought to have originated from wood packaging used to import stone from China.

As our gardens start to put on their new foliage be sure to watch out for damage. Early identification and treatment will pay dividends.

When carrying out your treatments consider natural products before you turn to chemicals. Correct pruning, good soil condition and a balance of beneficial insects and bacteria should be looked into.

If chemicals are required, use correctly to minimize environmental impact.

One should avoid insecticide use during flowering and when pollinating insects are present.

Garden Maintenance

Now is the time to cut out any dead and winter damage from your evergreens.

All you shrubs will benefit from a good feed.

It takes 1,000 years for nature to make 2 inches of soil so look after yours.

Lawn treatments

As droughts are imminent, it is prudent to carry out any lawn treatments early, before hose pipe bans.

Where possible use organic products. There are some very good products with natural occurring bacteria that give very good greening and root stimulus.

A healthy root will have better drought resistance.

Spring gardening

Warmer days are finally here, but there’s still a chance of inclement weather so make the most of good days.

Water could be an issue so mulch where possible. If you have a local tree firm, phone them and ask if they have any wood shreddings. It’s not the best mulch but it’s free.

Feed your flowerbeds with appropriate fertiliser. Protect herbaceous perennials from slugs and divide any established ones that are too large.

Top dress permanently planted pots

Start mowing but keep the blades higher for the first few cuts

If you have not pruned your fruit trees, do so before they flower (Not the peach family though)

Prune summer flowering shrubs

Leave frost damage on evergreens for a little longer


Pollinating insects

Many of our pollinating insects are in decline. This is not good for our food supplies. Without bees and the like, who will pollinate our apple crops etc?


We can all help and it is not difficult. When you next buy flowers for your garden pick something bee friendly. A rule of thumb is that exotic, highly cultivated and double flowers are not very good. Much of the bedding plants like Busy Lizzies, Begonias and Geraniums have no nectar for the bees to feed on.  I have added a list of bee friendly plants at the bottom of this blog.


You can also change your mowing habits to help. Try having a small meadow around the base of trees and in front of hedges.


Do not cut your grass often and allow lawn flowers to grown. You can still spot treat or hand …

Spring tasks

Now is the time to start thinking about the coming months gardening tasks.

Any shrubs that flower after mid-summer usually produce flowers at the end of the current season’s growth, so pruning in early spring allows time for the new growth to mature for flowering in the same year.

Cut away dead leaves on Pampas grass.

Fuchsias will need to be cut down to near ground level (spikey mounds).



If you have not yet re-edged your lawn now is a good time.

Once the winter warms in early spring, start mowing. This is also a good time to seed any damaged areas.

When mowing, spare a thought for our pollinating insects. Cultivate a small meadow under trees or in front of hedges. Allow wild flowers in these areas and never feed. After about 8 weeks you can cut these areas down, or just leave and watch …

February Gardening tip

Prune late flowering shrubs and during warmer days keep watch for pests.

Slugs are now active and will decimate new shoots on bulbs and herbaceous. Sprinkling fire ash around these tender plants will stop the slugs without environmental damage. You will need to reapply after rainfall but please be advised you do not want to get large amounts of ash close to the centre of the new shoots as this can scorch. Ideally you want to achieve a doughnut effect.

In my own garden, on my larger herbaceous beds, I do one continuous line of fire ash around the edges. Later on when you are hoeing this will help improve the condition and lift potassium levels in the soil which will help retain moisture through the year.

Please note:
Fire ash is alkaline and should not be put around azaleas, camellias and …