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5,000,000 gardening questions – that”s the Gardenadvice Teams target

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

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The GardenAdvice team are reaching our initial target of answering 5 million requests for Gardening advice and gardening questions. Since we started in 1999 we have answered over 4 million requests for assistance.

Help us reach our target by asking us a question or request some advice on your garden or garden project

Win £2000 of labour and plants for your spring garden development – become the person to ask the Gardenadvice team the gardening question that becomes our 4,500,000 gardening question over the past 17 years since we started in 1999 and win £2000 of labour, plants, materials and garden designs for your spring garden development.

Ask as many questions as you wish as of today 29th November 2017 we have been asked 4,472,353 questions. For further information on our spring gardening projects click here

Ask us a for some GardenAdvice or a gardening questions click here

 

GardenAdvice Bee conservation project extended

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

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The GardenAdvice Bee Project has been extended for a further 2 years. The projects main aim is to produce 10,000 gardens in the UK with flowers that support a longer flowering period to enable bees to feed for a longer period of the year to offset the effects of climate change https://www.facebook.com/GardenadviceBeeProject/

Free garden border design

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

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Find some inspiration for your garden with a free border design for your garden, From now until the end of January 2017 the GardenAdvice Team have made our garden border design service free for garden borders up to 50 square metres. For further details visit

http://www.gardenadvice.co.uk/advisor/designadvice/border.html

Great autumn colour 2016

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Autumn colour – 2016 has been another year for autumn colour following a fantastic growing season from the point of most garden and wild plants.
As most deciduous plants draw the sugars from the leaves back into the main plants stems natural pigments are revealed in the leaves creating an array of fantastic colours. GardenAdvice recommendation shrubs and plants for produced great autumn colour in the medium sized garden. acer dissectum, acer palmatum, euonymus alatus, Parrotia persica, Rhus typhina, vitus

Winter Fruit Tree Pruning – A New Service.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Winter fruit tree pruning – Its now the time of year to create the foundations of your fruit crop for next year by carrying out a winter pruning and pest control program.
Start by pruning out the dead and diseases wood, followed by structural pruning to create an open centre to the trees or bushes. Finally a application of tar wash will take care of most of the over wintering pests and diseases. To learn more about winter fruit tree pruning and GardenAdvice.co.uk winter fruit tree pruning service click here

Creating A Simple Christmas Wreath.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Create your own simple Christmas Wreath – The GardenAdvice team show you how using some willow withes and some of the foliage from your garden plants.  Its easy to create a simple and effective Christmas wreath for you front door without spending a fortune More

Winter Pruning Service – Fruit Trees.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

The GardenAdvice team winter fruit tree pruning service which is available from November untilthe end of February. The service includes pruning your fruit trees and bushes, removing the prunings, tar washing the fruit plants, applying grease bands and feeding the fruit trees or bushes. The cost is £40 for the first fruit tree, £35 for next fruit trees and £30 for every fruit tree in the same garden after the first two. For futher information email us at admin@gardenadvice.co.uk  More

How To Grow Mistletoe In Your Garden.

In CategoryCreating gardens, Tim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Mistletoe has always been a bit of an enigma, and although it’s a parasite on some of our native deciduousplants it holds such a serene beauty that it’s captured the imagination of European cultures throughout the ages. Thankfully, as a native to the UK, it’s relative easy to grow mistletoe from seed, but along with the decline of our fruit industry – the apple tree is one of its predominant host plants – the mistletoe is no longer as common as it had once been. But with a little effort, and a touch of patience, your garden may well provide the next host for this beautiful and enigmatic species.

To save leaving mistletoe seed germination to chance, you can improve your germination rates by following these six tips for successfully growing mistletoe from seed.

1. The best time to propagate mistletoe is from March to April when the seed is fully ripe. Try to obtain seed from a host plantsimilar to the one you want to sow onto as this gives the best chance of germination. If you are obtaining your seed from shop bought mistletoe the chances are that they have been imported in from French apple groves located in Normandy and Brittany. If theberries have been stored then re-hydrate them for a few hours in a little water. Whether they are fresh or stored, the seed will need to be squeezed out of the berry, along with a quantity of its sticky , viscous flesh, known as viscin.

2. Harvest intact berries only, because if the berry skin ruptures the contents inside will harden hindering germination. Unfortunately germination rates for mistletoe seed can be quite low as only about 10% of their seeds survive to becoming a mature plant. With this in mind it’s advisable to propagate at least twenty seeds, as when mature, mistletoe will require both male and female plants to produce berries.

3. When choosing your host tree bare in mind the mistletoe’s preferences – apples are first, then poplars, limes, false acacia, and then hawthorn. Occasionally they have been known to grow on oak.

4. Select a branch 10cm (4in) or more in girth, preferably on a tree at least 15 years old. If possible sow seeds in the crooks of the higher branches so that sufficient light can reach the seedlings as they grows Mark each berry with some coloured string to identify where they have been positioned. Alternatively make shallow cuts into the bark, remove the seed coats from the seeds, and insert them under the bark flaps. Cover the flaps with hessian and secure the bark back in place with twine protecting the seed from birds.

5. Germination is fairly rapid and a short green hypocotyl (a growing tip which bears the embryonic leaves) should appear and bend to make contact with the host bark. At this stage these tiny plants are particularly susceptible to grazing invertebrates and birds. They are also prone to dehydration until their roots have connected with the hosts vascular system. If all goes well the hypocotyl will remain unchanged until the following February. Only then will a small newplant appear.

6. As the mistletoe develops the host branch will begin to swell in girth. Growth of this juvenile plant will remain slow taking five years to reach berrying-size. If either all male, or all female plants develop you can attach more seeds the mistletoe parent plant. Strangely mistletoe will readily act as a host to its own parasitic seed.

Magical mistletoe its been around in folk law for many year their is even evidence of the druides using mistletoe. One of the stranger uses of it was in southern Spain were newly weds place mistletoe under the wedding night bed to promote fertility

For more on growing Mistletoe visit

http://www.gardenadvice.co.uk/howto/gardenplants/mistletoe/index.html

GardenAdvice one day gardening course for beginners designed to get you started in your own garden or makes an ideal christmas gift for the gardener in your life.
For further details Click Here

Putting Your Lawn Mower Away For Winter.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Well truly speaking grass grows all year and so in a mild winter you will need to cut your grass so its more winter preparation than putting your lawn mower away for the winter. However winter is the best time to give your mower a good clean and get it serviced.

One thing not commonly known is that the fluid left by cut grass is rather corrosive so its important to clean your mower and on parts such as the blades treat with some WD 40 spray on oil this will prevent rusting after cleaning. If you have a petrol engine mower before you start any cleaning disconnect the spark plug leads. The reason is because its possible in a lot of cases to start a lawn mower by turning the blades especially in the case of rotary mowers, its an easy way to loss some of your fingers so remember to disconnect the spark plug lead or leads.

When you clean or service a lawn mower, be sure to empty out all of the petrol. Leaving petrol in the tank during storage may lead to a hard starting engine later on

If your model has an assisted electrical start, the battery can use a full recharge during winter.

Have the blades sharpened. If you have an old cylinder mower then its possible to remove the side casing and apply some grinding paste to the cylinder blades and wind back ( in a direction opposite to the cutting direction of turn )the cylinder whist screwing down slightly the cylinder onto the bottom blade, this with sharpen the blades.The key is to remove or wash off all the grinding paste before the cylinder goes in the cutting direction. This will not replace a full sharpening service but it will keep the blades in a condition to keep them cutting in the early season when the grass is long.

Maintaining timber decking in winter

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Timber decking is a classic garden installation, with lots of British homeowners expanding their outdoor surface area by adding decking. From sun patios to hot tub installations, a good deck can transform a garden and create new living spaces to enjoy the better weather.

Unfortunately, the most common decking material is also prone to wear during the winter. Thanks to a combination of hail, rain, sleet and snow, timber decking can become discoloured, tired-looking or downright damaged. Luckily, preventing it is simple: you just need to take the right steps.

Join Arbordeck, specialists in non-slip timber decking boards, as they offer the best tips for maintaining your timber deck.  

Clean it down

Timber is prone to dirt and discolouration. Cleaning it isn’t as simple as you’d think, and many basic actions can actually harm your decking. First and foremost, pressure washers are allowed – but only if they’re not heavy-duty. A strong pressure wash can damage the fibres of the wood, so only use a basic model.

Otherwise, you’ll want to start by sweeping the decking of any debris. Be careful to avoid allowing smaller objects such as stray sticks or branches falling into the expansion gaps. Use a small knife to remove these objects.

From there, use a mild all-purpose cleaning solution to mop down the deck and remove any bird poo, mould or stains. Never use bleach or chlorine-based solutions as these can damage or discolour your deck. Fungal growth can be stopped with a typical garden fungicide – which will do nothing to clean the wood but will help kill off any nasty organisms growing there.

Stain it

Staining a deck should be done once a year and, as the winter months roll in, it can be a great way to protect the timber from discolouration or damage. Staining in the winter gives the material lots of time to recover. When you purchase a stain, pick up a paint roller and some brushes. Alternatively, save time by buying a paint sprayer.

If going with a roller, use it to cover the area as much as possible. Use a brush to access fiddly areas such as between gaps. Using a paint sprayer makes it faster. Decking stain coats the surface of the wood, usually bringing colour back. However, further steps can be taken to protect the wood…

Use Decking Oil

Even if you use a weatherproof stain, the surface-level protection of stain can be pointless if you’re in a particularly wet area. Decking oil is a specialist treatment that dries into the pores and cells of the organic wood, helping seal it against the weather. Oils don’t crack as timber expands, making them perfect for weatherproofing.

Ultimately, protecting decking is a matter of maintenance and yearly recoating. Spend the winter taking care of your decking and you’ll have a much nicer outdoor area when the summer rolls around.