Garden lawn

Lawn maintenance can be a chore - and it's a chore that many people simply don't bother with. Goodness knows how many perfectly lovely gardens have become unsightly and overgrown because their owners didn't look after them properly!

Of course, you don't necessarily have to do all the work yourself. Companies like Lawn & Weed Expert will do virtually everything for you: we can kill weeds, apply fertiliser, aerate the soil, clear away moss and thatch, and so forth, saving you a lot of time and hard graft.

But is that the only reason to hire a lawn care specialist - to save time? Or are there other benefits that you won't get if you attempt to tackle the lawn care checklist yourself?


Gardening for better mental health

Between the global COVID-19 crisis and the fact that many of us are currently confined to our homes, 2020 has already been a pretty tough year. The certainty of a consistent routine - going to work, taking part in sports and other leisure activities, seeing friends and family - is important for mental health, but the current pandemic has thrown everything into chaos. This can lead to a range of issues, such as depression and anxiety.

One way to address these problems is to spend some time in your garden or partaking in gardening activities. Gardens can be full of wildlife and nature, and they're great for the environment - plus gardening has a long history that's closely tied to both science and medicine.

In this blog post, we're going to look at how gardens and gardening can be good for your mental health.


Bring gardening into your everyday life

Over the years, there have been several studies examining the benefits of being in the garden. These have shown positive correlations with improved social, physical and mental health. A particular study from Growing Health, a national scheme set up by the charity Garden Organic and the membership organisation Sustain, found that simply viewing a garden (or other green space) through a window can help you to relax and reduce stress levels. Other evidence also confirmed that the physical activity of gardening can improve your mental wellbeing, which leads us to our next point.

It's common knowledge that exercise is good for us, no matter what form it may take. The NHS considers exercise essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life, and it's been medically proven that individuals who participate in regular physical activity have up to 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, less is known of the role that gardening can play in keeping us fit and healthy. Did you know that the number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening can be compared to playing volleyball or practicing yoga?


Find health and happiness

The benefits of being in your garden, of course, run far deeper than just exercise. A report from King's Fund found that the health benefits of gardening were broad and diverse, with studies displaying significant decreases in both depression and anxiety and enhanced social functioning.

Evidence suggests that there are two main modes of attention; focused and fascination. Focused attention is what we use whilst we are at work, whereas fascination is what we use whilst we participate in hobbies. In this theory, an abundance of focused attention can result in stress, where fascination then plays a part in bringing our attention back and alleviating the anxious feeling we get when we are placed under pressure or feel like we can't cope.

Whilst all of this research is crucial to understanding why we are inclined to find gardening therapeutic, it's fairly straightforward to think of the reasons why gardening can improve mental health. Whether it's an opportunity to be social, to get out of the house or to simply learn a new skill.


Going out in your garden

Now, with all of the uncertainty that is going on around the world right now, you may be wondering if you're able to even go out in your garden whilst self-isolating. In short, yes. Just because you're advised to stay at home doesn't mean you can't venture out into your garden and start gardening. We recently published a blog on the various things you can get up to while self-isolating at home and spending time in your garden - read it here.

If you feel a little daunted or overwhelmed by gardening, why not start off with an indoor houseplant first? Having a houseplant can help to make you feel calm as well as adding a natural aesthetic to your home. Most houseplants are fairly low maintenance, making it easy to learn how to look after them. There are lots of guides and advice that you can find about gardening for the first time, so start with some small and manageable and before you know it, you'd have learned quite a bit!

There are a lot of ways that you can begin to incorporate gardening and plants into your daily routine. Whether you suffer from mental health issues, know someone else who does, or simply want to enhance your wellbeing, there is a garden out there for all.

To keep up-to-date with the latest garden and lawn care news from Lawn and Weed Expert, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Dog in the back garden

SHORT ANSWER: Yes, you can still use your own garden while self-isolating. You should not have any visitors in your home or garden if you're displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have received a positive test.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on our way of life. In an effort to the slow the spread of the coronavirus, we have all spent this year doing our best to:

  • Minimise unnecessary face-to-face contact
  • Stay at home, only going out when essential
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Practise 'social distancing' by staying at least 6 feet (approximately 2 metres) from others

Most importantly, those who display symptoms of COVID-19 (or receive a positive test result) must self-isolate for 10 days in order to avoid infecting other people.


What does 'self-isolate' mean?

If you are required to self-isolate, you must:

  • Stay at home
  • Keep away from school / work and all public places, including public transport
  • Order food and medicine online or by phone instead of going to the shops
  • Not have any visitors (except essential care providers) in your home
  • Exercise in your own home or garden instead of going out

For more information, read the NHS guide to self-isolation.

Of course, keeping yourself cooped up for days on end can be a lonely experience and a real drain on your mental health - especially if you're used to going out and socialising every day.

However, just because you're staying at home doesn't necessarily mean you need to stay indoors - if you have a garden, you can still make use of it even when self-isolating. If you are self-isolating right now, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to get more out of your outdoor space.

Here are some ideas...


Give your garden a little TLC

Is there a job that you've been putting off for months? Perhaps you've been meaning to prune that hydrangea bush or repaint the fence, but you haven't gotten around to it yet?

Well, it's springtime now - the weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and thanks to the coronavirus, you may well have an unprecedented amount of free time on your hands at the moment.

So now's the time to work your way down that list of garden jobs that you've been avoiding for goodness knows how long. Not only will your garden look nicer by the time you're done, you'll also have had a lot of fresh air and exercise that you'd have missed out on had you spent the afternoon watching TV.


Try something new

If you've only ever used your back garden for sunbathing and the occasional barbecue, now might be a good time to branch out a bit. Planting flowers is a simple pleasure, and it's always very rewarding when those colourful blossoms begin to appear.

Better yet, why not take this opportunity to start growing your own food? Read our When to Plant Fruit & Veg blog for some top tips!


All work and no play...

But you don't have to use every waking minute of your self-imposed isolation productively. If planting tomatoes and pulling up weeds sounds too much like hard work, why not use your back garden to add a bit of variety to your leisure time?

Playing or exercising in the garden is a great way to break up the day - plus it's important to go outside every so often in order to keep your vitamin D levels up. It's important to stay healthy even when you're stuck at home!

If the grass in your garden has seen better days, our lawn care services may be just the thing to revive your outdoor space and make your time at home a little easier to enjoy. Give us a call on 0800 111 4958 to book your FREE lawn care survey - we have continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we can work on your lawn while observing the latest safety guidelines.

Contact us to request a FREE lawn survey

Originally published in March 2020. Updated 5th November 2020.

Spring is the perfect time to get your vegetable patch back up and running. If you've never tried growing your own, why not use March and April to get green-fingered and grow your own veg?

We've chosen three vegetables that are fairly easy to get started with, but don't let that limit you - it's possible to grow all sorts of things in your very own vegetable patch!

In this blog, we take a look at when to plant fruit and vegetables in your garden so you can take advantage of what nature has to offer.

A pile of fruit and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables should be planted in March/April, so now is definitely the time to get your plot up and running. Everything has different growing requirements, so before committing, make sure you have the correct plants for your garden and be sure to stock up on pots and compost.

Here are a few simple planting instructions for some of the UK's favourite fruit and veg.

When to Plant Potatoes

When to plant your potatoes depends on what kind of potatoes you're growing. New potatoes must be planted earlier as they appear earlier in the summer, but the big 'maincrop' potatoes can wait until mid-April. Remember, as potatoes are root vegetables, they need space to grow - so make sure you have a plot or pot big enough.


New potatoes are an ideal crop for beginners - they're less prone to diseases like potato blight, and though they're expensive to buy in shops, they're surprisingly easy to grow yourself. You'll never get them from the supermarket again!

Simply plant your new potatoes in March (with adequate frost protection) and wait 10 to 12 weeks. Your new potatoes should be planted 12cm deep and 30cm apart, in rows. You'll have the perfect potatoes before you know it!

'Maincrop' potatoes are larger - these are the ones you'll want to use for mash, roasties and jacket potatoes. These take longer to mature, so they're harvested later in the summer. Plant these in mid to late April, then harvest from late July to September. Plant your seed tubers 12cm deep and then space them 75cm apart, in rows. These larger potatoes usually taking 16 to 22 weeks to grow.

When to Plant Carrots

Carrots grow best in open, sunny, well-drained soil. Luckily the sowing season is quite long, meaning you can plant any time from February to July; however most varieties of carrot grow best between April and July.

Carrots in a wicker basket

The great thing about carrots is that they are drought resistant, making them perfect for the longer, drier summers we have been experiencing lately. However, remember to use horticultural fleece - pests like the carrot fly can rot your carrots, meaning all your work will be for nothing! Horticultural fleece will stop pests from getting to your veg, so it's wise to invest in some if you're planning to do some growing.

When to Plant Tomatoes

Tomatoes need a little bit of extra love to grow properly, but they are relatively easy despite the extra steps. Sowing your tomato seeds indoors will give them a head start. Keep the seeds in pots wrapped in plastic bags so the leaves can sprout. Once the flowers on the first 'truss' open, transfer the plant to a growing bag. A truss, by the way, is the little cluster of small stems; you should be able to see them beginning to develop as your tomato plant grows!

Red tomatoes on a vine

Alternatively, most garden centres will have young plants that you can put straight in the ground. You should aim to plant tomatoes in May or June. You'll find that it won't take long for little tomatoes to grow, and once they turn red, they will be ready for eating!

And there you have it, the best times to plant fruit and vegetables in your garden! As you can see, planting and growing your own fruit and veg comes with a load of benefits that outweigh buying them from supermarkets so knowing when to plant them definitely comes in handy. 

We know how much joy an abundant garden can bring. Why not book a Spring Lawn Treatment so you can grow your veggies and flower beds with peace of mind, knowing your lawn is already taken care of?

For information on when to plant fruit or vegetables in your garden or how to get your garden growing-ready, be sure to get in touch with a member of the Lawn & Weed Expert team today.

 Garden clearance

Has your garden gotten a little out of hand? Perhaps you've been away on holiday for a few months, suffered an injury that's kept you indoors, or you're sorting out the home of a relative who's passed away? Whatever the reason, if you can no longer see the wood for the trees, it may be time to consider a complete garden clearance.

Luckily for you, the professional team here at Lawn & Weed Expert provides thorough and effective garden clearance services that ensure the mess from your garden is taken away in the right way, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space right away!

Request a FREE Garden Survey >


Treatments in our garden clearance service


Removing weeds from your garden


Weeds growing through wall

It's safe to say that, given the opportunity, weeds will appear all over your garden. Between the cracks in your paving, scaling the walls of your home, in amongst the grass...they really can survive just about anywhere!

Even if you're a keen gardener, you'll know that tackling weeds is a constant struggle, and a neglected garden is likely to be particularly inundated with weeds. Fear not - part of our garden clearance service is treating the wild weeds.

Learn all about how our professional weed control services can help with your garden clearance. 

Our Weed Control Service >



Treating garden fungus


The longer a garden is left to its own devices, the higher the chances that a serious fungus problem will develop. Dark areas of wild undergrowth and a bit of surface moisture create the perfect conditions for fungus to thrive, and while some wild mushrooms can be rather pretty, others can be incredibly dangerous - especially if you have pets! As part of our garden clearance service, we will locate, identify and eradicate any fungal friends lurking in your lawn.

Fungus & Mould Removal >



Garden pest control

Molehills in garden

As part of our comprehensive garden clearance service, we can eradicate any unwanted pests that have popped up amongst the overgrowth. Whether a nest of ants, a cluster of chafer grubs, an army of moles or a swarm of insects have made their way into your garden, our garden clearance specialists will be sure to send them packing. This gives your garden the best chance of a full recovery.

Our Pest Control Services >


Our garden clearance service is an excellent option if you want a fresh start with your neglected garden. We'll put you on the right path towards a glorious garden.

If you have a garden that needs clearing, or would like to learn more about the steps involved in organising our garden clearance services, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

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