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Four Garden Problems - and How to Solve Them!

Four Garden Problems - and How to Solve Them!


Whether your lawn is an embarrassment or you want more privacy, we have solutions for common garden problems.


By FamilyTime

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Warm weather means we spend a lot of time outdoors, luxuriating in our gardens. The grass is green, the flowers fragrant, and the breeze balmy.

But the lawn is splotchy, your border gardens are uneven, the shrubbery is tangled, and the neighbors are spilling into your yard.

Before you scurry back into the house and hope it all goes away, let us help. Maintaining a lawn and garden takes time, but when you have a plan of attack, the chores get easier!

1. Splotchy lawn: There are any number of reasons why lawns don't come up lush and green. The soil may be compacted or pets could have damaged the thatch. The lawns might have suffered from an overly wet or very dry winter and early spring.

According to experts, fungal diseases are the most common reasons for brown spots in lawns early in the season. The fungus is likely to be Bipolaris leaf spot. Lawns in warmer climates might suffer from Rhizoctonia brown patch.

Both benefit from prevention more than cure, although, if you prefer, there are liquid fungicides that will help with these diseases. Talk to the garden center.

To prevent these fungi, dig up the brown areas and re-seed with a disease-resistant seed. Do not over-fertilize the lawn. Keep the thatch short so that it's only about ½ inch, and avoid over watering.

The best time to water a sensitive lawn is in the early morning. This gives the grass and its roots ample time to dry as the day goes on and warms up.

2. Uneven border gardens: If your garden beds need help, you are not alone. Last year's perennials may not be coming up as vigorously as you hoped. Or, they may be crowding each other for space.


Earlier in the season is the time to plant new plants and separate and transplant others. You want your garden to be full and glorious, but you also want to be able to see the individual plants.

Think about color and height. For a sunny, moderately dry garden, consider asters, coreopsis, salvia, and clematis. If you have a little more shade, think about digitalis (foxglove), phlox, delphiniums, and iris.

Remember that most perennials bloom only for a few weeks every season. Plan them so that different flowers are in bloom as the summer progresses. Keep foliage in mind, because its hue and shape add a lot to the garden, too. Plan to fill out bare spots with colorful annuals.

3. Tangled shrubbery: Evergreen shrubbery may look bedraggled and tangled. Allow it to flower, if it's going to, and then take pruners to the shrubs. This is not universally true, so read about your particular shrubbery.

Don't hesitate to cut off dead or weak portions of the shrubbery and even out the shapes. Clean out the earth around the shrubs and generally neaten up the area. When you read up on your particular shrubbery, decide whether to fertilize.

4. Neighbors: We all want privacy in our gardens, but few of us want to seem unfriendly. There are any number of ways to screen and separate your garden from your neighbor's yard.

You and neighbor might decide to build a fence and together decide on the style. This is a good solution if it's a mutually agreed to project, but not the only one.

Medium-high, narrow trees planted on the property line provide a good filter between properties. These generally are evergreens and provide year-round protection. Smaller shrubbery and hedges accomplish much the same thing.

Hedges are a more permanent barrier, however, and one you might want to avoid. When you plant trees or shrubbery along property lines, make it clear with your neighbor who will trim and care for it (you!).

Another idea is to erect a trellis in relatively small areas where you want some extra screening. This may be beside a patio or deck or near your neighbor's driveway.

These airy, often freestanding structures are easy to put up and provide the illusion of privacy without the force of a fence. You can plant climbing greenery on the trellis. Pretty for both you and your neighbors.

Enjoy your garden while you can. Too soon, cool winds will blow. But the flowers are blooming right now!



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