Tim and Annabelle have just moved into their new house with their new-born child. They are looking to make more use of their outdoor space but the garden needs help before they host a garden warming/ baby welcome party for family and friends. This episode sees Charlie give the yard a complete overhaul, laying lawn for the kids to roll around on as they grow, and establishing a grow-your-own herb garden and fruit trees. To celebrate the new addition to their family, a birth tree is added as a final touch to the garden before celebrating this great outdoor space with little Clancy and their family and friends.
Charlie gives the following tips and tricks on how to lay a luscious lawn:
Preparation is key to a great lawn so be sure to remove as many pebbles and stones as you can, and get the area as flat as possible. You’re then ready to lay your lawn but be sure to follow these guidelines to keep it looking good all year round.
• Most grasses prefer sun but buffalo will tolerate some shade and there are some good new buffalo varieties available on the market. Couch is a good choice for the most drought-tolerant lawn
• It’s important the soil can absorb water, so test the soil by seeing if the water penetrates quickly. If it doesn’t, treat with Yates Waterwise Soil Saturator Hose On
• Preparation is vital when laying turf, so spread and rake in Yates Dynamic Lifter Turf Starter, which is an organic manure and water crystal in one. This will give your new lawn the best start
• Lay the turf on the prepared soil, making sure you never start the roll at the same place. This ensures a more even coverage
• Water well every day for the first few weeks until the lawn is established
• Once established, mow the lawn at least once a week, never cutting more than 1/3 of the length and watering immediately afterwards to assist in recovery
• Keep your mower blade sharp to ensure clean cutting edges. Otherwise you’ll end up with a dried out looking lawn
• Try mowing in different directions to combat compaction
• Grass needs nutrients just like any other plants so fertilise with Yates Dynamic Lifter Advanced for Lawns at least twice a year to help drive grass growth. This combines rich, composted chicken manure with all those extra nutrients for quick and long term feeding
• Water regularly – a good watering once a week will keep your turf adequately drenched. Add a wetting agent, such as Yates Waterwise Soil Saturator if your soil repels water
• If weeds start to invade, do an easy clean up with Yates Weed ‘n’ Feed granular, which kills the weeds and greens the lawn.
Planting a birthing tree
A birth tree can be a great way to celebrate a new addition to the family and you can watch it grow along with your child. Charlie Albone has these tips and tricks for planting a birthing tree:
• Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the pot that the tree comes in
• Soften the harsh edges of the hole. Steep sides will inhibit root growth out into the surrounding soil
• Incorporate some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the soil for gentle organic fertilising which won’t burn the roots.
• Pull the plant out and gently tickle the roots to encourage them to grow outwards
• After planting, water generously with some Yates Nature’s Way Seaweed Booster diluted in water for overall plant health
• Finally, once the tree starts to grow, feed with Yates Acticote - Pots, Planters and Garden beds, a 12 month control release fertiliser and instant booster (this means the birth tree will be fertilised for rest of the year). Water in well.
Tips and Tricks for pruning your hedge plants
• Start pruning your plants a few months after you’ve planted them to encourage new growth.
• To help keep plants bushy and healthy looking, don’t let stems grow too long or they will become woody and sparse
• Keep hedge plants wider at the bottom than the top so that the sun travels evenly over all of the leaves, helping to keep the tree healthy
• Feed after pruning with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food
Tips for growing espaliered fruit trees
• Grow fruit trees against walls to save on space
• Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil and dig in some compost or aged manure.
• Keep the trees flat against walls by attaching to horizontal wires. This ensures the leaves get as much sun as possible, enabling the tree to bear full, lovely fruit
• Citrus are very hungry plants so feed twice a year, in early spring and late summer. Use Yates Acticote for Fruit, Citrus, Trees and Shrubs around the base of the tree, and water well.
• Acticote has a 12-month controlled release fertiliser and added instant booster for fast and long term results.
• Remember to remove excess fruit when they’re small as this will encourage larger fruit to develop.
• If your citrus are troubled by pests such as Citrus Leaf Miner and Scales, then spray with PestOil, an easy to use, low toxic garden spraying oil.
Herbs are a great starting point to begin growing your own produce at home. The easiest way to grow herbs is in pots and Yates Tuscan Edge Troughs are ideal. They’re self watering, too, which means water gets through to the roots easily and there are no messy saucers to collect grubby water and breed unwanted pests. When planting herbs and seedlings in pots, make sure you follow these steps:
• Always use a quality potting mix such as Yates Professional Potting Mix which has added soil wetters, water-storing crystals and a natural bio-stimulant to accelerate growth. Remember to look for the Red StandardsMarks on your potting mix bag - it’s your guarantee of quality
• Tease the seedlings out of their existing pots
• Pot into the hole, ensuring you bed them down gently but firmly. Then water to remove any air pockets within the soil
• Feed regularly with Yates Thrive Soluble All Purpose to encourage rapid growth
• Control Snails and Slugs by sprinkling some Blitzem Snail & Slug pellets
• Control leaf-eating grubs with Yates Nature’s Way Caterpillar Killer Dipel as it has no withholding period (which means you can wash and eat your herbs straight away!)
• If your herbs start to get bushy, make sure you pick them to ensure they keep growing and pinch out any flowering stems. Otherwise they might go to seed and die.
Installing an irrigation system
Irrigation systems couldn’t be easier to install and run, making watering the plants and lawn as easy as 1,2,3. Firstly, you will need to draw a rough plan of your garden area marking on lawn and plants bed etc. Take this along with the details of where your tap is located to your local irrigation specialist. They will be able to advise and determine, based on the flow rate of your water supply, the best system to install. Make sure you check that you’re complying with local water restrictions, however, before you install any type of watering system.
Maintaining your decking
One of the main problems when laying turf next to a decked area is that water can get trapped, resulting in rotting timber. To combat this, and ensure that your decking stays safe, run metal flashing around the edge to send water underneath the decking. An ag pipe will then drain water away safely. Dropping the level of the decking at the side by installing a step will help to wick water away, ensuring the area has a clean flow of air, keeping the timber happy and safe.
Creating the perfect garden warming party garden
If you’re planning on hosting a garden warming party to introduce your friends to your new garden, white is a great colour theme as it helps to make your luscious greenery stand out. White is also very clean and crisp, representing new beginnings.
To get this look:
• Buy some white Chinese lanterns to hang around the garden
• Small tea lights will create a romantic setting as dusk falls on your party
• Sand wooden furniture and apply a white wood wash to create a clean French style finish to tables and chairs