Your first garden can often feel intimidating, especially when you see your neighbour’s luscious lawn and perfect planters. You may have all sorts of questions that you are reluctant to ask your local nursery or friends simply because it feels like you should just naturally know how to look after a lawn or how to improve your soil quality. We have your garden queries covered with our answers to the 6 common gardening questions. When it comes to owning a brushcutter as one of your essential gardening tools, the Stihl brushcutters from B&S Commercial Power will be your best choice as a beginner gardener.
Answers to 6 Common Gardening Questions:
So, you are the proud owner of your first home that comes with a garden. That spacious garden that you envisioned making memories in can quickly become a space of stress when you realise how little you know about maintaining a garden. Everyone with a garden reaches a moment (or a few) where they are uncertain about what they should be doing, how to create the best garden, or simply which tools to start with. We have you covered with our answers to 6 common gardening questions.
Question 1) How Can I Care For My Lawn?
No garden is complete without a green lawn for playing sports with your children, sun-tanning, or for afternoons spent outside with friends. If you have just recently moved into a home with your first garden, maintaining a lawn to the level that your neighbours will be envious of can initially seem like a lot of effort. We have created a quick guide that is easy, effective and covers everything you need to know about lawn care.
Mow Regularly: To promote green and luscious grass in your lawn, we recommend that you mow your lawn regularly. During summer, you can mow your lawn every week and during winter, you can mow your lawn every two weeks. Regular mowing will ensure that your grass grows continuously and prevents any sparse patches in your lawns. Keep the blade of your mower at a slightly higher level as taller grass tends to be healthier. You should also only mow your grass when it is dry.
Water in the Mornings or Evenings: The best time to water your grass is in the mornings or evenings when the temperature and wind levels are lower. Lower temperatures and wind levels reduce the amount of water evaporation and the water blowing off your grass, ensuring that your lawn receives an adequate amount of water.
Aerate the Soil: Once or twice a year, you should aerate your lawn soil. Aerating your soil prevents the soil from becoming compacted, which affects the drainage and circulation of air in your lawn. Aeration also allows for the spread of nutrients in your grass to keep it looking healthy.
Remove Weeds: Weeds can cause havoc on your lawn. Weeds tend to spread quickly and will thus quickly invade your lawn if left alone. They will kill off your existing grass by using up water, nutrients, and space in your lawn. Different weeds also attract different insects, which can also play a role in your lawn becoming patchy. Remove weeds from your lawn by the root and without dispersing any seeds.
Neaten Edges: One way to elevate your lawn is to give it neatened edges after mowing. You can use handheld sheers to trim along your grass edges to provide a tidy finish. This will drastically improve the appearance of your lawn, prevent any weed growth along the edges, and make your lawn your point of pride in your garden.
Question 2) How Can I Improve My Soil Quality?
The best soil for gardens is referred to as loam soil, a light to medium-coloured soil that is easy to move around. Loam soil contains sand, silt, a low quantity of clay, organic matter, plant nutrients, microbial life, worms, and insects. The sand and silt enable drainage and allow for oxygen to be contained in the soil, the clay allows for water retention, and the organic matter, plant nutrients, and microbial life ensure your plants can grow and thrive.
Loam soil is a critical component of a happy and healthy garden. Achieving the optimal soil quality is where most of your gardening effort will go initially, but it will be well worth the time and energy. When your soil quality is sub-standard, the plants in your garden will alert you immediately. We have provided solutions to the two common soil problems that you may be facing in your garden.
Problem – Soil Has a High Clay Content:
Soil with a high clay content is easy to identify. It will be extremely hard and cracked when dry, sticky when wet, not drain easily after rainfall, and will be generally difficult to move around. You need clay in your soil, but too much will cause your plant roots to rot and prevent your plants from gaining oxygen through their roots as there is no space for air particles in between the tightly compacted clay particles. To reduce a high clay content, thoroughly mix sand, organic matter, and small stones into your soil.
Problem – Soil Is Too Sandy:
On the opposite end of the scale is soil that is too sandy. Sandy soil will be easy to move around, light in colour, crumble easily in your hands, and will drain quickly. The problem with the rapid drainage of sandy soil is that your garden’s nutrients will get washed away and your plants will suffer. To rectify your sandy soil, increase the amount of compost in your soil. This will increase the density of your soil, improve water retention, and increase the nutrient content.
Question 3) Why Should I have Indigenous Plants Over Alien Plants?
You may commonly hear that having indigenous plants is better for your garden than non-indigenous, or alien, plants. But, that does not stop alien plants from being beautiful and tempting to incorporate into your garden. We have highlighted the three important reasons why you should only have indigenous plants in your garden.
Water-wise: Indigenous plants have adapted to the South African climate and are thus exceptionally water-wise because they can survive in accordance with natural rainfall patterns. This water-wise aspect to indigenous plants saves you time and money as you do not need to worry about standing with the hosepipe on full-blast after a day at work to keep your plants alive.
Attract Wildlife and Insects: Indigenous plants are designed around the wildlife and insects in your area for pollination and other purposes. This will then attract a bright array of insects and birds to your garden, transforming it into a buzzing oasis.
Saves Money: Indigenous plants are hardy and low-maintenance, meaning that you will not continuously be spending money replacing the dead plants in your garden. Indigenous plants are also generally cheaper as they are locally grown rather than imported or grown under specific conditions.
Question 4) Why Should I Have a Compost Bin?
Compost bins are exceptionally easy, budget-friendly ways to enrich your soil with nutrients. Compost is created by placing your food scraps, garden waste, and some water into a compost bin and allowing the contents to naturally decompose. Once your compost has decomposed, it can be mixed into your garden soil as a source of nutrients for your plants. Achieving luscious plants off your waste is affordable and efficient with compost bins, which is why so many gardeners highly recommend compost bins.
Not only does your garden and your budget benefit from a compost patch, but so does the environment. Sending your food scraps and garden waste to your local landfill is negatively impacting the environment. As the food scraps and garden waste decomposes at a landfill, they release methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming. By turning your food scraps and garden waste into compost in your bin, you are reducing your contribution to negative environmental impact and saving space in the limited landfills.
Question 5) What Are Low Maintenance Plants for South Africa?
You may have heard the term “low maintenance plants” thrust around at your coffee catch-ups with friends and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Low maintenance plants are the best plants for first-time gardeners as they are generally hardy, require little attention, and still manage to thrive and make your garden beautiful. We have listed a few of the popular low maintenance plants for South Africa, but it is always best to enquire with your local nursery the best-suited low maintenance plants for your area.
- Sansevieria (commonly known as mothers-in-law’s tongues).
- Aloe Barberae.
- Dietes Grandiflora.
- Tulbaghia Violacea (commonly known as wild garlic).
- Agapanthus praecox.
- Strelitzia Reginae.
- Indigenous grasses.
Question 6) What Are The Essential Garden Tools?
With so many gardening tools to choose between, it can quickly become an overwhelming process for beginner gardeners. We have created a list of the essential gardening tools that you can start with and can then slowly build onto. If you are worried about having all the gear but still have no idea, you can refer to our in-depth guide to gardening tools on our blog, List of Gardening Tools: From Brushcutters to Wheelbarrows.
- Hedging sheers.
- Hand trowel.
- Long-handled or extension lopper.
It is also important that you have the correct gardening gear. Gardening gloves are essential to protect your hands from sharp twigs or thorns whilst you pick up trimmed branches and leaves. Closed shoes are also recommended to keep your feet protected. You should also have a hat and sunblock on whilst working in the sunshine to protect yourself from sunburn.
Stihl Brushcutters at B&S Commercial Power:
B&S Commercial Power is a power tool supplier for commercial and residential use. We have a wide range of essential power tools for homeowners with gardens, including our range of Stihl brushcutters. Stihl brushcutters are high-performance, affordable, and easy to use, making them the ideal choice for first-time gardeners.
Stihl brushcutters will make quick and easy work of keeping your garden maintained and beautiful. From keeping grass and weeds trimmed to cutting back gnarled bushes and thin trees, we have a variety of power Stihl brushcutters that will get your gardening job done. There is no need to worry about keeping on top of your garden work with the effortless power of Stihl brushcutters.
Stihl brushcutters from B&S Commercial Power are excellent brushcutters for first-time users. Stihl brushcutters are designed for operator safety, fatigue reduction, and comfort. Stihl brushcutters will make doing your garden work easy and enjoyable, making them an essential gardening tool for a first-time gardener.
When looking to invest in a brushcutter for your garden tool collection, B&S Commercial Power has you covered with our range of Stihl brushcutters.