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Dividing Rhubarb


If you grow rhubarb in your garden or allotment you should be thinking about dividing it over the next few weeks if you haven't done it for a while. Rhubarb plants should be divided every five years or so giving you additional plants but also healthier ones too.

How to divide Rhubarb
Dig up the crowns and roots taking extra care not to damage the crown. Divide the roots into 4 to 8 pieces depending on the size of the plant you are lifting. It is best to divide the dormant crowns between two large buds called eyes so that at least a 5cm or so section of storage root is left attached to each bud. Remember to take care not to break off the delicate buds as these can easily be broken, but other that that the roots are actually pretty tough and can tolerate quite a lot of rough treatment. Small buds will give you small plants for the first few years after planting until the newly divided plant bulks up again, while four to ten new roots can usually be obtained from crowns that have been grown a few years.

Take care not to allow the divisions to dry out or to freeze if you are not to going to be planting the straight away. Remember that when you are dividing crowns for re-planting, it is a good idea to identify the most vigorous plants the previous summer and use these as planting stock in the Autumn. The depth of planting should be so that the top of the plant is at, or only just below the soil surface. Gently firm the surrounding soil and water the new plants in well. The space between plants should be approximately 75cm (30in) for smaller varieties, and up to 120cm (48in) for larger varieties. It is a good idea to identify where the newly divided crowns have been planted with a cane until new shoots appear above the soil surface in February or March.

It should be obvious but crowns from diseased plants should not be divided from.

Soil Preparation
All Rhubarb varieties develop a deep root system and will grow best in a fertile, partially shaded, free-draining soil. It is a good idea to prepare the ground in advance, start digging over your soil four weeks before planting and remove any stones you find and adding as much organic matter as possible.

Heres a useful video:

Bonanza Slot game guide


This uniquely titled slot features excellent graphics, free bonus spins, and 3D imagery. This traditional cocktail makes for one tasty game! The reaction feature alone is sure to hold your attention as the riveting action happens before your eyes. Boredom will be nowhere to be found while you earn scores of wins and free spins galore. On behalf of players everywhere, it is safe to say that Big Time Gaming did a great job with this release - click to see more.

Bonanza General Info

A warning needs to be mentioned, this game is exciting, it’s busy, and you literally won’t be able to afford to blink as this high action game keeps any boredom at bay. Bonanza features the standard six reels; however, they are uniquely displayed on a cart with four symbols.

Big Time Gaming Slot Developer

Big Time Gaming was not messing around when they released this slot, the excitement players feel when they play is sure to keep anyone coming back for more. The developer of this online slot is one of the biggest names in the industry, they have not disappointed and continue to release hit after hit. Through the guaranteed unique bonus features in every game, Big Time Gaming has become a favourite among players.

Gameplay on bonanza

The thousands of ways to win certainly contribute to the game’s popularity as there are big payouts to be won. The symbols are represented by playing cards, the numbers nine, ten, and then the royal cards. The values of these symbols are lower, besides getting the coveted gold free spins, there are still substantial rewards waiting if you manage to achieve the right combinations of lower and medium-value symbols. Any other symbol besides the other playing card symbols represents those of medium value (blue and red gems, a diamond, and the ace card).

Bonanza Special Features

The allusive gold free spins bonus is the best feature of Bonanza, don’t fret if you don’t land it on your first try as it is known to be slippery. In the mean-time, the game is far from over as you have other features to play with: the reaction feature, wilds, and carts will not only keep you immersed in the gameplay but will keep your level of fun at an all-time high.

Wilds – this feature is common in online slots, it is when this symbol can replace any other on the display (except the scatter). This is so any combinations can be pushed towards becoming winning ones.

Gold Free Spins – in order to get this coveted bonus, you need to spell the word ‘gold’ with the appropriate lettered tiles. Then if you are lucky enough to get another scatter you will win another five spins. When the bonus is triggered, you get 12 free spins. Additionally, for every reaction, your multiplier is increased by one.

Reaction feature – if you have a winning combination then the symbols of this combination are replaced by all high-value ones, the wins are increased substantially as a reaction.
Carts – these are actual carts that are above reels two to five, the carts add symbols to these reels to try to make winning combinations.

Verdict

This online slot is extremely busy and might not apply to players that are accustomed to games suited to a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, Bonanza’s theatrics serve to keep you entertained and boredom-free, if anything it is worth a try. If as a player you are a fan of Big Time Gaming, this will be for you as the developer’s workmanship is impressive. This game has thousands of ways to win and countless possibilities to win extra rewards along the way.


The Secrets To Creating A Cat-Friendly Garden



Many felines find their outdoor space just as important as the indoors. The garden provides your pet with a sensory experience, as well as space to exercise, play, and hide. Discouraging a cat from leaving your garden can seem an impossible task, which is why many cat parents keep their pets indoors. However, while you can’t stop your furry friend from heading over the fence, you can make it so that they don’t want to. Here are six ways to create a cat-friendly garden. 

Eliminate The Toxic Plants
Felines are usually very picky eaters. If they don’t want what you’ve given them for dinner, you can be sure that they won’t touch it. Nonetheless, they are known to be quite curious too. For this reason, you must pick your greenery carefully. Keep any flowers and plants that might harm your cat out of the garden. There are many gardener favourites, like daffodils, that can be dangerous.


Image - CC0 License
Make Places To Hide
Wide, open spaces can make a cat feel vulnerable. This is why you should provide places for them to hide. When your pet isn’t exposed, they will feel more secure, and the garden will seem more appealing. Dense patches of foliage, large plant pots, and garden furniture will all help your cat feel safe. If there are other felines in the area, it’s even more important to have these places.

Add In Outdoor Lighting
Everyone knows that felines have excellent vision. They can see much better than humans, even at nighttime. That being said, no cat can see in complete darkness, which could put them at risk. Whether there are predators in the area or trip hazards in the garden, you must have solar lights. These will turn on automatically when it’s dark, helping your pet to keep themselves safe at night.




Entertain With Cat Toys
Toys shouldn’t be restricted to the house alone. After all, the garden is an excellent space for your pet to play. If you didn’t want to ruin your indoor toys, you could pick up a few cheap balls and mice to play with outside. You could even attach some of these toys to a low-hanging branch of a tree. When the wind blows, these toys will move, providing your cat with hours of fun. 

Supply A Toilet Space
Most cats are clean animals. This can be seen with the amount of time they spend grooming themselves. With that in mind, all would much rather go to the bathroom outside, away from their food and water. It’s crucial that you supply a space for them to do this. All you have to do is cover a clear area with woodchip, loose earth, or sand. Ideally, this area should have some shelter too. 

Put Off Other Felines
Although felines can make friends, most are quite territorial. That means, if you have another cat living nearby, fights could break out. Your pet may not even want to leave the house, just in case they bump into that other feline. For this reason, you must put off other cats from entering your garden. One of the best ways to do this is to add a cat fence barrier or a full garden canopy. 

With the advice above, you can create an outdoor space your cat loves to spend time in. 

Are Your Trees Arranged Just Right?


We all love trees; they provide protection from the weather, they’re lovely to talk a walk through, and they house all manner of cute creatures and critters. Not to mention how necessary they are for allowing us to keep on breathing! All in all, trees are a natural and necessary part of life, and if you’ve got some in your back garden, you’re probably quite proud of how they’ve grown.

But if you’re about to plant some in, or you’re not sure about your current tree arrangement, let’s help you make sure your tree growing plans are arranged just right. It takes a bit of time and effort to cultivate such a life form, and you shouldn’t walk into a gardening task like this completely blind!



Dig the Hole Deep Enough

First of all, you need to be sure you’re digging a hole deep enough for you trees. They need a lot more room than a regular plant would, and there’s a chance you haven’t gone far down enough before now. It’s a mistake even veteran gardeners can make!

If you’ve experienced tree seeds that have failed to take root before now, it might have just been because they didn’t have the space to grow their roots out, or they weren’t able to reach the right nutrient level in the soil.

But the depth of the hole will depend on the tree you’re trying to plant. Take a look at the root ball your plant is sitting on right now - use the size and length of it to determine how deep your hole needs to be, as this ball shouldn’t really be exposed to the above ground.

Keep the Soil Moist, But Don’t Overwater

You’ll also need to determine how often to water; trees need a good amount of water to grow out, but they’re also very susceptible to overwatering. When it’s dry and hot outside, watering once a week should be good, and in the rain, you can cut back based on how dry the soil feels to you.

Know When to Trim Back

And once you’ve got your trees growing properly, you’re going to need to trim them back every now and then. It helps to keep the plant healthy and happy, and makes sure you’re taking regular stock of how they’re growing. Most of all, it helps to make sure you’re watching out for symptoms of disease - even greenery can fall prey to parasites and infections, after all.

If you’ve got a whole plot of trees to get through, you might want to turn to some professional Tree Work to help you out. A proper tree surgeon will be able to inform you of the upkeep necessary for your particular growth of forest, and it’ll definitely cut back on what would otherwise be a monumental task you’d have to sort through alone!

Your garden trees might need some reworking, but it’s a lot easier to take care of one than you might think!

Conducting A Heavy Landscaping Task - Golden Advice For You



Many of us have experience tending to our own gardens, and yet there are many gardening jobs we may consider to be a large challenge. It might be that we come into property that has a much bigger garden or set of land than we had anticipated. Perhaps due to our professionalism and gardening knowledge we are hired as the landscape architect for a rather larger project. Sometimes, it could be that we have been recommended for a job by the gameskeeper of a local village, as communities like this can often band together and make use of the most relevant skill set.

Conducting a heavy landscaping job, no matter if it’s your career or just something you have signed on for, can be an overwhelming thing to consider. Of course, if you find yourself in this position, odds are you have a decent amount of credibility and a skill set at your disposal. We would also put forward the following advice to ensure your large gardening project goes smoothly, and you are able to utilize your best efforts for a premium result.

Without further ado:

Hire The Right Equipment

Without heavy-duty equipment such as diggers, machines that will transport said earth, or perhaps those that can safely demolish the small decrepit structures that are there already, you’re going to have a rough time. Hiring the right equipment can make the job much easier, particularly when using garden aggregates to this end. Consulting regarding your goals and applying the right and most careful solution can make all the difference in the end, and can potentially develop a better and carefully considered outcome. On top of this, it could also help improve your safety, as taking on certain tasks without the correct lifting tools, distance or other issues in place can be a real problem.

Hiring Labour

It can sometimes be that your garden job is too great for you to apply with your own hands. Weeding, transporting certain materials or operating machinery can all be quite a difficult task, and sometimes two disparate processes need to be completed at the same time in order to reveal the best result. For this reason, hiring labour and justifying that to your landscaping client is essential. Ensure they are qualified landscapers, or for menial tasks you might decide to apply subcontracting work. Ensure they are well vetted because a garden is usually private land.

Scale Up

Your experience thus far might be with smaller gardening projects. Scaling up can often be a worthwhile vantage point to belay your architectural landscaping plans. How will you work with the land? What strengths of the garden do you wish to preserve? For example, a large pond might look beautiful with a walking bridge over it, but a small stream may serve as a dangerous point you wish to make more visible. It’s these scaling up efforts that can help you apply your own tasteful arrangements with, and in collaboration with the owner you will come to a worthwhile result.

With these tips, you are certain to conduct your heavy landscaping ta

How To Turn Your Garden Into A Textured Haven

A beautiful garden is a must for every garden-enthusiast, but it doesn’t mean it always looks the part. Often, planting too many of the same things make it seem samey and dull as if it’s straight out of a magazine. You want your garden to stand out for all the right reasons, which is why it’s essential to add texture. With different materials, there is always a contrast that is pleasing on the eye.

The key is finding the right balance, and it’s not easy to do if you don’t know which elements are helpful. Here are four for your information in case you need inspiration.

Compartmentalise It

Usually, a garden is a big area full of grass and flowers. Well, this is when everything can merge into one and you don’t get the wow factor you want. The best option is to compartmentalise the garden into sections, such as a flower bed, lawn and vegetable patch. By doing this, you will automatically add new elements that weren’t there before. For example, a fruit and veg patch will need sectioning off with stones, while a flower bed will incorporate soil as well as plants.



Create Plant Textures

Not all plants and flowers are created equally. Some are fragile and beautiful, and others are rugged and robust. Together, they work in perfect harmony, which is why it’s vital to incorporate a few unique textures. You can start by checking out Hedgeplants Heijnen and their collection of hedges. A hedge never sounds sexy, but it’s an evergreen staple that won’t let you down when it comes to contrast. Once you have something as raw as a bush, it’s best to mix it up with flowers that have delicate leaves and petals. Also, don’t be afraid to play around with the sizes so that you have big, small and medium in one place.



Accessorise

It’s essential that your garden is as substantial as it is stylish, so you should accessorise at every opportunity. After all, some features are unavoidable, such as a bench or a table and chairs set. When you want to relax in the sun, you’ve got to have a place to sit back and unwind. Aside from furniture, consider investing in a barbeque. A modern BBQ is sleek and shiny and instantly acts as a focal point; plus, it’s a must for when you want to grill up a storm and invite friends over. Bird feeders work too, but The Spruce says to be careful of attracting nuisance pests.

Flag The Lawn

If all of the lawn is grass, it’s not going to be practical. Flags make it easier to walk around the garden, and they are another new texture. Sandblast them and give them a once over with a power washer and they’ll grab your attention right away. Decking is another smart move as it sections off the garden and uses wood. Dead trees are natural and will stand in stark contrast with the manmade, inorganic features.

What’s your favourite way to texturise your garden? 

The Secret To A Healthy Lawn

Not every garden has a lawn, but for every garden that does have one, it needs to be perfect. Taking care of a lawn is actually a little more involved than people tend to think, and for that reason it can be more difficult than you might assume to look after yours in a way which really works. If you want your garden to look great, you are going to need to make sure that the lawn is taken care of and, most of all, that it is as healthy as can be. Keeping your lawn healthy is something that you can easily do if you want to, and all it takes is a particular focus and awareness of what a lawn really needs. Let’s take a look at the secret to a healthy lawn.
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Fertilization

Not many people remember to fertilize their lawn, or they might think that it is not something you need to do. But if you want your lawn to be truly healthy, then you are going to need to make sure that you are fertilizing your lawn regularly. Applying just a normal liquid fertilizer every few weeks during the growing months can do wonders to keep it growing healthily, but also to keep it looking as you want it. Good grass fertilizer specifically will help to keep it looking that lovely, rich green colour that is the true mark of healthy grass, so this is something that you are going to want to think about. Fertilization of your lawn really will make an enormous difference in the long run.

Mowing

It’s no surprise that lawn mowing is important for keeping your lawn short, but it is also vital if you want to keep it looking its healthiest too. When you regularly mow your lawn, it means that it is going to be able to keep those nutrients in and use them for what grass is left, which means that it is going to retain its colour and healthy shine much more readily. You will also find that it is just easier to look after a lawn which is kept short, compared to one which is a little more unruly. So that is something that you will really need to think about if you want to make sure that you are keeping your lawn as healthy as possible.



Aeration

If you have never looked into aerating a lawn before, it’s something you will probably want to take on board if you are serious about improving the quality of your lawn. With aeration, you create small holes in the lawn and the soil underneath it, through a process known as coring. Essentially, that’s just pushing small spikes into the grass. This allows oxygen to reach the roots and soil, and means that both fertilizer and water get to the roots much more effectively too. What this all means is much healthier grass in no time at all.

Four Common Gardening Myths Exposed



In many ways, gardening is like cooking. We tend to learn at the knees of our parents and from watching them work their magic throughout our formative years. When we’re young, pretty much everything we see our parents doing is fun and adventurous and we want to replicate and emulate them in the hope that it will make us more grown-up, too. And the great news is… Our childhood selves are right. By learning skills like cooking and gardening (and even driving) from our parents at a young age, we can gain vitally important skills that can benefit us later on in adult life like learning to grow delicious and healthy organic veggies.







However, in all three of these cases, we can also wind up picking up our parents’ bad habits, and believing wholesale in myths and misconceptions that they learned from their own parents. Perhaps it’s for this reason that many people believe the following gardening myths which we’re now going to bust wide open…



Putting gravel at the bottom of a plant pot helps drainage



This certainly seems like common sense. After all, we all know that an excess of water is statistically more likely to kill a plant than drought. Nonetheless, all this measure does is waste good gravel. And if you have great quality premium gravel like Kelkay Pebbles you want to have it on show, not buried under a pot of soil. Plant roots need air and water as well as the nutrients in soil. Adding gravel reduces nutrient availability and potentially keeps the root from getting access to the air and water that it needs, too.



Instead, try mixing in a little sand with the soil to facilitate better drainage.



Watering plants on a hot day burns the leaves



How many of you were reprimanded by your parents for this. Again, it seems to make perfect sense, but plants don;t get sunburn and a droplet of water is not a magnifying glass just waiting to saute the plant’s leaves.



That said, water is more likely to evaporate off the surface in hot weather which is why it’s better to hang fire until the sun has gone down before watering your plants.



Pruned branches need to be sealed to keep disease at bay



Nope! Many of us grew up believing that when branches are pruned, the exposed “flesh” of the plant needs to be treated with paint or nail varnish to keep diseases away. This is a waste of paint or nail varnish. Plants, like us, have their own methods of sealing up wounds and preventing infections from seeping in to the exposed flesh.



Adding sand to heavy clay soil makes it easier to dig



Please don’t. If anything, you’ll make your soil harder to dig and form a consistency almost like concrete. Save yourself a lot of backache and calluses by turning a little compost, sphagnum moss, manure, or even old grass cuttings into your heavy clay soil. These organic additives will be far more effective in loosening the soil.



Forget these garden myths and you’ll have a beautiful garden without wasting your time, effort… or nail varnish!

Is It Possible For Kids To Find Gardening Enjoyable?



From playing football to sitting on a swing, young children love to spend time outside in their gardens. It’s an environment where they feel safe to run around and explore their surroundings. Their garden can also ignite their imagination which can only make their games even more enjoyable. But despite their love of spending time in the garden, many parents don’t consider gardening as an enjoyable kids activity. While some elements of gardening can be hazardous to small children, there are elements that they can still get involved in. So rather than presuming they won’t enjoy it, here are some gardening activities your kids are bound to adore.

Rake the leaves on your lawn

During the autumn and winter, give your kids the responsibility of raking the leaves off your lawn. This will not only help to keep your garden looking pristine, but can also teach your kids about the change in seasons. You can explain why the trees and plants die and what you can do to make them look even better next year. You could even use some of the leaves for kid’s art projects. You can find some fabulous ideas on https://uk.pinterest.com/. Small children may need some assistance with this activity, but try to let them do as much as they can by themselves. This can make them feel more mature and independent.
Create an edible garden

Another fantastic activity your kids will love is planting their own vegetable patch or fruit trees in your garden. They can take part in caring for the edible sections in your garden by watering the patch or trees regularly. Being able to eat the produce they have grown can be a wonderful reward for all their hard work. It can introduce them to healthy foods they may not have encountered before which can improve their diet considerably. Your kids will also love being able to get a snack from your garden rather than going to the store.

See http://www.chrisbowers.co.uk/ for more ideas on types of fruit trees your kids can plant and care for. Alternatively, visit your local gardening centre for vegetable seeds that require little maintenance.

Encourage them to get messy

It’s no secret that gardening can get messy. This is one of the main reasons why your children will enjoy it so much. Allowing your kids to get messy encourages them to explore and learn more about their environment. So let them help you pull up weeds and dig through the soil with their hands. You can even create games that involve soil from your garden such as building a mud castle. This can teach them more about your garden while also allowing them to unleash their creativity. But if you don’t want your kids to get too messy, take a look at the kids clothing on https://www.spottygreenfrog.co.uk/.

These activities can help make gardening fun and age appropriate for your children. It will be hard to keep them indoors when they find spending time in the garden so enjoyable and rewarding. So if someone asks you if your child enjoys gardening, you can confidently say yes.

Four Skills To Create The Perfect Cottage Life


The perfect cottage is a house that enhances your bond to nature. Not only does it bring you closer through its location – you’d be hard pressed to find a cottage in the middle of town – but also through its settings. Cottage owners have no other way than embracing their connection to nature to make the most of every day. That’s precisely why there is no cottage without a garden. As charming and traditional as cottages seem to be, they are also the pinnacle of a sustainable household. They encourage you to develop green habits and find independent solutions to common problems. Ultimately, if you’ve chosen a cosy cottage, you know that you’ve had to make sacrifices. Takeaway deliveries, home cinemas, and self-heating floors are the kind of luxuries you can’t have due to the structure and location of your home. As a result, you tend to cultivate an independent lifestyle that brings you closer to nature.



Can you start a fire?
Old fireplaces are tricky to find fore modern homeowners. However, cottages are more likely to be suited with either a fireplace or a wood burner. Lighting your fire adds an element of charm and romance to your household. But you need to know how to start a fire – using specialist blazers heat logs when you can’t get dry wood, for instance – and how to maintain it. In a small house, the fireplace can considerably cut down your heating costs in winter.

Can you grow your own veg?
Growing your own vegetables is a hobby nowadays. However, you have to remember that less than one-hundred years ago, being able to harvest your garden for food was the difference between starvation and survival, especially after the war where supplies were low. You may not be able to survive entirely from your veg bed, but you can maintain your supplies throughout a few months. Beginners choose to grow salad – which you can sow throughout the summer – and potatoes and peas, which are better suited for cold weather.

Can you make your own cleaning products?
When the next shop is several miles away, you need to find easy substitutes for every solution. Using the natural resources available in your kitchen, you can make your own cleaning products, which are safe to use around children and pets. Combining borax, soda crystal and a shaved bar soap, you can make your laundry detergent, entirely free of allergens and harmful chemicals. If you’re worried about varnish products, you can polish your old furniture, using essential lemon oil and a little water.

Can you recognise wild plants and mushrooms?
As you become more resourceful with your surroundings and more respectful of nature, you can learn to identify the goodness that grows freely around you. If you leave by a woodland area, you’re likely to find plenty of delicious mushrooms in the wild. Do make sure, however, to know how to tell the difference between the edible and the poisonous mushrooms. Similarly, native plants such as dandelion, elderberry, sheep sorrel and Creeping Charlie are not only nutritious, but they’re delicious too.

If you’re dreaming of a sweet little cottage in a rural area, you need to boost your skills as a resourceful nature-lover. Knowing how to start a fire, grow your vegetables, keep your house naturally clean and find edible wild plants can help to make your cottage dream come true.  



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

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.

Sowing Seeds And Bulbs In The Spring


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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.

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.


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.

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.
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