How to

Helpful tips for keeping your garden and shed in order

Horticulturalist and director of Smart Garden Ryan McQuerry gives us his top tips for organising your garden and shed

garden

Helpful tips for keeping your garden in order 

With Ryan McQuerry, horticulturalist and director of Smart Garden, mysmartgarden.co.nz.

  • Prioritise work on highly visual areas, such as decks, the front door, your property entrance and outside the kitchen window. Don’t get carried away with areas of low importance, unless you have lots of time.
  • Keep hedges, edges and lawns neat. This will make the garden appear well kept, because the eye is naturally drawn to straight lines and tidy edges.
  • Regularly tidy up ‘outliers’. These may be extra-large weeds or dead tree branches. Large plants that look dead or unsightly can be easily removed to create a neater look. You should also blow away or sweep up dead leaves on a regular basis.
  • Take care of plant health issues quickly. If you have a plant that is diseased or has been infected with a bad pest, treat it as soon as possible to avoid losing the plant.
  • Invest in good tools. High-quality, sharp tools will ensure the time you spend in the garden is efficient. Newer, battery-powered hedge trimmers, lawn mowers and blowers work well and require less maintenance than petrol models.
  • Spread mulch on your garden beds. This will reduce the number of weeds and help to hold moisture around plants during hot weather.

Helpful tips for keeping your shed in order 

  • Organise your tool shed well so you spend less time looking for the right tool, and more time in the garden.
  • Create a tool board to hang frequently used tools, and ensure you put each one back after use. Use a pegboard or a piece of wood to make the board and attach pegs or wood screws to hang the tools from. Outline the shape of each tool with a permanent marker, so you know where each one goes and can easily see if one is missing. This is a great tip if you have kids who borrow your tools.
  • Multi hooks on walls are great for hanging multiple spades or rakes on. This will free up floor space in your shed.
  • Minimise the number of sprays that you use. Find one or two pest sprays that will cover the spectrum, rather than having 20 different types. I recommend using organic sprays, so you’re not storing potentially dangerous chemicals. Similarly, minimise the number of fertilisers. Use one or two organic fertilisers that are suitable for most plants to reduce the chance of over-feeding.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Helen Bankers and Emma MacDonald.

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