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Garden maintenance know how

What tools can I use to remove weeds from the garden?

The most effective way of removing small weeds is to hoe them without either a dutch hoe or a draw hoe. Deep seated weeds can be removed more easily with a weedfork or daisy grubber, other larger established weeds are best removed with a fork.

How often should you trim a hedge?

A hedge should be cut at least once a year to keep it in shape. Regular pruning throughout the growing season will encourage dense growth and therefore a much stronger hedge. Evergreens should have the top 12" removed when they are 6" taller than the required finished height. Deciduous hedges should have the leaders cut back up to a third after planting and the sides trimmed at least once every year.

A large tree at the bottom of my garden sheds leaves on my lawn and kills the grass, how can I stop this?

Fallen dead leaves should be removed immediately in order to prevent the grass from yellowing and prevent fungal growth. This can be achieved with a plastic leaf rake, which gathers the leaves without harming the lawn as the flexible tines will not scratch. The collected leaves can then be used to make garden compost.

When should I dead-head my plants?

When the blooms have died and no longer look attractive. The flowering period of a plant can be considerably lengthened if the dead blooms are removed. In order to do this you should use bypass action secateurs which minimise stem bruising.

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