If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to identify whether a critter in your garden is a friend or a foe. Thankfully, while insects do have a reputation for making pests of themselves, a lot of them can actually help to keep your garden healthy.

The bugs you want to watch out for are the ones that live in your lawn and feed on your grass. This can lead to your lawn becoming discoloured and damaged, which is the last thing you want with summer fast approaching!

These pests can very easily go unnoticed because they originate, thrive and reproduce beneath the soil. Due to this, it’s important to take action as soon as you detect a lawn pest infestation. You’ll be preventing extensive damage, and your garden will thank you.

If you suspect that your lawn is infested, contact Lawn & Weed Expert and book a free lawn survey – we will identify your lawn pests and get them under control with an appropriate treatment.

Still, as mentioned above, not all insects are bad news for your garden. Here’s some info to help you tell your enemies from your allies…

 

The Good Insects

Ladybirds

1. Ladybirds

These beautiful insects are popular within fairy tales, maybe because they can give your garden the happily ever after that it deserves. Ladybirds feed on aphids and red spider mites, both of which are extremely harmful to your garden and lawn.

The ladybird is brilliant at laying hundreds of eggs in the colonies of plant-eating pests, and she can eat up to 5,000 aphids in her short lifetime.

If you want to see more ladybirds around your garden, the following plants can help: Yarrow, Carpet Bugleweed, Alyssum, Penstemon and Fennel.

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Lawns have been popular among British homeowners for well over a century (read our blog on the history of lawns to learn how this happened). But the hectic pace of modern life can sometimes make it difficult to give one's lawn the care and attention it requires, and so a lot of people are now swapping the green, green grass of home for paving slabs and other hard landscaping materials that require relatively little upkeep.

Grass vs paving

Grass photo from Pixabay; paving photo from PrimaPorcelain.

If you're thinking of doing up your garden, you may be torn between the all-natural appeal of grass and the relative convenience of paving stones. To help you make up your mind, here are some pros and cons of both lawns and patios...

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how to protect your garden from wind

Think about the wind as you're planting

Creating a wind-proof garden can be quite tricky if you're not well acquainted with the way the wind moves through your garden. Depending on the position of your house, your outbuildings and your fences, the wind will flow around your garden in a very specific way. Some areas might be caught in a kind of 'wind tunnel' while other areas might be much more still and calm.

If you're worried about the way wind will affect your plants, we'd highly recommend planting in the calmer areas of your garden where the force of the wind tends to be its weakest.

Sometimes, the sunniest, most appropriate place to grow something lies right in the windiest part of your garden. That doesn't mean that you can't grow your plants there, it just means you have to get creative and make windbreaks to calm the wind.

To change the way the wind flows around your garden, you could add a semi-permeable fence that will still allow the air through (but at a less intense rate). Alternatively, you could plant shrubs and trees around the windy area to take the brute force of the wind and provide some protection for your more delicate plants.

Any large object like a fence, a shed, a water feature or a greenhouse can be used to deflect the wind and provide an attractive windy garden solution. Don't let the wind get the better of you!

Give unstable plants a stake

A great way to keep tall, unsteady plants from falling foul to the wind is to provide them with some kind of anchor. No, we're not talking about weighing down their stems with heavy objects to stop them blowing away (that's what the roots are for!) We're talking about providing a stake or trellis that the plants can grow around and grasp onto.

Climbing plants like tomatoes, honeysuckle and clematis all require some kind of frame or pole to latch onto for support. Whether you grow them close to a fence, create a purpose build a trellis or stick a solid wood stake in the ground, these climbing plants are sure to be thankful of it on a windy day.

These measures are ideal for low/medium winds, but you may need to take your protective measures one step further if a storm is on its way!

Reinforce your greenhouse and trellises

Sometimes winds can get out of hand and simple stakes or trellises might not do the job. If you're aware that a storm is due to arrive over the next few days, you might want to make some simple improvements to the protection you already have in place.

Adding anchors to the base of trellises and stakes will prevent them from being carried away. You could use concrete breeze blocks or make your own anchors by filling bags with soil and tying them around your stakes and trellises.

Greenhouses are generally very well-built and heavy, often made of glass or reinforced plastic. That being said, greenhouses can weaken over time, and a strong gust of wind could send your roof panels into the neighbours garden, leaving your prized plants open to the elements.

Using heavy blocks to anchor down the parts of your garden that are most prone to flying away is a great way to protect your garden from the wind. Also, ensure that all the doors of your greenhouse are closed properly, this will stop the wind from getting inside and lifting your greenhouse up and away from within!

These are just a few windy garden solutions to protect your plants from the wind. If your garden has been damaged by the wind, we may be able to help. Get in touch to discuss our expert lawn services.

Contact Lawn & Weed Expert >

Clay soil

As we explained in our blog post about the different types of soil, clay soils are made up of very small particles that are prone to clumping together.

Clay soil has a number of benefits and drawbacks, so let's take a look at both the good and the bad, then we'll explain how you can improve the quality of the soil in your garden.

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Sandy soil is made up of large soil particles that don't stick together very well. It has a gritty texture, and is especially common in coastal regions.

Sandy soil

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

As with all types of soil, sandy soil has both its benefits and its drawbacks. Let's start with the positive stuff...

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