Bubble Swing

The Bubble Swing is the ultimate tree accessory for anyone wishing to float away in the privacy of their own garden.  One of the more recent designs, it fuses a modern eclectic circular design with delicate stainless steel metal work. Can you imagine clambering into your own private bubble?

Myburgh / Designs - The Bubble Swing

Stephen Myburgh

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Climbing Boulders & Highland Ball

Climbing Boulders

 Climbing boulders in sprayed and carved  concrete

An unlimited variety of dramatic and highly realistic, three dimensional forms can be created using this system. The durability of the concrete material together with the aesthetic appearance of these structures is particularly suited for use in an outdoor environment.Rockworks unique construction technique is based on the initial carving of an inner base shape that is carefully transcribed from a scale model. At this stage any final adjustments can be made before the final concrete applicationLayers of steel mesh are then formed over the base shape and additional elements such as natural rock holds can be fixed at this stage. Sprayed concrete is then applied to the structure and hand carved by an expert team of climbers and sculptors to create the fine details of the climbing surface.The climbing boulders are fitted with an appropriate safety surface surround and provide an open access facility designed to appeal to both novice and expert climbers.Great fun for kids.

Climbing Boulder

Sculpture Highland Ball This is a sculpural ball at Knockan Crag by Joe Smith

sculpture at Knochan Crag

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London Garden Maintenance 10 Plants for Spring

10 Great Plants for Spring 

1 Pulmonaria ‘Diana Clare’Long, silvered leaves with an apple-green cast flatter deep violet flowers, making this pulmonaria perhaps the best of all. Part shade (30cm/2ft).

  Diane Clare

2  Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’Graceful wiry stems with two-tone yellow flowers above heart-shaped, shiny green leaves. A toughie. Part shade (30cm/2ft).

3  Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ In flower from spring until late autumn, this bushy wallflower produces sprays of purple flowers above grey-green foliage. Sun and good drainage (75cm/2.5ft).

 Thumbnail 1

4  Dryopteris wallichiana Black bristly hairs contrast against bright green fronds when this handsome upright fern unfurls its croziers in late April. Good soil, shade (1.2 m/4ft).

5 Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’Easy, deep blue, diminutive bulb to drift through paler spring bulbs, whether miniature narcissi or erythroniums. Semi-shade (15cm/6in).

Scilla siberica 'spring beauty'

6 Cyclamen coumJaunty swept-back flower with a magenta nose. Grow in full sun or under trees and allow to self-seed. Good drainage (10cm/4in).7 Clematis macropetalaLet it scramble over a wall and, given time, it produces ragged, soft-petalled flowers with cool green middles. Good drainage (3m/10ft).

Clematis Clematis macropetala , photo by Marcus Harpur ,GAP Photos

8  Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Park Farm Hybrid’Early spicy, sweet fragrance as deep pink buds open to apple-white flowers that show up well against the shiny green leaves. Easy (3m/10ft).9  Crocus chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’For early spring sparkle, this delicate silver-blue crocus shimmers in spring sunshine and complements yellows, oranges and purples. Full sun (7cm/3in).10 Narcissus ‘Jetfire’This vivid yellow-petalled cyclamineus hybrid develops a bright orange trumpet, so makes a great impact. Easy anywhere (24cm/9in).These and many other plants can be supplied by London garden Maintenance .

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Garden Design ideas from anewgarden London

Garden Design ideas from anewgarden London

Ulf Nordfjell Pergola

Swedish garden expert Ulf Nordfjell is known for his visionary style and the subtle harmonies he creates. Nordfjell rose to international fame in 2009 when his creation for The Daily Telegraph newspaper won the Best in Show award at The Chelsea Flower Show in London. Nordfjell favours muted colours, clean lines and bold contrasts, and the benches, pergola, planters and seating in the Nordfjell collection reflect his style.

Garden Design with Mosaic TileBisazza mosaic tile in Columns Green pattern is perfect for exterior design. The shades of green and yellow offer the perfect outdoor design motif and can be used for wall, pool or spa decoration.

Lighting

Kanpazar 80Design by Jon SantacolomaImported from Spain.Outdoor lamp made of a neutral polyethylene with a smooth surface.Available in two versions:* “A” is hardwired (fixed) to the ground* “B” which is portable and equipped with 11.5 feet of black wire; with three prong grounded plug.Dimensions: 11.5″D X 31.5″H. Uses 2 X 36W 2G11 compact fluorescent lamps, electronic ballast

Wave Hammock

WAVE Hammock from Royal Botania is a design by Eric Nyberg and Gustav Storm. Connected at only one point, WAVE has a floating appearance, and is perfect for the garden or around the pool. It’s a modern design outdoor hammock, with built in sun canopy, rotates through 360 degrees, seating 2 people in the greatest comfort.

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Deck Maintenance

 

Decking After Care

Deck Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning your deck is a basic maintenance task. Usually performed on an annual routine basis in the Spring or Autumn. It is important to remove any algae ( green ) that may have formed to prevent slipping when wet. There are many different opinions on the best way to perform this task. The usual options are :

Pressure washer

Probably the most common method. However care should be taken when using pressure jet equipment. More powerful machines can cause damage to softwood decking if the pressure is too high. Always try a test area at a low setting first.

Cleaning Solutions

There are several products on the market for cleaning decks. However most contain ordinary bleach. Bleach can damage the fibres in wood ultimately causing a breakdown and an unnatural whitening. We recommend sodium percarbonate sometimes called oxygen bleach. This is a substance similar to washing powder . Mix 8 oz with a gallon of hot water to clean about 10 square metres. Brush over the deck with a broom or use a garden sprayer. Leave for about 15 minutes then scrub and wash off with a hose or pressure washer see. This is a very safe product, gentle with timber and very ‘green’. It is OK with plants but NOT suitable near fish ponds. We can supply this by the kilo.

Deck Oil

Once the deck is clean you have the opportunity to oil the deck. Decking Oil forms a waterproof barrier to protect against weathering, warping, swelling, drying and splitting. The right oils will protect against algae formation too. We can offer clear or coloured versions.

Ant-slip decking oil

Anti-Slip Decking Oil increases the durability of the surface, protects it against mould, algae and fungal attack and reduces the risk of slipping. The surface is water, weathering, and UV resistant. As a top coat it increases the durability of a pigmented first coat.

Available in .75l or 2.5l tins. 

Professional Deck Cleaning

Here at Chelsea Decking we offer a deck cleaning service covering most of London, including Pimlico, Kensington and of course Chelsea. Other areas include Dulwich, Clapham and Fulham.

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Best 20 trees for the garden

The best 20 trees for colour,  interest,  and sheer beauty 

Best trees: Amelanchier lamarckii (snowy mespilus) has something special each season, and birds love the fruit.

Best trees: Amelanchier lamarckii (snowy mespilus) has something special each season, and birds love the fruit.

Five for autumn colour

You don’t need big trees to get big colour in autumn — these will really knock your socks off.

1 Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ is the star among Japanese maples, for truly brilliant orange-red autumn colour.

2 Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ (aka ‘Senkaki’) is my favourite for really yellow foliage, but with an extra punch thanks to contrasting bright red twigs.

3 Amelanchier lamarckii (snowy mespilus) has something special each season, and birds love the fruit. It’s a tough, go anywhere tree.

4 Sorbus vilmorinii is a very neat, compact mountain ash with ferny foliage and berries that change colour the wrong way round — from red to pink and then white!

5 Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ forms a narrow, upright column and is clad in wonderful pear blossom in spring, with good foliage that colours up well in autumn. At home I have eight of these planted as an ‘avenue’ next to my terrace — they’re fabulous!

Five for year round appeal

These small and medium-sized trees earn their keep with more than one season of interest.

1 Acer griseum offers great shape, superb autumn colour and shaggy, peeling, gingery bark that shows up best in winter.

Big Photo of Acer Griseum

2 Caragana arborescens (Siberian pea tree) is an unusual tree for a ‘difficult’ situation, as it withstands heat, cold and wind. It has a light canopy of ladder-like leaves and yellow pea flowers followed by pods. It’s also good in pots.

3 Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) produces pink pea-flowers that sprout straight from the branches and trunk, before the heart-shaped leaves appear. These are followed by red pods.

4 Myrtus communis (myrtle) is a multipurpose evergreen with small bay-like leaves, gingery bark and spiky white flowers in late summer, followed by black berries that birds adore. It has culinary uses, and takes kindly to trimming and shaping so is ideal for pots.

5 Aralia elata ‘Variegata’ (Japanese angelica tree) forms a large shrub or smallish multistemmed tree with beautiful variegated foliage and large heads of frothy off-white flowers in autumn. The spiky trunks show up well in winter.

Five for a seasonal spectacular

Enjoy beautiful emerging new foliage or unbeatable blossom or fruit on these small to medium-sized trees.

1 Embothrium coccineum (Chilean fire bush) can be trained as a small tree, its sparse canopy lighting up with orange-red ‘tongues’ of fiery flower in early summer. It prefers acid soil and should be sheltered from drying winds.foto 2

2 Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ is a conical evergreen tree which produces masses of large, white, cup-shaped flowers with clusters of yellow stamens in the centre. It’s spectacularly glam during August and September.

3 Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’ is a small tree with a light canopy of shocking pink leaves in spring.

4 Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) produces flowers and ripe fruits (from the previous year) all at once during late autumn, when it’s very welcome.

5 Paeonia suffruticosa (tree peony) is breathtakingly beautiful in full bloom, reaching nearly 2m tall. The various varieties offer massive chalice-shaped blooms in frothy pinks, oriental reds or pristine white in May or June.

5 for front gardensThese trees will stay compact, with a fine tracery of branches casting only light shade.

1 Betula albosinensis (Chinese red birch) is one of the ‘posher’ birches, with pink and cinnamon peeling bark.

2 Genista aetnensis (Mount Etna broom) makes a wide, weeping tree with bright green twigs instead of leaves. It needs little attention, then in July bursts into yellow bloom.

3 Sambucus racemosa ‘Plumosa Aurea’ is a flamboyantly shaggy golden elder. Naturally forming a large shrub, it’s best trained as a multi-stemmed tree or can be pollarded.

4 Magnolia x loebneri varieties make superb small trees. My favourite is ‘Leonard Messel’ because of its abundant pale pink flowers in mid-spring.

5 Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust) offers light, ferny foliage. The coloured-leaved varieties, such as golden ‘Sunburst’ or mahogany-red ‘Ruby Lace’, are small and slow growing and will do well in pots.Trees and neighbours Make sure trees don’t lead to disputes with your neighbours:

  • Don’t plant a tree close to neighbours’ buildings on soils prone to subsidence. Consider the eventual height and spread. Is the tree likely in time to overhang your neighbour’s property or restrict their light? There are legal positions on both of these issues, and these also apply to neighbouring trees that overhang your own property.
  • If you want to remove branches that overhang your garden from next door, first ask your neighbour if they are willing to cut them back. If they refuse — and the tree is not protected by a tree preservation order (TPO) — you are legally entitled to prune within the following criteria. You must only cut on your side of the boundary; you must not trespass on your neighbour’s property; you must offer the prunings to your neighbour; if your neighbour doesn’t want them, you must dispose of them in a responsible way (you mustn’t leave them in your neighbour’s garden without permission). If the tree is protected by a TPO, or is within a Conservation Area you must apply to your local authority for permission to prune. To find out if a tree is has a TPO, contact your local authority.
  • There is very little legal protection related to the loss of light caused by single trees or deciduous trees. What there is only applies to the windows of a property and not to the garden. However, when it comes to high evergreen hedges, local authorities do have powers in certain circumstances to instruct a hedge owner to reduce the height or face a fine of up to £1,000.

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Tips for weeding a garden

Tips for Weeding a Garden

weed
Some tips for weeding a garden.

Firstly – Is It a Weed?

One of the most common questions in gardening is – what is a weed? Well one answer is that a weed is a plant that shouldn’t be there. This may differ from gardener to gardener. In fact, I like to tolerate daisies in my lawn because I think they look attractive. However, to others they may appear weeds. Of course there are some weeds that nobody would want in their garden like bindweed, Japanese knot weed e.t.c

Be Thorough.

It is tempting to just casually pull out weeds which grab our attention. However, if we just pull them out we do not solve the problem only prolong it. It is better to choose a small area and methodically remove all the weed roots in that particular area. Use a spade to dig up weeds trying to get most of their roots, spend time to shift through as much root as possible. After doing an area, go back in a few weeks and finish them off. Invariably you will have missed a small bit of root, but, the weed is much weaker and easier to finish off. A spray of weedkiller is likely to be more effective when you have already weakened the root system. The second time will be much quicker.  Once one area is done, move onto the next.

  • In gardening it is always more efficient to do one job at a time – rather than multitasking.

Hoe, what you can

A hoe is an enjoyable garden product to use. It is quite therapeutic to hoe a neat vegetable row. A hoe works best when it is clear where to use it. For example, it works very well in a vegetable patch with veg in neat rows. It is less effective in a mixed border where you maybe hoeing seedlings as well as weeds.

The Tough Weeds

There are some weeds which are just a real pain. I don’t know whether I will ever get rid of the Horsetail which is endemic in my garden. No matter, how often I pull it out, you never seem able to get all the roots and it just comes back. I have resigned myself to always having some in garden. But, I don’t get frustrated about something I can’t do anything about. However, I do try and keep it under control and prevent from spreading.

Mulches.

A layer of mulch can do a lot to prevent weeds sprouting. If you inherit an overgrown allotment, place a cover of plastic over to kill off the worst of the weeds.

There are some membrane layers which enable you to tackle weeds and then plant in small holes. These are time consuming to put into soil, but ultimately can be very effective and save time in the long run.

Ground Cover Plants

Make live easier for yourself. Don’t leave large spaces of blank soil, choose some attractive low growing ground cover such as comfrey. – best ground cover plants

Conclusion.

Weeding is an essential part of garden. However, to make the most effective use of your time it is better to be methodical and really aim to eradicate the worst offenders.

However, it also worth changing your mind and not get upset if the garden is not weed free . Learn to tolerate the odd weed – it is as nature intended.

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Everything you wanted to know about Bulbs but were afraid to ask

Spring Flowering Bulbs

1 Prepare well Remove weeds and incorporate lots of compost or other organic matter when planting bulbs. On heavy soils, dig in horticultural grit. Bulbs grown in pots need good drainage so put plenty of crocks in the bottom and use a well-drained compost. For my pots I use two parts John Innes No 2 with one part horticultural grit. Specialised bulb composts are expensive and only necessary in pots with poor drainage.

2 Time it right Garden centres sell bulbs for autumn planting from the end of July and want them out of the way by September to make room for Christmas-tree baubles. August is far too early to plant spring-flowering bulbs. October is the best time for daffodils; November for tulips.

3 Big, fat and firm When buying bulbs, reject any that are soft or showing signs of mould. Small bulbs may not flower in their first year.

Bulbs

4 Dig deep Bulbs should be planted in holes three to four times as deep as the bulb itself. So, for example, a 1in crocus bulb needs to be planted in a hole 3-4in deep.

5 Fritillary finesse Clumps of Fritillaria imperialis or F. persica look magnificent but can be difficult to achieve: on heavy soils the bulbs often rot during their first year. Placing the bulbs in the ground on their side will prevent water entering at the top and reduce the likelihood of them rotting.

6 Which way up? If you are not sure, plant the bulb on its side: its stem will find its own way up.

7 Force later The traditional time to start forcing hyacinths into flower is the third week of September, so they flower in time for Christmas. But there is always a surfeit of goodies at Christmas, so consider forcing bulbs for the lean weeks of January and February instead. Hyacinths will flower 10-12 weeks from potting if kept in a cool, dark room (or under a cardboard box) until they have shoots about 2in tall. ‘Paper White’ narcissi flower 8-10 weeks from potting and don’t need to be kept in the dark.

8 Bulbs for shade Not all bulbs need full sun. As well as woodland bulbs such as the dog’s tooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis), and the wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), many Mediterranean bulbs grow well in shade. Scilla peruviana has blue flowers the size of tennis balls and soon forms large colonies in cool, shady situations. Its relatives, the squills – Scilla siberica and S. bifolia – are aggressive plants that seed themselves everywhere, but the pools of blue they form are irresistible on dull spring days. The star-shaped flowers of Ipheion uniflorum create a similar effect but are less invasive.

If you have rich soil with plenty of added leafmould you will be able to grow the sumptuous black flowers of Fritillaria camschatcensis. The most majestic bulb for the dappled shade provided by deciduous trees is F. imperialis. A friend has masses of the deep orange form growing against a red-brick wall underneath a fig tree. It’s a glorious sight.

9 Plot with pots Fill large plastic pots with your favourite bulbs and, just before they are about to flower, use them to plug holes in the border. Plastic pots can also be slipped inside more elegant terracotta ones and whipped out when the bulbs are over. Store the pots behind a shed to allow the foliage to die down, keep them weed-free, top-dress with a layer of compost in the autumn, and bring them out again the following year.

10 Mark the spot Plant labels can look ugly but are indispensable for marking the position of bulbs whose foliage has died back. A discreet wooden label will prevent the frustration caused by plunging a fork into a border and spearing a clump of your favourite alliums.

11 Hedge dwellers The dry conditions at the base of hedges make ideal growing conditions for many bulbs. Tulips, and particularly species tulips, will be very happy on the south-facing side of a hedge, and can be left undisturbed for years. A few bulbs of Tulip whittallii planted at the base of my beech hedge have now formed large colonies. The bronze-orange flowers coincide with the first acid-green shoots of the beech.

On the shady side of the hedge, encourage carpets of Anemone blanda or the mauve and lavender flowers of Chionodoxa forbesii, a prolific self-seeder.

12 Damp lovers Most bulbs need a period of dry conditions, but some only thrive in moist soils. In the wild, camassias grow in rich, moist meadows and need similar conditions in the garden. Leucojums also flower better in moist soils. The snakeshead fritillary, F. meleagris, only flourishes when grown in a damp soil.

13 Singular beauty Eighteenth-century gardeners planted tulips individually, the better to appreciate their beauty. Bulbs planted singly in small terracotta pots and placed in an ordered manner around the garden bring instant elegance and formality. Use lily-flowered tulips, Fritillaria persica or large-flowered alliums.

14 Enemy tactics The biggest destroyer of bulbs, particularly in urban gardens, is the squirrel. Although they dig up daffodils they don’t eat them. But they have a voracious appetite for crocus and tulips. Planting the bulbs deeper than normal can help. Bulbs are most vulnerable after planting, when the soil is easy for squirrels to dig. Chicken-wire placed over the pot, or the freshly dug soil, will deter them.

15 Lawn games It’s not just crocus that will grow in lawns and short grass. Many miniature irises, particularly Iris histrioides, will be perfectly happy in a lawn that does not become waterlogged. Of the dwarf narcissi, it is the cyclamineus hybrids that are the best adapted to the conditions. Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Jenny’, which has creamy white flowers, spreads well in lawns. To plant, remove the turf with a spade, place the bulbs underneath and replace the turf. Don’t cut the lawn until the bulbs’ foliage has died down.

16 Long grass Bulbs can also be grown in long, rough grass if you choose tall varieties that can compete. Fritillaria pyrenaica grows to about 18in tall and is easy and vigorous, even in grass. Narcissi are well-adapted to growing in grass, particularly the pheasant’s eye narcissus, N. poeticus var. recurvus, and the old-fashioned N. ‘W. P. Milner’. To plant the bulbs, remove clumps of grass with a bulb planter or with a mattock.

17 Viola partners Wallflowers or forget-me-nots are the traditional partners for tulips. In pots and window boxes use violas instead – they will start flowering long before the tulips and provide a wide range of colour combinations. The Sorbet series is robust and floriferous.

18 More please For sheer flower-power, bulbs are the cheapest plants available, so don’t stint on the quantities you plant. Even in small gardens, massed plantings of a limited number of varieties is always most effective. In pots, allow for a dozen tulips per 12in container.

19 Lift and repeat Left in the ground, tulips degenerate each year until they die; lifted, stored and replanted the following November they re-flower well. After flowering, remove the seed head and wait for the foliage to yellow and die back, then lift the bulbs, clean off any soil and store in boxes or net bags in a cool, dry place.

20 Limit your layers Plant pots and windowboxes with no more than two layers of bulbs to prevent the unsightly spectacle of later-flowering plants appearing through the dying foliage of earlier ones.

Bulb Supply

Tulips

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5 steps to the almost perfect lawn.

5 steps to the almost perfect lawn.

While there is no magic pill to achieving a better lawn there are some basic steps you can follow that will go a long way in giving you a lush, healthy lawn you’ll be proud to walk over. Here then are the 5 basic steps to help anyone achieve a beautiful lawn.

1.

Get the mowing height right for the right time of year.
There’s more to mowing than just cutting the grass every saturday. One of the most fundamental steps to a perfect lawn is getting the mowing height right for your type of lawn and for the season.

Most grasses do best with a length of 2 – 3″. This applies for spring and early fall. In the summer, if possible, set it even higher. Never go below the minimum recommended height except for the last mowing of the season which should be around 1.5″ for most turf grasses.

Mowing height is important because the grass uses the extra length to absorb the sunshine it needs to grow and develop into a healthy plant.

Never remove more than 1/3 at any one mowing. This may mean you’ll have to mow more often during prime growing times (usually spring and early fall).

Leave the clippings on the lawn after you mow. This not only save time and energy, but the clippings decompose and add vital nutrients back into the soil. Grass cycling recycles plant nutrients back into the soil. Clippings contain the same beneficial nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium nutrients as that expensive bag of fertilizer. In fact, clippings can provide up to one-third of the annual feeding requirement for your lawn.

2.

Use a sharp blade.
The type of mower doesn’t matter, but the blade’s condition does. A dull blade tears at the grass. Take a close look at a grass blade a few days after mowing. If the blade is dull you’ll notice a jagged brown line across the tip of the cut grass. This is a good indication that your blade needs sharpening. Professional mowers sharpen their blades about every 8 hours of use. For most homeowners, twice a year is recommended.

The jagged edges caused by a dull mower blade make it more difficult for the grass to fight off pests and disease.

3.

Regulate the water intake

Over watering your lawn causes more damage than a lack of water. That’s because most turf grasses can handle dry spells, but not flooding. Most grasses require 1 – 1.5″ of water per week. This is enough water to moisten the soil to 4 – 6″ below the surface for clay soils and 8 – 10″ for sandy soils.
Don’t guess at how much water your lawn is getting. For measuring Mother Nature’s contribution, invest in a rain gauge. If at the end of the week she’s contributed enough, hold off adding more. If she comes up short, you’ll want to add some supplemental watering. Again, measure how much water your sprinkler is putting down.

You’ll have to follow local regulations when there are watering bans, but just remember that less water is acceptable and grass is a very resilient plant. When the rains do return your lawn will come back with a little encouragement on your part.

4.

Give your lawn a regular balanced diet– but don’t over-feed it!
Don’t over-feed your lawn with too much of a good thing. 4 balanced fertilizer applications a year is plenty: spring, summer, early fall and after the first frost. If you’re in drought conditions, skip the summer feeding. Never skip the fall feeding however. It’s important to use lawn products by following label instructions. Get the best results by following the directions. Overapplication will not improve performance.


5.

Prevention is the best medicine for a healthy lawn
Preventing problems is better than having to correct them. Consistent maintenance is the key. Repair bare spots as needed. Spot treat for weeds with the right herbicide following label directions. Use pre-emergent herbicides for most grassy-type weeds like crabgrass.

Soils can become compacted in high-traffic areas or in areas that have mostly clay soils. Have your lawn aerated once a year, preferably in the fall when soil temperature is around 60 degrees.

That’s it. Pretty simple actually and easy to follow.

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