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SEE OUR TIME-SAVING AND LOW-MAINTENANCE GARDENING IDEAS TO SAVE YOURSELF TIME AND EFFORT IN THE GARDEN. SO YOU CAN SIT BACK AND ENJOY IT!

low maintenence gardening ideas

 

 

Save yourself time and effort in the garden with our low-maintenance gardening ideas!

 

As much as we love our gardens, we don’t all have as much spare time as we’d like to look after them!

So we’ve put together some top tips and ideas. To help you save time and hard work, and keep some parts of your garden low-maintenance.

Then you can sit back and relax in your garden instead!

 

🌲 Bark chippings are great to use in beds and borders, pathways and for topping containers.

They help with weed suppression, water retention and ground cover.

They’re also a brilliant solution if you have a steeper slope in your garden that is difficult to mow or look after.

Our Play Bark and Play Chip are also perfect for children’s play areas. So you don’t have to have the heartache of watching your lawn getting ruined OR repairing or replacing it!

bark chippings flower beds and borders
Bark chippings

 

💎 Decorative aggregates are ideal for all sorts of garden projects.

Use them on pathways, driveways, and beds and borders. Also for topping pots and containers, ornamental areas, fish ponds, or around rockeries.

They add colour, texture and interest all around the garden, as well as being very durable!

But they’re not just for show – they also provide weed suppression and water retention.

decorative aggregates garden
Decorative aggregates

 

🌷 Planting annuals each year can be time-consuming.

Include more low-maintenance plants such as perennials, ornamental grasses, ferns, hostas and evergreens. These don’t need regular deadheading or pruning and pretty much look after themselves.

TOP TIP:  Ferns and hostas are also great choices for shaded areas.

Low-maintenance planting

 

🧱 Edging borders and lawns is a really useful way to stop your lawn from spreading into borders or onto paths.

You don’t have to use plastic edging though – you could use bricks, stone, wood, or steel to add extra interest.

Border edging

 

💐 Create your very own wildflower meadow!

Well, ok, you may not have enough room for an actual meadow! But you could sow wildflower seeds in a corner or the edge of your garden, or just allow it to grow wild and do its own thing!

Wildflowers look amazing, add loads of colour, and are brilliant for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

wildflowers in garden
Wildflowers

 

⛏️ Stop digging!

The ‘no-digging’ method means adding a layer of mulch to your flower beds. You can use a variety of mulches such as compost or well-rotted manure in spring and/or autumn.

Not digging means you’re not disturbing the worms etc. that help to keep soil and plants healthy.

This method of gardening improves soil drainage and stops many weeds. AND your borders won’t need watering as much.

What’s not to like about that?!

mulch borders in spring and autumn. No dig gardening
No-dig gardening

 

 

We hope this helps! If you’ve got any time-saving or low-maintenance gardening tips, do let us know!

Happy Gardening!

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ARTIFICIAL GRASS – IT’S NOT AS GREEN AS IT LOOKS. WHY FAKE IT WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE REAL THING?

ARTIFICIAL GRASS - IT'S NOT AS GREEN AS IT LOOKS. WHY FAKE IT WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE REAL THING?

 

Artificial grass isn’t as green as it looks. Why would you fake it when you can have the real thing?

 

While artificial grass might be a tempting option for some, it’s not as great, or green, as we’re led to believe.

It’s advertised as low-maintenance:

You don’t need to mow it; there are no weeds; it will always be green and won’t suffer from dry, brown patches.

BUT, you will need to clean it to eliminate stains and smells and water it to cool it.

You don’t need to wash real grass and it cools itself through transpiration!

What’s so bad about artificial grass?

The clue is in the name – it’s FAKE GRASS!

❌ It’s plastic, so it’s definitely NOT environmentally friendly. It’s made using fossil fuels, isn’t easily recycled and contains hazardous substances.

❌ It does nothing for biodiversity.

We’re losing so much of our natural landscapes and wildlife habitats as it is.

We need to hold on to and protect as much of them as we can for the sake of wildlife and ourselves.

And the easiest place to start is our own gardens.

❌ It gets HOT!

In fact, in high temperatures, it gets hotter than concrete. It’s reported to have burnt the paws of pets – so it will burn your feet too!

We know not to walk our dogs in the heat, especially not on hot concrete. So why would you want something that gets even hotter than that in your garden?!

❌ It doesn’t give the endorphin-enhancing benefits that walking barefoot on real grass does!

What can you do to help?

Don’t have fake ‘grass’ in your garden!

🌱 Real grass is great for the environment. It traps carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. It also provides homes and food for wildlife including worms, bugs, bees, birds and mammals.

🌱 Encourage and help pollinators, invertebrates and birds by letting some of your lawn grow long and do its natural thing. Your very own country meadow! Keep some of your grass short aswell so that birds can find food such as ants.

🌱 Have as many trees and plants in your garden as you can. They’re great for biodiversity and will brighten up your garden!

 

Take a look at our top-quality turf, and for best results, add a layer of our topsoil before laying your new turf.

We only use the real thing at Oakley Turf Farm!

 

Happy Gardening!

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What is the best way to look after your lawn in the summer? Leave it alone, relax and enjoy your garden!

how to look after your lawn in summer

 

The best way to look after your lawn in summer?

Leave it alone!

 

As much as we love the summer, it puts our lawns under pressure.

The heat from the sun and less rainfall take their toll.

 

And that’s before we even get to how much more we USE our lawns in the summer!

What’s the best way to look after your lawn in summer?

Well, the best thing you can do is…

RELAX!

It makes sense that your lawn will be dry and not looking its best at the moment.

It’s tempting to try and revive a tired-looking lawn at first sight of it. But it’s best for your grass to let nature take its course and wait until autumn before you get to work on it.

That way you’ll have the cooler, wetter weather on your side!

So what can you do?

🌱 You can mow your lawn around once a week. Set your mower blade high (about 5-10cm) and make sure it’s sharp.

🌱 Add a summer feed if you wish. Try to do it just before rain is forecast so it gets washed right down to the roots.

🌱 Reseed any bare patches. If the patches are large you can dig them out and replace them with new turf.

🌱 Don’t forget to water a few times a day!

🌱 Keep the edges tidy using long-handled shears.

🌱 If you can, it’s good to move toys and garden furniture around regularly. This helps to keep the grass underneath them in better condition.

 

And as we said above, RELAX! It’s summer, so enjoy it! 😃

Happy Gardening!

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GET THE KIDS GARDENING SO THEY CAN SEE THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOURS!

Get the kids gardening!

 

Get the kids gardening! It’s not just for grown-ups!

 

It’s so rewarding to pass on your skills, knowledge & passion for something to your children or grandchildren.

And what better than gardening?

 

Show the kids that they can grow their own flowers, plants, fruit & veg.

Then show them HOW to do it & let them loose!

Give them their own special plot in the garden or allotment to grow whatever they choose.

 

Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden. A balcony, windowsill or patio is great for growing in pots & containers.

Get them excited about spending a few hours a week outdoors & away from technology at the weekends. And especially in the upcoming summer holidays!

 

The fruits of their labours!

Kids will love watching their plants grow, caring for them & seeing the end results.

Being able to collect a posy of their very own flowers to give to mum or grandma.

Pulling up vegetables & helping in the kitchen to prepare them for dinner. Not to mention eating them as part of a family Sunday roast!

Or seeing how much nicer the flower beds look after weeding.

Picking flowers.

 

You don’t need to be a pro!

It doesn’t matter what level of gardening you enjoy.

Whether it’s growing plants & flowers or fruit & veg for yourself. Or even for taking part in local shows & competitions.

There will be so much you can pass on to children that they will enjoy.

Pass on your knowledge.

 

All the gear!

Kit them out with their own set of tools, gardening gloves & wellies. As well as pots, containers & plant markers.

Having their own gear will make it more exciting for them.

 

More than growing!

It’s great fun to grow things such as pumpkins 🎃 for Halloween that the kids can carve.

But there’s so much more they can do in the garden.

🦔 Bird boxes, bug, butterfly & bee hotels, hedgehog houses…

Children will love watching the wildlife come & go.

You can buy them ready-to-use or ready-made to paint & decorate.

Or have even more fun by making your own together!

Bug hotel.

 

 

📖 Borrow from your local library, or buy, some nature books. See what might be lurking in your garden or near where you live.

Then go on a nature ramble together to see what you find.

 

🌹 Arrange their flowers in vases to display for the family.

 

🌱 Make a mini garden in a seed tray or container.

 

 

Everyone needs a hobby & gardening is a brilliant one – no matter how old you are!

And it’s a great hobby to pass on to children.

It gets them outdoors, helps keep them healthy, shows what they can achieve with a little work, care & patience… the list goes on!

Another bonus is that it won’t cost you much! 🥳

And who knows where it might lead? You could have the next Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein or Monty Don in the making!

Happy Gardening!

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Fed up with seeing a lumpy, bumpy, uneven lawn? Find out how you can repair your lawn to make it level and lovely again.

How to repair a lumpy bumpy uneven lawn

 

Is looking at your lumpy, bumpy, uneven lawn making you feel a bit queasy? Find out how to make it level and lovely again!

 

Over time, dips and dents can appear on your lawn, that you’ll probably want to put right.

How you fix the problem really depends on the severity.

You might have just a few small dents.

Or larger sunken patches.

Roll with it?

Your first thought might be to use a roller.

BUT…

While using a roller on your lawn won’t damage the grass first-hand, it will cause the soil underneath to compact.⁠

⁠And compacted soil isn’t good for grass!⁠

⁠To grow and stay strong and healthy, grass needs air from the soil.⁠

⁠Compaction squeezes the air from the soil and stops water from draining into the ground.⁠

⁠So it’s a good idea to only use a roller if you really need to!⁠

So how DO you repair bumps on your lawn?

Well, you have several options, so you can choose the best to suit you and your lawn!

🌱 You can even out your lawn by filling in any small ‘dents’ with a thin layer of topsoil over the grass. ⁠

⁠Don’t worry, the grass will grow through the dressing!⁠

🌱 If the dents are bare of grass you can fill them with soil. Either leave the grass around them to cover the patches or add some grass seed.⁠

🌱 You can remove sunken ‘sod’, level the area underneath with topsoil, add some water then replace the sod. Remember to keep it watered until the roots have re-established in the new soil.

🌱 If you want to fix it in a hurry, you can lay new turf. Just make sure you prepare the area well and remember to water while the roots establish.

Happy Gardening!

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Wondering how to lay turf for a fabulous new lawn? Don’t risk turf troubles – read our handy guide here!

How to lay turf

 

 

How to lay turf for a fabulous new lawn!

 

So you’re taking the plunge & investing in a new lawn! Exciting stuff!!

Although it’s a fairly simple job, there are a few things to consider.

Which type of turf do you need?

There are several types of turf & you should choose yours depending on how you plan to use your garden.

Read our blog to help you decide which you need.

And if you’re unsure, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you!

You can see our turf here.

When is the best time to lay turf?

The good news is that you can lay turf at any time of the year.

But it’s much easier on you when the weather is fine and the ground isn’t too hard!

What do you need to do before you lay your turf?

As with many things, preparation is key, so don’t get tempted to rush the prep!

🌱 Clear the surface of the area you are going to turf as much as possible. Remove rocks, stones & plant matter (especially weeds!).

🌱 Dig over or rotovate the area. Again, remove rocks, stones & plant matter.

🌱 Rake the area to level it.

🌱 Firm the area by walking over it with your feet close together (known as the Gardeners’ Shuffle!).

🌱 Rake again to level & perform your best shuffle again!

 

Read our blog, How To Prepare For Laying Turf for more information.

Take your time with the preparation!

 

When should you have your turf delivered?

Ideally, you should have your turf delivered the same day you’re going to lay it.

Once cut & on the pallet, it generally has a shelf life of 24 hours AT THE MOST.

In the height of summer, it will be far less.

You’ve got your turf, now what do you do with it?!

It’s easy to think you can just unroll your turf in any old fashion! But there are a few ‘rules’ you should follow for best results:

🌱 Use laying boards (or similar) to avoid damaging your new turf.

🌱 Start laying the turf along a straight edge, laying the rolls in a brickwork pattern.

🌱 Push the ends & edges close together – remember to PUSH, not PULL as this will damage the turf! (If the rolls don’t fit together perfectly, you can fill any gaps with soil).

🌱 Gently press the turf into the soil beneath. Using a piece of wood for this is helpful!

🌱 If you need to cut the turf, use a saw, lawn edger or long sharp knife.

🌱 When you’re finished, if there are any exposed edges, sprinkle a layer of soil over them. This stops them from drying out & you can remove it once the turf has established.

When ‘joining’ your turf rolls, remember to push not pull!

 

How should you look after your new turf lawn?

After all that hard work, caring for your new lawn to keep it in the best condition is really important!

🌱 Once you laid your turf, water it until the water soaks through to the soil beneath.

🌱 Remember not to use your lawn for several weeks, except to water it.

🌱 Over the next 1-2 weeks, if it doesn’t rain, you’ll need to water your lawn every day. In the evening is best, when it’s cooler.

🌱 After a couple of weeks, check your lawn to make sure the turf has established (rooted). To do this, lift a corner and check that the roots have grown into the soil underneath the turf.

🌱 Once your grass has established you can give it its’ first cut. Remember to keep the mower blade high to avoid damaging the grass.

Make sure your new grass gets plenty of water!

 

We hope this guide helps you! Please feel free to share it with anyone it might help!

Happy Gardening!

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Which gardening jobs can you do in March in the UK? See Kieran’s Gardening Tips & Advice for March.

Which gardening jobs can you do in March in the UK? See Kieran's Gardening Tips & Jobs for March.

 

Which gardening jobs can you do in March in the UK? Find out with Kieran’s Gardening Tips & Jobs for March.

Spring is nearly upon us!

 

I love this time of year – seeing all the colour in the garden from the spring flowers, the sense of new beginnings…

 

And of course, it’s the time of year when we start to mow our lawns again (always a time for celebration if you ask us)! 🥳💪

 

On that note, if you’re excited about letting your mower loose, remember these tips before you start:

Before you mow!

✅ Sharpen the mower blade to ensure a clean cut (or have your local mower repair company do it for you)

✅ While you’re under there remove any old grass still stuck underneath from last year

✅ Keep the blades on a high setting for the first couple of cuts

 

service lawnmower

 

So that’s a couple of jobs to be done in March.

But there’s plenty more you can be doing in the garden this month.

Here are my top Gardening Jobs for March:

🥀 Deadhead spring bulbs when they’ve finished flowering

🌲 Weed beds, borders & pots & add a bark mulch to suppress future weeds

🌱 Add a layer of fresh compost to containers to provide fresh nutrients. (Remove the top few centimetres of old compost first)

🌺 Re-pot any container plants that have outgrown their current pots

💩 Weed your vegetable beds then treat them to a layer of compost or manure to ensure a bumper crop this year

🥬 Plant veg such as shallots, onions, potatoes, broad beans, spinach, lettuce, cabbage & cauliflower. There’s nothing like home-grown food!

🌷 Plant daffodils, snowdrops & tulips – they’re great spring flowers & so easy to grow

🌻 Plant summer-flowering bulbs for ongoing colour

🌹 Prune roses & other shrubs to ensure good growth this year

✨ Have a good tidy up around the garden to get it looking as nice as possible & make your life easier in the long run!

 

And don’t forget to stop now & then, grab a cuppa & take in the spring colours around your garden.

Life’s too short for it to be all work & no play!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay up to date!

Happy Gardening!

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Laying new turf this year? How to choose which type of turf you need for your garden.

which type of turf do you need

Laying new turf this year? How to choose which type of turf you need for your garden.

 

Spring will soon be on its’ way and it’s the time of year that many people will be starting to think about laying new turf.

When you’re choosing new turf it’s important to make sure you buy the right type for you and your garden.

Which type of turf do you need?

There are several varieties available and the one best suited to you can depend on factors such as:

  • How you will use your lawn i.e. ornamental, family garden, games and sports
  • The type of weather in your area

Luckily for you, here at Oakley Turf, we supply four varieties of turf to meet all our customers’ needs!

Whether you want an ornamental lawn or one that will withstand heavy use by all the family, we’ve got what you need!

The Oakley Turf Guide

Here’s a quick guide to the types of turf we supply:

Ornamental Turf

As you would expect from the name, Ornamental Turf isn’t suitable for family lawns!

🌱 It contains fine fescues, smooth stalked meadow grass and fine bents.

🌱 These are all grasses that cope well with frequent mowing and care.

🌱 Specially grown to a high grade

🌱 Often chosen by Professionals for fine ornamental lawns, golf courses and bowling greens.

ornamental turf
Ornamental Turf

Golf and Bowling Green Turf

Golf and Bowling Green Turf contains a mixture of durable fescue and bentgrasses.

🌱 These are capable of tolerating a high care programme and close cutting.

🌱 Developed to the highest standard over many years, this turf is grown in light, sandy loam soil.

🌱 Independent testing ensures it meets the high standards expected by professional greenkeepers.

Golf & Bowling Green Turf

Hard Wearing Garden Turf

Being made up of an incredibly robust mix of grasses, our Hard Wearing Garden Turf is easy to maintain.

🌱 It’s been designed to cope with dry conditions and partial shade.

🌱 Ideal for high-traffic areas such as family gardens, football pitches and rugby fields.

🌱 Having a deep rooting system means it needs less moisture. This helps to make it future-proof for use in areas where hosepipe bans are common or rainwater is scarce.

Hard-Wearing Garden Turf

Family Garden Turf

We grow our premium Family Garden Turf from the finest fescues, bents and dwarf rye seeds.

🌱 This is a special mix that we developed over 20 years, resulting in a lush green, high-quality lawn.

🌱 This tough turf is durable enough to withstand lots of use by children and pets!

🌱 It can be laid at any time of year and used for a wide range of garden and landscaping projects as well as sports pitches.

Family Garden Turf

 

Whatever your turf needs, or if you’re unsure which type you need, call us and we’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you!

 

And don’t forget, if you’re not sure how much turf you need to order, you can use our handy Turf Calculator.

Happy Gardening!

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HOW TO REDUCE WEEDS IN YOUR FLOWER BEDS. MAKE THE MOST OF MULCH AND SEE HOW IT CAN HELP!

HOW TO REDUCE WEEDS IN YOUR FLOWER BEDS. MAKE THE MOST OF MULCH AND SEE HOW IT CAN HELP!

How to reduce weeds in your flower beds – make the most of mulch and see how it can help!

When you’ve spent time and made the effort to create attractive beds and borders, the last thing you want is for them to end up overrun with weeds!

That’s plain annoying!

So what can you do? Make the most of mulch and see how it can help!

Adding a thick layer of mulch is a brilliant way to suppress weeds in beds and borders.

It stops the daylight from reaching the ground to allow the weeds to grow.

It might sound odd, but while mulch will suppress weeds, it will actually help your other plants to grow!

It does this by acting as a thermal layer in hot and cold weather and protecting the plant roots.

You can make your own mulch from your compost heap if you have one, or you can buy specially-produced bark chips.

When should you lay mulch?

The best time to lay mulch is when the ground is moist.

If your beds and borders are already established, add the mulch in late Winter or early Spring before the weeds start to grow.

If they’ve already started growing it will be harder to stop them!

Is there anything else you can do?

If you’re planting up a new border it’s a good idea to lay a permeable weed membrane before you add the mulch.

Lay the membrane, cut holes for your plants and pop them in and then spread the mulch on top of the membrane.

 

You will, unfortunately, still need to weed every now and then. But it won’t be anywhere near as often as if you don’t use a mulch layer!

Take a look at our selection of Bark Chippings and Fine Border Bark here:

https://www.oakleyturf.com/product-category/bark/

 

Happy Gardening!

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HORTICULTURAL DREAMS. YOU CAN SEE YOUR NEW GARDEN IN YOUR HEAD – NOW PLAN, DESIGN AND CREATE IT! RELEASE YOUR INNER TITCHMARSH!

horticultural dreams. plan, design and create your dream garden

 

Horticultural dreams – plan design and create your dream garden.

You can see your new garden in your head. Now release your inner Alan Titchmarsh!

 

Do you find that a new year is like spring in that it gives you the enthusiasm to start a new project?

 

If your New Year’s Resolution for next year will be to sort out your garden then I hope this months’ blog will help you.

 

If you’re stuck for inspiration, let us give you some ideas!

 

You don’t have to be a professional to design your garden and give it a fabulous makeover!

 

You may not be using your garden much at the moment, but it’s a great time to plan ahead for what you can do out there next year.

 

And by planning now, you’ll be ready to go when the weather warms up. So there’ll be no excuses for not doing it!

Plan ahead

Start by thinking about and writing down what you’d like in your garden.

  • Plant types (flowering, evergreen etc)
  • Plant species
  • Which colours
  • Fragrances

Maybe there’s a particular spot in your garden that always seems messy that you’d like to smarten up.

Or you might want to add a seating or barbecue area.

Top Tips:

  1. Ferns are a great plant for shady spots as they like the darker, damper conditions.
  2. Aggregates are a top all-rounder for adding interest through texture and colour. You can use them to create a rockery, on pathways, to brighten up borders, the list goes on…
  3. Creating a play area for the kids with soft and safe surfaces is a really good idea. They have somewhere of their own to play and your lawn stays in one piece!

 

Drawn out

Next, sketch a plan of how you’d like your garden to look, what you’d like where etc.

You can use a vision board to do this too – use pictures from magazines to show what you like.

This can be really helpful. You might have ideas in your head of what you want. But magazines and books are sure to give you fresh ideas that you hadn’t thought of!

There are lots of free garden design apps you could use too.

List it

So you know what you want to do in your new-look garden. Now make a list of everything you’ll need – materials, plants, seeds, compost, turf, aggregates etc.

If you’re planning a large-scale, longer-term, project make separate lists for different areas. That way, you can break up the project into smaller tasks.

This will help make it less overwhelming and will also help you to budget for each task and area.

You might be able to get all you need from your local garden centre. But if not, it might be helpful to add to your list where you’ll buy different items from. Which companies, shops or websites. This will make it easier and quicker when you come to buy everything.

 

I hope this helps you plan your dream garden!

 

Don’t forget to check out our website for more ideas and advice.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with our latest news, hints and tips!

Happy Gardening!