Tips

Gardening on a Patio/Deck

Rating: 5.0

Increasingly the timber deck’s become the focus of summer entertaining, but it’s all too easy to forget about keeping your deck in good condition.

‘We thought that people would welcome an annual reminder about the importance of looking after their deck and some reassurance about how easy it is’, says Paul Roberg from Cabot’s. ‘So, about four years ago, we introduced the concept of Deck-cember – and it’s been very successful.’

‘We’d discovered through consumer research that homeowners weren’t re-coating their decks every year and, therefore, the timber wasn’t as well protected as it deserves to be,’ Paul continues. ‘December’s a great time to re-coat a deck as it then looks good for Christmas entertaining and is protected for the long, hot summer ahead.’

To start off, Cabot’s recommends cleaning the deck with Deck Clean according to the label instructions. ‘This is very important as the clean timber surface means the final result will look great and the coating will last longer.’

The best and fastest way to apply decking oil is with a sheepswool decking applicator (which is like a mop), but Paul says you may need to cut in around the edges with a brush as you go. ‘Cabot’s Aquadeck, which uses water-based technology, looks great and is easier to use than solvent-based products. Most importantly, it lasts twice as long as traditional solvent-based decking oils – which means that your deck looks good for longer. Apply two coats and your deck will be protected and looking fantastic for another season.’

And December’s also a good month to rejuvenate the plants that are decorating outdoor entertaining areas. If plants have been in the same pot for a number of years, think about re-potting into fresh mix. Long-term plants deserve the best, so look for a top quality premium mix like Yates Professional. Take the plant out of the pot and check roots. Prune overgrown roots, if necessary, and remove any that are rotten or slimy. Use your fingers to ‘comb’ out some of the old potting mix from sides, thereby making room for fresh potting mix.

Or, instead of putting the plant back into the same pot, encourage new growth by potting into a larger size. Don’t jump up too much – one or two sizes larger will be enough. Yates Artesian or Tuscan Edge pots have a self-watering well in the base that protects the plant from drying out and also prevents water from running onto your newly cleaned decking. Yates original Tuscan pots come with matching saucers which will also help protect the deck.

Once the plants are settled into the pots, feed with a quality, long-lasting fertiliser. Some forms of Yates Acticote can last up to twelve months so, if you’re a forgetful feeder, this means that your plants will have access to some nutrition right though until next Deck-cember. And, because decks can be tough places, protect plants from extremes by
regularly applying Yates DroughtShield.



Comments

This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For specific gardening advice visit Ask an expert Alternatively you may wish to contact us.