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Gardening made easy

Transform your garden from unsightly jungle to well-kempt beauty spot in four easy steps.

What do you see when you open the back door? Is your back garden more jungle than Kew? It may seem like a daunting task getting your garden ready for summer and the customary array of BBQs and family get-togethers, but don’t panic, garden tool manufacturer Black & Decker is here to help.

Garden grooming needn’t be all aches and pains. With a little bit of effort, focused in the right places, it won’t take long to reclaim the wilderness and turn that all-important outside space into a garden that even Alan Titchmarsh would be proud of. Simply concentrate on taming the following four areas:

1. Lawn

Nothing makes a garden more inviting than a well kept luscious green lawn. The secret behind the perfect lawn is simple: all it takes is regular maintenance. Mow regularly throughout the summer. Letting the lawn grow long and then chopping it back all at once only weakens it.

Top Tip: Only mow when the grass is dry. If you mow when the lawn is wet it is likely to get torn and ragged.

2. Edges

Like most things in life, a little attention to detail can make all the difference. There is no point in having a lawn that resembles a bowling green if you leave the edges looking in desperate need of a manicure. A quick run round the edges of your lawn and flower beds will give your garden an instant face lift. This doesn’t need to be a big job, especially with a trimmer.

Top Tip: Remove the clippings don’t leave them to clog up the surface of your flowerbeds. These clippings are great for compost heaps.

3. Hedges

Taming unruly hedges is often seen as one of the most taxing garden chores, but a good looking hedge can transform your garden and keep your neighbours on side. Trim evergreen hedges in mid to late summer, which gives foliage time to grow back a bit before winter without getting ragged and stops ends being damaged by early frosts. Avoid cutting into old wood, which will leave you with bare spots – you only need to prune new growth. The exception to this rule is yew hedging, which will cope with a really tough prune if it’s got out of hand.

Top Tip: Start by trimming the top of the hedge, in order to obtain a very straight cut, stretch a piece of string along the length of the hedge at the desired height, use the string as the guide, cutting just above it.

4. Flower Beds

The final part of getting your garden in tip-top shape is to get rid of those weeds and feed those plants so those flower beds look blooming great. If you have never gardened before, do not create a bunch of beds. Have one. It is a lot better to focus on caring for one bed than it is to have six ratty looking ones. Try it out and see if you love gardening or merely like gardening. Also, pick some weeds whenever you walk past your flower beds.

Top Tip: Whichever fertilizer you choose, always follow the instructions. Don’t be tempted to put too much on, as overfeeding will do more harm than good.  So before you invite your friends over for that barbecue, follow these simple tips s and you’ll be the proudest party host with the greenest fingers.
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