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'I'm a gardening pro – how to get a lush lawn and stop pests from ruining your plants'


The summer is only just around the corner which means it is time to get out into the garden and green-fingered.

For some of us, knowing what to do in our gardens comes naturally while for some there are some learning curves.

But fear not, a gardening expert has come to the rescue in sharing what to do when it comes to maintaining our lawn as well as getting rid of those pesky animals.

Jamie Shipley, gardening expert and managing director of Hedges Direct, said it is best to start now to get the best results.

Shipley said: “Cutting your lawn regularly this month will help to produce a thick, lush lawn. However, you could also participate in No Mow May which is a great way to encourage wildlife into your garden by providing wildflowers for pollinators.”

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So you might want to get started on the lawn straight away if you want to get it ready for the summer.

He continued: “Early May is also a great time to repair patches in your lawn by reseeding. It’s best to do this before summer, so the grass has plenty of time to establish itself before it is used regularly.

“Remember to fertilise your lawn with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser. If you do not want to use chemical fertilisers sow some clover into your lawn, which will help add nitrogen.”

But that’s not all the summer can mean pests will start to come out of the woodwork but the gardening pro has a solution to stop them from ruining your plants.

Shipley suggests: “Box blight is a fungal infection that can crop up in May and spread quickly through box plants. The signs include foliage turning brown and falling off and black streaks on young stems.

“You can decrease the chances of getting box blight by clipping your box plants less regularly to allow airflow around the plants. Keeping your plant’s foliage dry can also help to reduce the risk of blight. Water at the base of the plant rather than overhead. Applying a bark or compost mulch can also help to reduce rain splash, helping to keep your plants drier.”

Shipley suggests removing infected and isolating them “immediately” to prevent spreading blight to your other plants.

He added: “It’s also worth isolating newly bought box plants for around four weeks before introducing them to the garden to make sure there are no signs of blight.

The gardening pro suggested keeping an eye out for “viburnum beetles, vine weevils, lily grub beetles and caterpillars”.

Shipley said: “Attracting birds to your garden can help reduce the number of pests. You can also remove insects by hand or by using sticky traps if necessary. Steer clear of using insecticide treatments as these can harm other wildlife in your garden.”

Will you be following this advice?

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