How to Lay a Lawn

LawnsIf you are looking to radically change your garden space there are plenty of options. Two of the biggest are to add lawns or paved areas. Although these two are opposites they both create a different attractive aesthetic effects. Some of the most beautifully landscaped gardens are ones that combine different styled spaces and different areas dedicated to lawns, decorative gravel and paving.

If you are looking to add a patio of paved area to your property click here for our helpful paving how to guide.

If you are looking to brighten up your garden with a new lawn you can save money by laying it yourself.  It is a task that can be carried out by anyone with some careful planning and determination. Here is a helpful guide on how to proceed.

First of all, you need to choose the landscaping materials you’ll use. You should choose the topsoil according to its and your soil’s quality. For example, if you have a low site quality or you aren’t sure about it, you should get highly fertile topsoil with a fibrous base. As for the turf, it should be very dense to obtain better results.

Steps

1.    It’s important to prepare appropriately the ground. You can hire a rotavator to achieve this goal or you can turn over the soil with basic hand tools. Either way, the soil must be screened as much as possible because larger stones etc. may impede drainage.

2.    Now that the base ground is ready, you need to distribute the topsoil. While you’re deciding the thickness, you should keep in mind that it will compact later. If you notice an area with low soil quality, pile more soil and when it has filled up the site you have to level it out as much as possible. You can use a piece of spare timber, for example. After that you can trample down the areas of weakness by walking across the site. It can be also useful to jump on the spare timber you used before to both level and compact your new soil.

3.    Before you lay the turf, you’ll have to water the topsoil to make it moist and lightly rake it so they can bind. Abut the top of the turf tightly to the one above it to ensure there is no gap and then slowly roll out the turf. Another person needs to hold onto the top of the turf to prevent it from moving. You can also use the piece of timber to make sure that you’re not kneeling on levelled soil.

4.    Initially you may want to cut out the turves to reduce wastage during the laying but the real shaping should be the last thing to do. The turves should now be lightly pressed down to connect with the soil (for example, you can hold vertically a rake and press against the turf, but don’t use a roller on it while it’s new). You should water your new lawn very often and keep off it for approximately three weeks; if you have to walk on it, try to use a plank. Don’t forget to mow the turf regularly – you can start to mow a week after laying it.

How to Install a Timber Fence

Timber FencingWhat will you need?

• 8 foot posts in either 3×3 inch or 4×4 inch sizes if you are installing a six foot fence
• Fibreglass post hole digger, with which you can dig the post holes easily
• If your fencing is going near trees, you’ll probably need a cutting tool, like a special fencing bar
• A post hole usually requires a 25kg bag of ballast mixed with cement at a ratio of 4:1. The cement comes in bags of 25kg so you’ll need a quarter of a bag of cement for each bag of ballast
• Wheelbarrow, shovel, rammer
• Handsaw/circular saw/jigsaw

9 steps to install your new fence
1. You should have a clear area where you will erect the new fencing so the first step is to remove the old fence. If the old fence posts are still standing, dig out the first and last posts of the fence run and cut the other posts as low to ground level as possible. Concrete posts can be reduced to the ground level by breaking the base of each post using a sledge hammer and using a hacksaw to cut through the steel.

2. Mark out the fence run with a line or string between the first and last post positions. Hold the first post against the line and make sure it is vertical using a spirit level and make a mark on the ground where the hole needs to be made.

3. If using 4×4 inch posts, make the hole 12 inches square by 2 feet deep; if using 3×3 inch posts, make the hole 9 inches square by 2 feet deep.

4. Place the post in the hole and fix the fence panel.

5. Now you should mix the concrete for the fence posts. Using the wheelbarrow and shovel, mix the cement and ballast together whilst dry, then add the water gradually and mix well.

6. Check the vertical position of the post against the line you set up earlier. Throw in a shovel full of concrete. Compact the concrete and then check the level and position of the post. Throw in another shovel full of concrete and compact. Repeat this process checking the post with a spirit level constantly and bring the concrete up to just below ground level.

7.  Once the second post hole is ready, drop the post in and nail the panel before you begin to add the concrete.

8. Repeat the procedure for the remaining posts and panels.

9. The last step is to mark and cut the fence panels to size making the cut panel a few millimetres narrower than the gap size. Then remove the edge battens from the off-cut using a small pry bar and trim the staples flush with the batten. Finally, replace the edge battens with woodscrews of the correct length.

Head to your local Builder’s Merchants in North Wales and enquire about using a cutting service. If they have a timber yard they may well be able to cut your panels to the correct size for you. If you are new to DIY you can avoid the headache of messing with concrete by buying spike or bolt format post supports. This will enable you to put up a fence much faster and save money. Ask your local Builder’s Merchants in North Wales which type of post support will be right for you. It will depend on where you want your fence to go.

Hints and tips: make the bottom of the hole flat, you can drill pilot holes to take the fixing nails to prevent the fixing batten splitting, fix the panel so the top capping is an inch below the top of the post.

Image Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/armconprecast/

Garden Care is Vital for Your Garden’s Health

Garden CareIt might have been all too easy to neglect your garden during the winter months when keeping it in top condition could have been a bit of an uphill battle but now that summer is here, there’s no reason to not invest in some garden care options!

This sunny season, you may want to relax in the back garden on your deckchair, book in hand and a tall drink of something next you. Why not do it in style while you’re at it and give your garden the sheen and bit of gloss that it deserves?

Weeds can be a serious pest in your garden area as not only can they appear unsightly but they can also kill other plants and flowers. Therefore, you should always invest in some weed killer as a precaution and follow its instructions carefully – you don’t want to accidentally douse the wrong thing! Take action before the weeds become too plentiful by using weed killer in the lead up to summer.

Additionally, you should look to high-quality pruning tools which will help you keep your flora looking vivid and full of life. Allowing them to grow too long can affect the overall look of your garden so keep them pruned when they look like they could perhaps be wilting. There are many different tools to choose from to find the perfect one for a particular job so be sure to ask if you’re not sure.

Summer can be quite harsh on your greenery, especially so during dry and scorching conditions. As much as we may dislike it, rainwater is vital for the health of all flora so when there is a bit of a drought in downpours, it can cause serious damage to your garden. If you haven’t already, this is where you should be investing in hoses and perhaps even sprinklers.

Hoses allow you to be more precise with the different areas of your garden’s watering but it can take up some of your time. This is why sprinklers are popular as they allow the automated watering of a set region over time but as you may expect, they are slightly pricier than the traditional alternative. Many sprinklers need various components to work so if you think your sprinkler may be broken, instead check if its parts can be replaced so as to save you a bit of money.

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