Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance, Latest News.

There are always plenty of maintenance jobs to do in the garden and winter is no exception to that. Let’s take a quick look at some of the jobs you can be doing over the next couple of months:

1. General repairs to fences, sheds and garden buildings
2. Cleaning foot paths of algae and moss
3. Pruning fruit trees, shrubs, roses
4. Spraying fruit trees and roses to get rid of black spot spores
5. Protect any plants or pots which might be vulnerable to frost
6. Get rid of damaged/diseased foliage around shrubs and trees
7. Mulch around your fruit trees and shrubs
8. Repair and sharpen garden tools
9. Look after the birds in your garden by providing fresh water, birds seeds, fat balls etc
10.Insulate outdoor taps


In the winter it can seem that all growth in your garden has stopped. However, there’s still a lot going on under the soil such as trees and shrubs, perennials, and bulbs growing roots and drawing on the soil nutrients and moisture around them. Worms and other insects in the soil will also be processing the organic material in the ground and providing necessary aeration.

What can put a big halt to this is a substantial frost or heavy snow. To protect against this you should spread new mulch to protect both your plants and soil from extreme temperatures. By keeping your soil and plants at an even temperature during the winter months you are giving them the best chance to yield and thrive during spring and summer.

There are plenty of jobs around the garden you can be doing during winter and we’ve barely scratched the surface with the above. Garden maintenance is something that requires time, commitment and patience so if you could do with a helping hand or need some friendly advice on how best to maintain your garden during the harsh winter months then please give us a call on 08000 35 1133.

Posted by & filed under Latest News, Tree Work.

If a large tree is causing a problem in your garden or if you have a tree that is already dead and needs removing then there are quite a few things to consider before starting the project. The size of the tree and the accessibility to the tree is clearly going to be a major consideration. If the tree is close to electricity cables or water pipes then great care has to be taken. In situations like this the removal process may have to take place in various stages to ensure safety and that no damage is caused.


There are also important considerations if the tree overhangs a road or public highway. In situations like this then the tree surgeon may have to implement traffic control measures or even road closures to facilitate the work. In order to do this then consent needs to be gained from the local authority and the additional costs met by the tree owner.

In addition to the removal of the tree there is also the issue of stump removal. Stump removal is a separate process and requires different equipment. Using stump grinding machines is a good way of removing the stump. Stump grinding machines have cutter wheels which are specifically made to grind a stump into tiny pieces and typically, a stump grinder can grind a stump 6 inches below the ground, removing all visible trace that the stump was ever there.

Only deal with reputable tree removal companies

Any reputable tree surgery company should offer a removal service ensuring that any chopped wood is taken off your premises and disposed of appropriately. We advise you to always be wary of rogue traders who offer incredibly cheap tree removal services. These traders are unlikely to have the public liability insurance or the training needed to carry out the job safely and effectively.

We would also advise that homeowners should not tackle tree removal themselves or hire a handyman. The work can be very dangerous and you need to make sure that there are appropriate indemnity insurances in place.

At Gardenbusters we have many years experience in tree removal and possess all the relevant insurances to carry out the work professionally and to a high standard. Contact us now for more information.

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance, Latest News.

Rather than bagging up all those autumn leaves here are a few practical tips about how you can make use of those fallen leaves and benefit your garden at the same time:

Use them for compost – leaves are great for adding to your compost material. They provide a rich high-carbon material which adds to the quality. Ideally chopped or shredded, you can add your leaves to grass clippings, fruit and veg scraps, plant debris etc and with the occasional turning of the pile it will turn into useful compost for future planting.

Mow over them – this couldn’t be simpler. Set the wheels on your mower to their highest setting and mow over the leaves on your lawn. This will break them down and provide your soil with good nutrients. Doing this once a week will mean less lawn feeds later and it will actually improve the look of your lawn in the long run.

Turn them into leaf mould – if you use some of your leaves with layers of garden soil and compost and leave it for 12 months it will turn into leaf mould which is a fantastic soil amendment which is perfect for vegetable and flower gardens as wells as potting plants.

Make some mulch – if you can shred your leaves then you can use them as mulch for vegetable gardens, flower beds, around trees and shrubs and for container gardens. The mulch will help the soil retain moisture and keep it cool. This helps to keep weed growth down and adds important nutrients to the soil.

So there you have it. Put down that rake, maybe invest in a leaf shredder, and put your leaves to practical use. It makes a lot more sense than bagging them up and leaving them to the refuse collectors!

For more gardening tips and assistance with your gardening tasks please get in touch. We would be happy to help.

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance.

You’d be surprised how much gardening work there is to do during winter. Just because the grass has stopped growing doesn’t mean you can put your feet up. Far from it, there’s a big list of things you can be getting on with. For example:

General garden clearance – removing leaves, branches, twigs, debris etc from your paths, beds and lawn. Making sure that your planting beds are not covered by any wet and sodden debris which may be affecting underlying plants. Getting rid of unwanted shrubs and clearing space in the garden for spring.

Tool maintenance – sharpen the blades on your cutting tools, service the lawnmower, clean and oil your garden tools.

Lawn – new turf for your lawn can be laid from January/February onwards and check your lawn for any drainage problems. Lawns can be scarified, aerated and fed with an organic spring feed in late winter/early spring. Reshape and repair lawn edges for the start of spring

Pruning – this is a great time for pruning roses, deciduous hedges, shrubs and fruit trees.

Planting – plant out winter bedding. Hedges and roses can be planted during winter. Trees such as beech, ash and walnut can also be planted. You can also sow peas and broad beans in pots as long as you keep them under cover.

Greenhouses – if you own a greenhouse, check that it is sufficiently heated and insulated to cope with the winter months.

Vegetables – If you grow vegetables winter is a good time to harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and remaining root crops.

These are just some of the tasks that will keep you busy during the winter months and there are many more.

If you need any assistance with garden maintenance during winter so that your garden can look its best for the start of spring then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Posted by & filed under Latest News, Tree Work.

Summer is almost over and attention now turns to preparing for autumn and winter. Now is the perfect time to give your trees some much needed TLC to prepare them for the months ahead.

There is a misconception during autumn that trees are going through a dormant and shutting down phase. In fact the opposite is true. During autumn trees are getting ready to grow and are starting to gather the food reserves they need to keep them thriving. Much of this activity takes place below ground so you can’t physically see it.

In order to help trees thrive during the autumn and winter so that they can bloom in spring there are some practical measures you can take to help them. These include:

Laying mulch – spread a layer of organic wood chip mulch around the base of the tree. Around 4 to 6 inches should suffice. This will help to protect the soil around the tree and keep the nutrients that the trees need to thrive.

Prune – remove any dead wood, damaged twigs and branches to promote new growth.

Water – if there is little rainfall in autumn then watering your trees will help them grow, especially if they have been recently planted or newly established,

Fertilise – only do this if the soil in your garden is devoid of nutrients. If you know this to be the case then your trees will benefit from occasional fertilising.

Planting – Autumn is an excellent time for planting new trees. Growing conditions are perfect and excellent root growth can be achieved by planting trees in the autumn months.

Recycle leaves – fallen leaves can be mulched and added to compost, providing nutrients for the soil. This is a much better option than leaving them for the garden waste refuse collection.

If you are unsure how to prune your trees and need advice on how to take care of them so that they can thrive for the future then give Garden Busters a call. We have many years experience in tree care and garden maintenance and would be happy to help.

Posted by & filed under Tree Work.

Having an unwanted tree stump in your garden can be a nuisance and trying to remove it yourself can be very time consuming, labour intensive and more often than not, unsuccessful. If you are trying to use a chainsaw to get rid of a tree stump you can only cut it so far without damaging the chainsaw on the ground and trying to remove the stump from below the ground level is virtually impossible without the right equipment.

At Garden Busters we provide a comprehensive stump grinding service that can remove stumps from well beneath the ground level. Using the latest machinery we are able to tackle any size of tree stump and remove it without hassle.

Removing tree stumps will improve the look of your garden, enable you to use that space again, make it easier to mow your grass and not cause a safety problem from tripping over it all the time. That’s the thing with tree stumps in the garden, if you’ve got one you’ll lose count on the amount of times you will trip over it! Stump grinding can cure that for you!

Effective and Environmentally-Friendly

Other benefits of stump grinding is the accuracy in which the job can be carried out, without causing any damage to surrounding plants, trees or landscaping. Once it’s gone you’ll hardly remember that it was ever there.

Not only that, stump grinding can stop disease spreading to other trees and plants. Conservation groups often call in stump grinding specialists to get rid of contaminated stumps before they can spread disease to surrounding vegetation. This helps to preserve the trees and plants surrounding it and ultimately improves the environment for everyone.

Stump grinding machines have cutter wheels which are specifically made to grind a stump into tiny pieces and typically, a stump grinder can grind a stump 6 inches below the ground, removing all visible trace that the stump was ever there.

If you’ve got a stump that you keep tripping over and spoils the look of your garden then please give us a call. We would be happy to help you.

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

Slugs and snails are the bane of many gardeners and they are always appearing in the top 10 of the most annoying garden pests in horticultural lists.

It’s pretty easy to spot whether you have a slug or snail problem. Your leaves will be plagued with strange shaped holes and the shimmering slime trails will be evident across your bedding plants and plant containers.

So, how do you tell if it’s a slug causing the problem, or a snail, or both?

Well, you can usually tell by the type of damage they are doing. Both of them leave slimy trails but snails tend to be the best climbers. Therefore if you can see a slimy trail going up your brickwork and your hanging basket has been decimated then you can put your money on that being a snail.

Snails also tend to be more discerning eaters. They are the fine diners between the two and they will go for the softer bits of the leaf only.

Slugs on the other hand are more your fast food junkie. They eat anything that’s going and they tend to stay at ground level.

So how can you deal with slugs and snails?

There are a few options you could try. Let’s take a quick look at some of them:

Create a rough barrier – This means making a barrier around your plants that is difficult for slugs and snails to cross. This barrier could consist of sharp gravel, egg-shells, or any kind of sharp material and it will need to be at least 5cm wide with no gaps. This will certainly deter some of the slugs and snails but it can be a bit hit and miss and also difficult to achieve with bedding plants.

Create a salt barrier – Slugs and snails hate salt. It dehydrates them and stops them in their tracks. However, you’ve still got the same practical problems as with a rough barrier so it’s a bit hit and miss.

A beer container – Slugs and snails love beer so if you put a container in your garden then they will gravitate towards it, drink too much and probably drown. This can be pretty effective and will certainly help as a diversionary tactic.

A bran container – The same goes for bran. They absolutely love it, eat too much of it and effectively explode from eating it because the bran swells inside of them. Once again, fairly effective and a good diversion

Nematodes – This is a biological way of dealing with slugs and snails and can be very effective. Nematodes are microscopic creatures that you can buy and once you put them on your plants (they’re non-toxic and will not affect you or any wildlife) they will kill the slugs and snails. Nematodes only last 6 weeks and they can only be used in spring and summer when it’s warmer.

All of the above are tried and tested ways of dealing with slugs and snails and some are more effective than others. You will notice that we haven’t mentioned snail pellets because whilst they do work, they can also kills hedgehogs and some birds so they’re not a very wildlife-friendly option.

Snails and slugs will always be with us and it’s a battle that most gardeners have to deal with every year. Make sure you come out on top!

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance.

In order to get the most out of your garden and to have it looking in peak condition, it pays to have a plan. Knowing what you should be planting and when is all part and parcel of this so over the next couple of months here are a few recommendations:

Planting for May

Hopefully the threat of frost has now subsided and you can get on with planting your half-hardy annuals. Plants such as foxgloves, wallflowers and sweet williams can be sowed now as can any biennials. If you have any dahlias that you have raised from cuttings now would be a good time to plant those as well.

Make sure you are mowing your lawn regularly and ensure to water any seeded and newly turfed areas.

If you are into your vegetables then you can continue to make sowings of carrots, beans, peas and lettuce. You can also plant out Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, marrows and melons.

Planting for June

As the summer approaches your garden will be coming alive. Finish off the planting out of bedding and half-hardy plants and fill your borders with sweet peas and morning glory. It’s also hanging basket time! Get them filled with petunias and black-eyed Susan and enjoy the colour.

It’s also time for a bit of maintenance such as removing the seedpods from azalea and rhododendrons and spreading compost around shrubs and roses to keep them moist and protect them from the warmer weather.

For the vegetable enthusiasts now is a good time to sow courgettes, spinach, rocket and beans. If you’re lucky you may also be able to harvest some of your early summer cabbages and cauliflowers this month. And don’t forget, you can grow a range of different vegetables in large pots and growbags.

Every month brings a whole new set of plants to sow, maintenance to be done and jobs to think about. That is the pleasure of gardening; you will never run out of things to do!

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance, Latest News.

That’s the thing with gardening. You always need to be thinking ahead to what needs doing and preparing the way for the next season. With that in mind, now’s a good time to start preparing your lawn for summer. Spring may only have just started but there’s no time like the present to get your lawn into shape. Here are a few tips and hints to get you going:

– It may seem obvious but one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy lawn is mow it regularly. Over the winter months your lawn would have taken a bit of a bashing so now that spring is here and the grass is growing, a regular cut every week will be an excellent start.

* Spring is an excellent time to apply some lawn feed and weed treatment. This will not only improve the colour of the grass, it will also strengthen the grass roots, give it more density and help control any existing weeds.

* Time for a bit of moss control. Hand rake or scarify the lawn so that any moss is removed.

* If you have developed some sparse areas of grass over winter, now would be a good time to do some over-seeding, rake the new seeds in gently, cover the area with some net to protect from birds and water every 2 or 3 days, especially if there hasn’t been any rain.

That should be enough to get you started! If you do all of the above and regularly apply lawn and weed treatments to your grass then you should be able to look forward to a beautifully lush and green lawn for the summer. It’s then a case of keeping it that way.

Assuming that we don’t have any hose pipe bans if you water your lawn once a week then that should be sufficient. It’s worth noting every square metre of grass needs about 20 litres of water every 7 days to keep it nice and healthy….that’s 5 gallons in old money!

And remember, if all of this lawn preparation and garden maintenance seems a bit too taxing then you can always call on the team here at Gardenbusters to do it for you. It’s what we’re here for!