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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Easy to Grow Vegetables for Beginners


Growing your own plants and gardening isn’t as hard as it looks. In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do to make it easier on yourself, and when you start with the below you will soon see results in no time at all.

Salad Leaves

Crunchy leaves really do come in a huge range of flavours and textures. They are super easy to grow, and you can sow them throughout the summer months. They are ideal for making sandwiches with and they will continue growing as you harvest them.
 Assorted Vegetable Lot

Radish

Radish is ideal for spicing up your salad and the best thing about it is that it is super easy to grow. You don’t even need a lot of space either because they can grow in containers. You can sow them into the ground during the summer if you have a garden and they come in a huge range of colourful variations. If you have never tried growing your own radish before then now is most certainly the time for you to get started because it’s both easy and super rewarding.
 Selective Focus Photography of Vegetables in Basket



Potatoes

One fun crop to grow is potatoes. If you don’t have a lot of space then you can put them in potato bags that are partly filled with compost. When you start to see the green shoots appear, you can then cover it with a bit more compost. It’s important that you keep on repeating this until the entire bag is full. Of course, they will need a lot of watering but after 10 weeks, you will then be able to rummage out your own home-grown potatoes! When choosing a variety, try and make sure that you think about what you are planning on using them for. Some are better for roasting for example, and others are better for mash.

Peas

Peas are a trouble-free crop that are more than happy to grow in colder weather. You need to try and sow them into the ground and you can also enjoy the super sweet flavour that they have to offer. Put up some chicken wire in the garden to support them and before you know it, you’ll be amazed at how much they produce.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are ideal when grown in a greenhouse and they are super-fast growing too. If you have never grown tomatoes before then it helps to keep them in a place that has plenty of sunlight. If you need to pick up a greenhouse then Cultivar have plenty available. Of course, when you have chosen your greenhouse, you then need to make sure that you keep on trimming the tomatoes so that they stay healthy. When they are nice and red, pick them and throw them into a nice salad. This is the best way for you to enjoy them and they are really fresh too.

So growing vegetables doesn’t have to be hard and when you put the work in you will soon find that there are endless varieties for you to choose from. Gardening has never been more fun!

DG

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Taking Bay Cuttings

An essential herb you should have available to you is bay (Laurus nobilis) it is an easily available plant to buy but if you want to grow your own heres how!
  1. Take a heel cutting, a fresh shoot or tip in early summer or in the autumn. Cut from a mature bay tree don't be tempted to take one from a young plant. The cutting should be about 8cm (3") long.

  2. Strip off the upper and lower leaves from the cutting.

  3. Dip the intended root end into a cutting rooting hormone powder. This will stimulate vigorous root growth.

  4. Put the cutting into a small pot filled with two-thirds coarse sand and one-third good quality multi-purpose compost.

  5. Put the container under a plastic bag hanging over wire or similar to keep it from touching or landing on the cutting. This creates a mini-greenhouse for the cutting.

  6. Be patient. It will take around 9 months for the cutting to root.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Sowing Seeds And Bulbs In The Spring


Image 

Our favourite time of year is almost upon us and we are starting to prepare the outdoor space for all of the new life it is about to bloom during the spring and the summer. Spring is a wonderful time of year and if you have been sick of your boring garden for the last few months, now you will be able to finally see some colour emerging from the beds.

Spring is of course the ideal time for us to start planting many different seeds and bulbs, and this is why we are going to chat about how to do it today.

Sowing seeds indoors 
If you buy a few seed sachets you will notice that the date to plant them inside and outside are different. This is due to the fact that the house provides a less harsh environment for the plants as they develop and therefore it can be a good place to start your sowing process if you want to get going early this year. You can plant most seeds inside right now and flowers like marigolds are an ideal candidate for indoor sowing and growing. You can grab some fibre pot trays from your local garden centre and plant one seed into each pot, cover in water and leave in a sunny spot in the house. Once the seedlings are strong and roots begin to show through the fibre pot, it is time for you to plant them outside in your beds.

Sowing outdoors 
If you want to make a change to your garden for the spring there are lots of ways you can do it. You could paint your shed a new colour, grab some new chairs from Alice's Garden, or start growing your own fruit… but we are going to take a look at how to dig out your beds to sow new seeds. Digging out your old flowerbeds is a big job and it will take you a lot of time and effort to do. Make sure that you get rid of all bulbs and roots you can see which you don’t want to be in the space any longer. Once your bed is clear you can cover with some fresh compost for extra nutrients and sow a few seeds. Make sure to space seeds apart to allow for growing, and water them thoroughly to allow them to germinate. If you are looking for lots of colour, a wild cottage seed mix is a great choice here.

Sowing bulbs 
Bulbs and tubers can be a little harder than seeds because they usually need more space to grow and they can have very specific needs. If you were to grab a couple of begonia bulbs from your garden centre now you would need to find a spot in the sunlight for them to grow, and you would need to ensure each bulb had a space of at least 15 cm between them to allow them to grow. Once you do this you’ll need to water regularly and you may even need to stake the plant once it grow to a certain height as the flowers can be heavy. You can find instructions for all different plants on their packet or online.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Why it’s useful to have a shed





As a gardener, seasoned or new, you will know that gardening can be one of the most rewarding pastimes; immersing yourself in your garden and seeing the results. However, taking care of your garden can require a lot of hard work and tools, this is where your garden storage comes into play. There is nothing more irritating and time consuming than having to go back and forth to the house to get your tools. The UK's premier retailer of quality garden and leisure buildings, GBC Group, recommend that a shed could be the perfect solution for you; it provides a safe and practical place to store your tools and provides easy access whilst you’re gardening. Sheds compliment gardens perfectly so if you feel like your garden is lacking something, it could well be a shed that you are looking for.

Uses
The primary use for a garden shed seems pretty obvious; to store gardening equipment and tools. However, the uses are actually vast, and you don’t have to limit yourself to one thing. A shed is a great place for storage; both of gardening tools and miscellaneous items, having somewhere outside the house to store things means you can free up space inside. Storing tools and equipment inside a shed means it can be locked and everything kept safe.

If you want to use your shed for something completely different, that’s not a problem. Sheds can serve as a space separate from your house where you can relax, work, enjoy a hobby or basically do whatever you please. Many people choose to use their shed as a workspace or hobby room, this way you have somewhere completely your own to enjoy. If you work from home, you can use your shed as a home office and enjoy sitting in your garden whilst you work. If gardening is your main hobby or interest you can even use a shed as an indoor greenhouse or garden during winter months.

Building
The key to a successful shed is building a good base, if you have a stable and strong base to your shed you can be sure that it will be long lasting and secure. If you’re wondering how to build a shed base, it’s quite simple. In general sheds are easy to build, so it shouldn’t be a worry. If you’re not keen on the building aspect, you can always enlist the help of an expert.

Advantages
There are many advantages to having a garden shed; for starters it completes the garden. It may come as no surprise that sheds are the perfect accessory for any garden, after all they were created for that sole purpose. There are many different sheds you can choose from, there are some stunning designs to bring your garden to life.

Having a shed or garden room can actually add value to your property, something worth considering if you are going to be selling your home or renting it out. In general, sheds are a straight forward, cost effective way to add space to your property. What you choose to do with the space is entirely your choice and the opportunities are endless.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Handy Ways to Restore and Renew Your Tired Garden


You aren’t afraid to say that you take great pride in your garden. When your backyard is looking a little tattered and torn you don’t quite feel complete. Your house can be as messy as you like, but the garden is definitely a place of peace and sanctuary for you, so you want to get it up to scratch again. You want to renew your garden so that it feel fabulous again, even during the cold winter months. There are so many different ways that you have revive your outdoor space right now so take a look at some of the following ideas.



Fabulous Fences

There is nothing more annoying than seeing your fences become tattered, tired and worn during the cold, treacherous months. Panels may have come loose and the colour might have faded due to bad weather. If this is the case for your fences, then you should definitely consider ColourFence. They can not only help you restore your old fences, but they could also install completely new ones for you. Look into their services and see how they can help to revive your sleepy garden, so it can look glorious again.

A New Shade For Your Shed

Every avid gardener knows that there is nothing uglier than an old shed in the corner of the garden. You could have the most beautiful flower arrangements and stunning hedges, but a sad shed can completely ruin the entire vibe. If you’re not quite ready to get rid of your beloved shed just yet, why not paint it a fun colour? It could really become a statement feature outside, instead of a gloomy outcast. Choose a calming pastel hue or a bright and bold red tone to really make it stand out.

Beautiful Blooms

One of your favourite pastimes definitely has to be planting bulbs and seeds so that they can blossom and bloom over the months. Whether you’re dreaming of daffodils or crazy about chrysanthemums, there are so many different options you can choose from. It’s time to get a little creative with your colour schemes, so that you can truly inject some zest into your garden.

Happy Herb Patch

There are many reasons why you should start a herb garden of your own. Imagine stepping out of your back door and picking fresh sprigs of rosemary or mint for your favourite dinner dish. This could all become a reality if you just start up your own herb patch in the back garden. Choose your favourite flavours and smells, tend to them carefully over time and you will end up with a proud patch in your back garden that will serve you well for life.

So find your favourite ideas for your garden and roll with them. You have enough creativity and technique to make something special out of your outdoor space. Whether you’re planting the perfect flowers or creating a happy herb patch, there are so many different options for you to explore. Find your winning idea and your garden will be looking glorious in no time.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus when bought in the supermarket are usually imported and they usually do not have the same delicious flavour compared to when you grow your own produce. If you are going to grow asparagus at home you can either grow from seed or buy plants. 

Buying asparagus plants is a quick way to get started, typically retailers sell 1 or 2 year old plants. However, as with many crops the choice of varieties is often not as wide as from growing by seed. There is also the risk of failure with bought plants, and a small percentage will not establish well. Personally I prefer to grow from seed but the choice is entirely yours. 

By growing asparagus from seed usually gives the best results, and generally you will end up with more plants than you need. You can sow either in pots first or directly into the ground, if you opt for direct sowing then there is no transplanting or root shock to delay valuable root development. 

Direct Sowing
Asparagus should be sown to the ground in April when the ground is warm enough to initiate germination, as with many seed it is worth soaking the seed first. First rake over the ground where you intend to sow the seeds into a fine tilth, then mark out rows roughly 5cm deep and abut 30-45 cm apart, then sow the seed thinly into the rows. Once sown water in well with a fine spray. Your seeds should germinate and be visible within about 3 weeks, at which point you should thin them out to about 5cm apart. Allow them to grow to 15cm (6inch)or so and thin them out again to 30-45cm apart. Keep the bed weed free and allow them to grow for the first year. 

Indoor sowing
Some varieties are best sown indoors (a good example is the popular variety 'Connovers Colossal') the best time for this is during February and March. As with direct sowing it is worth soaking the seed for a couple of hours first. Plant the seed into individual plugs or cells containing a good quality moist seed compost. Place the pots in a warm room and once germinated, move to to a cooler well lit area such as a windowsill, avoiding direct sunlight.

By May you will need to start hardening them off which can take between 2-3 weeks before planting into your asparagus bed. You can plant them fairly deep, roughly 5cm below the compost level, and water well. 

Although it takes longer to establish an asparagus bed from seed you get a wider choice of varieties but will probably be a year or so longer before you can harvest your produce. Asparagus shoots can be harvested in the late spring when the new tips are about 15 cm tall. Typically you will be able to harvest for a further six to eight weeks into the early summer. Don't be tempted to harvest plants younger than 2 years as this can weaken the plant, let them get well established first.

How to prepare your planting bed
You can prepare your new asparagus bed from the autumn before planting, although time is now of the essence. Asparagus likes well drained soil and can cope in most soil types,however with heavy clay it is worth growing them in raised beds. Dig the area over well and then work in lots of well rotted manure. Asparagus do best in a soil with a pH of between 6.5 and 7.5, so if you are on a particularly acid soil add lime. As with any new planting bed remove all weeds and get the roots out from perennial pests such as dandylions. If you are on a windy site then some protection from the winds should be given to stop the plants getting damaged before they establish. 

In subsequent years you should mulch the area with well rotted manure or home made compost, and you will get years of enjoyment from your crops.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Friday, 25 January 2019

Winter gardening chores

Prune apple & pear trees
The winter period is quite a good time of year to prune your apple and pear trees as they are now dormant. Trim back to one or two buds, thin out branches that are congested or rubbing against other branches. By doing these jobs you will increase the  light and air flow through the tree. Remove any "mummified" fruits still hanging on your trees as these can be a source of rot going into the new season.

Harvest
Despite it being January there may still be plenty to harvest, Leeks may well be standing ready but if a sustained freeze is expected then you can dig a few up and heel them in to dug ground. Parsnips and swedes in the ground can also come up when you are ready, but until then cover them over with fleece or straw to stop them freezing solid into the ground. The cabbage family should be providing some sustenance and beet leaves (perpetual spinach) and chards will be available. On a sunny day it is worth emptying your potato sacks and check for any that are starting to rot before it spread

Protect tender plants
Tender perennials such as Cordylines and Fuchsia should be kept out of the frost, so bring them into the green house or conservatory.

Brush heavy snow off trees
If you get a heavy snow fall then brush shrubs and conifers with a broom to prevent branches getting damaged.

Digging
If the ground is now frozen finish off any digging over you still need to do.

Cleaning
Thoroughly clean and oil your loppers, secateurs, and other hard worked tools so they’re fit for another years maintenance in the garden. Start off by giving them a good scrub with some hot soapy water and leave them to dry thoroughly before wiping over with an oily rag to stop them going rusty.

Snopdrops
If you dont have any (or enough) then this is a good time to plant in the green especially if a friend of neighbour can provide them to you.
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