33 WELCOME TO YOUR NEW HOME keepmoat.com 34 LOOKING AFTER YOUR GARDEN It takes time to fully establish a new garden and as the homeowner you will need to undertake ongoing maintenance to help it flourish. As standard, we provide a suitable garden with soil preparation, including top soil. And if you’ve chosen turf as an optional extra we will ensure this is laid before you move in (subject to weather conditions). It is your responsibility to put in the time to maintain and establish your new garden, so here are some things to note. Your lawn Regular ongoing maintenance of your new turf is crucial, a new garden can require more maintenance than an established one. Everyone loves a lush, green lawn. So, if you’ve had lawn laid, we’d recommend keeping off it for the first four to six weeks, this will allow it to settle down evenly and prevent lumps and bumps. Even small feet and paws can make a dent in the turf as it settles. Mow your lawn regularly from late March until early October and try to keep the grass to 25 – 50mm long. Adjust the mowing height on your lawn mower as required to avoid scalping the ground. Keeping the lawn slightly longer on the last cut of the year will give it better protection over the winter months. Note: Keepmoat is not responsible for the ongoing maintenance of your garden after legal completion. Newly laid turf should be watered daily until well‐rooted. Watering during the coolest part of the day, typically early morning or evening, to avoid boiling the turf. Water your lawn thoroughly during dry weather. As a guide, water your lawn if it has not rained for 5‐10 days. If the lawn turns brown during the summer, don’t worry, it should recover when the rain returns. To keep the turf in good condition, use a lawn fertiliser late March to April and again in May to August to help. Fertilisers should be applied when the soil is moist, or when rain is expected. You can also apply a selective lawn weed killer in April to May and again in September. Rake out any dead moss, leaves and thatch to encourage healthy growth. It’s always a good idea to aerate the lawn now and again by spiking it with a fork as this improves drainage and encourages root growth. Remove any objects, toys or garden furniture from the grass after use. Pets Pets are a delight to own but some can have a detrimental effect on your lawn. Bitches are notorious for ‘burning’ grass where they have urinated. Even ‘next door’s cat’ can leave marks. The signs to look for are dead or burnt circles. The best remedy is to dilute the urine with water to lessen the scorching effect. Trees, shrubs and plants If you have shrubs and plants in your garden it’s a good idea to keep the soil around them moist from March until September until they are well established. Keeping them free from weeds and grass will help them flourish too. It’s worth noting that if you plant any trees or hedges, that they take moisture out of the soil, so if you have clay in your soil, new planting may cause the earth to shrink and removing trees and hedges may make the earth swell. Fencing To keep your fencing looking good and to make sure it lasts longer, we recommend giving it a preservative treatment every other year. In the event of storm damage, you should refer to your home insurer. Paving Any weeds that crop up can usually be pulled off the surface of most paving or scraped off using a hoe or similar tool. Removal of the weed often brings away some of the sand, and this should be replaced so the slabs remain in place. The most straightforward way to clean your paving is to scrub with warm, soapy water. You can use washing‐up liquid and wash off the area with clean water to ensure no soapy residue is left behind. Drainage and inspection chambers Drainage for the property is often routed across gardens and frontages. The system also includes inspection chambers which may be located on paths or in the soft ground. These chambers have an important role in the maintenance of a free‐running drainage system. Therefore, they must not be covered or overgrown with foliage. Things to bear in mind about your new garden: • Garden levels – The exact size and nature of a garden is unique to each new home, which means there can be changes in the finished level. You should be aware that no garden will be completely flat. Garden slopes may be used to overcome smaller level variances and retaining walls and structures may be used to overcome significant changes in level. • Soil condition ‐ The soils within your garden are naturally occurring and therefore the characteristics of the soil can vary. Clay‐based soils are prevalent in many parts of the country due to our high levels of rainfall and you may experience some areas in your garden becoming saturated during and following periods of heavy rain. • Garden drainage ‐ Your garden drainage system mimics the pre‐development drainage situation as closely as possible. Whilst we provide a drainage system for surface water from homes and roads, it is industry practice that green areas such as gardens are not drained as they contribute towards natural water attenuation of rainfall.