We tend to view our gardens as luxuries. We dabble in them from time to time, especially when the weather gets good.
But gardens aren’t always optional. In fact, there are some jobs that you just have to do, if you want to keep your property safe.
In this post, we take a look at some examples of essential jobs so you can keep everyone safe and healthy. Here are some jobs you can’t ignore.
Wasp Nest Removal
Every summer, wasps swarm in their tens of thousands. Most set up their nests out of the way in the woods somewhere. But sometimes, they can settle on your garden as the ideal location. (After all, why not? It’s full of pretty flowers, food and wildlife.)
Unfortunately, swarming wasps are a major health hazard. If you make the mistake of disturbing the nest, you could find yourself trapped indoors. Worse still, wasps could get out and put your neighbors at risk.
The good news is that there are probably at least a dozen wasp nest removal services in your area. Professionals locate the nest, remove unwanted wasps, and then deposit them somewhere else where they can go about their waspy lives more safely.
If you live in a temperate region, you’ll know that fall always brings a mountain of leaves. Trees shed everything, leaving behind what looks like a glorified Twiglet.
Just leaving leaves on the ground is not an option. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can wreck your lawn and the rest of your plant life if not dealt with quickly.
The reason for this is simple: leaves block out sunlight. No sun, no photosynthesis, no life.
Leaf removal isn’t a big task, particularly if you do it in stages. But it is an essential one.
Grab your rake from the shed and start collecting them all up in a wheelbarrow. Then dump them on your compost heap so that by next year, you’ll have fresh soil you can recycle back into your garden.
Not all trees in your garden want to play ball. In fact, some are dead set on making your life as difficult as possible. Instead of just getting irate or ignoring the problem, you need to invest in tree removal services.
Removing trees isn’t just an aesthetic consideration. It’s a critical element in keeping your property safe. A tree that is dangerously overhanging your home or damaged by a storm could topple over at any moment, damaging everything underneath it, including people.
These days, removing trees isn’t as hard as you might think. Professionals do it in sections, removing one branch at a time. Getting rid of stumps is also quite straightforward, thanks to modern stump grinding tools. Nobody will be shouting “timber.”
Consider tree removal one of your top priorities. Without it, you’ll struggle to sell your home. And you could face liabilities if it falls and damages a neighbor’s property.
Hydrating The Soil Before The Weather Changes
If you wait until you’re three weeks into a drought to hydrate the soil, you’ll run into trouble. By this stage, natural reserves are already running low, and authorities are limiting what people can do with their hose pipes – that is, banning them.
Therefore, you’ll want to get the jump on bad weather. If the forecast is for change, leave your sprinklers on overnight to saturate the soil. Water will penetrate deeper into it while temperatures are modest. And the fact you are doing it in darkness will protect against solar-induced evaporation.
If you leave the watering until the drought arrives, it will sit on the surface of the parched ground and won’t penetrate how you want. Most will simply run off or fall prey to evaporation.
Even in the winter, soils can become dehydrated. Low rainfall during January and February can leave soils parched, leading to lackluster growth come spring.
If you leave your trees to grow in whatever way they like for a few years, it’s hard to ever recover them. Most garden species require pruning to grow right. Without it, they’ll grow all over the place, and not in the pattern you want.
Don’t break out your garden shears the moment the snow starts falling, though. Tidying up your yard at the wrong time of the year actually does more harm than good.
Avoid pruning woody plants in the fall. It will stimulate new growth that will actually work against the plant during the winter. In cold areas, leave the year’s growth in place and then prune back at the start of spring, preferably after the last frost but before the equinox.
Fertilizing Dormant Plants
You need to fertilize dormant plants, but you need to make sure that you do it at the right time of the year. If you live in an area that gets seriously cold in the winter, avoid the temptation to prune back before the end of the year. Give the plant time to calm down, consolidate and prepare to hunker down. If you prune, it’ll attempt to come back bigger and stronger, right at the moment when it should be preserving its energy.
If plants are dormant around November time, it is generally okay to provide them with a little fertilizer. They shouldn’t use it. However, if you want to err on the side of caution, wait until the spring. Then you’re safe.
Prepare For Freezing Weather
If freezing weather is forecast, just leaving your garden to suck it up isn’t a good policy. Cold spells during mid-to-late spring can lead to disaster later in the year.
If you have tender buds or bulbs coming through with a real possibility of freezing, cover them up with insulation. If you have wire-heated blankets that will keep ground temperatures above 4 degrees C, consider using these on your most sensitive plants. If that’s not an option, pot them and bring them indoors overnight when temperatures are at their lowest ebb.
Old sheets and rag piles are another option, as is tarp. You don’t necessarily need a professional cover to provide insulation.
Test Your Garden Soil
Not many gardeners ever actually bother to test their soil. But doing so is essential for keeping your garden healthy. Soil is fundamental: without it, nothing else can thrive, so making sure that it is healthy should be a top priority.
Ideally, you should test your garden soil every three to five years or so. Testing shows you what nutrients it contains, and whether there are any signs of depletion or excessive concentration of minerals.
Testing can also tell you about the composition of your soil. Some soils, for example, are extremely high in phosphorous. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to add more phosphorus fertilizer. Doing so may actually impede plant growth. Likewise, you probably don’t need to add egg shells or aluminum sulfate to alkaline soils. The lack of acidity could again harm plant growth, particularly hydrangeas.
Correct Your Hardscaping
Hardscaping might look robust, but it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, nature is victorious.
Failing to stay on top of hardscaping issues can be extremely expensive. For instance, retaining walls can collapse, leaving you with a significant cleanup bill.
Here are some of the hardscaping tasks you’ll want to get a handle on:
- The cleanliness of your guttering
- Problems with your fencing, such as bowing, sagging or missing posts
- Issues with wooden fencing, such as rot or damp
- Shed and trellis problems
- Termite infestations in your decking
- Cracked flagstones
- Missing mortar between paving stones
Most hardscaping issues are quite easy to solve once you identify them. If hardscaping elements are beyond repair, simply replace them.
Water Drainage Issues
Some gardens experience natural water drainage issues. Water simply doesn’t flow correctly down courses, leading to a host of problems, such as saturated beds, damp soil, and moss growth.
If your garden has water drainage issues, you’ll need to speak to a professional, particularly if you have a septic system. A lack of drainage could indicate issues with your current setup that you need to address immediately.
If you need to create channels around your garden, don’t be afraid to do so. The more you can get unwanted water to drain quickly off the land, particularly if it is rich in waste, the better. While some level of fertilization can be expected, too much water skews plant life in your yard in the wrong direction.
Remove Evidence Of Animal Burrows
Once animals move into your garden, it can be notoriously challenging to get rid of them. They dig in, quite literally, and then come out at night to sabotage all your handiwork.
Skunks, chipmunks, groundhogs, and rabbits are all potentially dangerous and damaging pests. Allowing them unfettered access to your garden may result in damage.
Also look for evidence of deer, even if you live in a suburban area. Deer will sometimes make their way into populated areas at night if they believe there’s a chance of an easy meal. If you notice damage to woody plants, deer might be the cause.