Garden and lawn tips for first-time homeowners

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DIY and how-to

Some first-time homebuyers are fortunate enough to inherit an established garden. Others simply have a barren patch of soil – and a good dose of creativity! 

The tips below will help you create or maintain a picture-perfect garden. Pull on your gardening gloves and let’s get started!

7 tips for first-time gardeners 

1. Gather your tools

Gardening takes some dedicated work and getting the job done requires the right tools. You can borrow the items you need, but if you’re in it for the long haul, it’s best to purchase the basics, which you’ll be able to use for years to come. Start with a good pair of gardening gloves and a hand fork, hand trowel, spade, rake, pair of secateurs and watering can. 

2. Be a sunseeker

Before you decide on which plants to purchase, understand the space you’re working with. Does your garden get morning sun or afternoon sun – or no sun at all? How does the sun move throughout the day? Will the plants shade each other too much? Plants have unique light requirements, and those that need full sun won’t thrive in a shady garden

3. Plant at the right time

Some plants have rather complex sowing requirements or may need to be planted at specific times of year. Do your research before diving in. Chat to the experts at your local Stodels Garden Centre for advice, or read our handy gardening guides for advice on what to plant at different times of year.

4. Greener grass

There’s nothing quite as lovely as walking barefoot across your own lush lawn. However, establishing a lawn takes a lot of work, a lot of water and a thorough understanding of the conditions of your garden. Before getting started, speak to our experts for advice. They’ll help you choose the right type of grass and fertiliser, as well as any other components you need to set you on the path to grassy success.

5. Don’t be afraid to prune

Cutting back dead or withering branches and leaves is essential for healthy growth. This article explains the importance of pruning plants and trees, as well as when and how to do it. If you’re tackling larger foliage, read our tips on safe and easy ways to prune trees.  

6. The veggie question

If you’ve decided to grow veggies or herbs, it’s a good idea to stick to just four or five different kinds, and grow them well, rather than overcrowding your space. As you become more experienced, you can branch out further. And, of course, you should plant what you actually enjoy eating! Some easy herbs and veggies to grow in South Africa include tomatoes, spinach, peas, peppers, lettuce, onions, sage, rosemary and coriander. 

7. Be prepared for pests

Gardens attract bugs – the good kind, and the kind that will treat your plants like a free-for-all buffet. Look out for these organic pesticide ingredients and deterrents that will keep pests at bay naturally without harming the good guys. 

Most importantly, have fun! Gardening is a learning curve, so don’t be disheartened when some plants don’t make it. With each passing season, your fingers will grow greener, and soon you’ll know exactly which plants love your garden best. Good luck!

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