Our Star Buys this month are all about keeping the birds well fed, but now is the time to begin thinking about preparing to keep yourself fed through Summer. Although the ground will be too hard to do much with, it is still the best time to get planting in your greenhouse.
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How long do you plan in advanced for Christmas? Do you pull out the same, slightly beaten artificial tree from the attic or does the excitement of a real, traditional Christmas tree really cement the feeling that the festive season is here?
With the trend in recyclables and eradication of unnecessary plastics in full force a fresh tree is also the most environmentally friendly option. Even the Woodland Trust estimate that a non-recyclable PVC tree would take 20 years of use to fully cover the costs of the pollution created through their production, not to mention the transportation and discarding it when you’re ready for an upgrade!
After the destruction caused by Storm Ali you may have been looking over your wind-battered garden with a little despair.
Thankfully it’s the perfect time for pruning if you haven’t begun already and will prevent damage from further storms we will not doubt be experiencing later in the year.
Autumn is just around the corner so instead of watching your summer colour wilt, start preparing for next years Spring growth. Planting Spring flowering bulbs can be easy and rewarding if you get started early, so here are our tips to making sure you have a show-stopping bloom in 2019:
Choose your pot – Make sure to add some broken pottery or stones to the bottom to support drainage. A good bulb fibre will encourage roots to establish and provide vigorous growth.
The Anglo-Saxons called it Weod Monath (Weed Month) due to the rapid plant growth that takes place in August. While other’s find the act of weeding relaxing and rewarding, there is a great many who dislike it as much as housework!
Bare soil is unusual in nature and weeds will fill any spaces the can find. Try increasing your groundcover with low growing and dense plants such as shrubs, ferns or hostas. You’ll be encouraging wildlife into your garden too by providing them with new habitats.
With the high temperatures, we’ve been experiencing over the past month around the country, sitting in the garden under a little shade with an ice-cold drink feels just as good as a holiday abroad! Enjoy as much time in your garden as you can, keeping housekeeping duties to a steady minimum to keep your plants happy and your garden looking its best.
Once the flowers on your plants have spent, ensure you nip off the heads to encourage more buds to bloom. Sweet peas will continue to produce abundantly until October allowing you to have fresh flowers indoors and get stuck into using your herbs to help them increase in size.
Its British Tomato Week and we’ve gathered a few basic tips to get you hooked on tomato growing. Although they need regular attention they are one of the most rewarding plants, providing you with fruit all through summer.
The more roots your tomato plants have, the stronger they will be. A great tip is cutting your grow bag in half vertically and standing it on its ends. This way you’ll have deeper soil for your tomato plants to grow, but still get all the benefits of optimal soil conditions and preventing the water from draining too fast. If you don’t have room for grow bags, try them in hanging baskets as most tomato plants like to naturally hang and trail.
It can be quite daunting hunting through the many different types of lawn care and seed in the garden centre, but if you’re just looking to improve that neglected green patch in your garden, here are some easy tips to get going. Either get stuck in with a whole new lawn or try some of our products that will fill bare patches and make your grass more durable.
When applying lawn seed for a new lawn the soil needs to be cleaned from any debris and weeds. Dig over the soil to make sure any lumps are broken up and firmed before levelling it with a rake. Mix up the seeds in the box and sprinkle at the rate of 30g per square meter. Finally, lightly rake into the surface.
Plant trees, shrubs and fruit trees now so that their roots will be ready to grow when the ground begins to warm up, and provide them with a slow release fertiliser. Although hardy through most of the winter, top fruit and soft fruit blossoms will need protecting from late frost.
Cover them during the night with horticultural fleece, using canes to keep the material from touching the blossoms and make sure to remove during the day, so as not to hinder pollinators. Take care of your fruit plants now and you’ll reap the benefits of jam making ingredients through the summer – prices start at £1.99 for strawberries, though to £7 for a bush.
Seeds always make me excited. Looking at the array of colourful packets, all with hidden promise, I find it hard not to get too carried away. The great thing about growing your own is that you can choose what you want to try, instead of relying on the supermarket varieties. It gives you a chance to get adventurous both with vegetables and flowers. You are in charge.
When growing seeds the golden rule is to read the packet. This will give you the information you need such as germination time, distance apart and when you can grow outdoors, but remember we are in Scotland! Seeds require four things to germinate, temperature, water, oxygen and some require light.