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GardenAdvice Gardening Calendar for January 2019

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

January is a great time to start to create a few projects to create some summer colour in your garden

Dahlias – pot up a few tubers in a 100 mm pots and water keep in a warm place then when the shoots start to show place them inside in a summer position then plant out in the spring – if the springs late and they start to produce lots of growth this can be used for stem cuttings producing more plants.  A great plant for summer colour.

Sun Flowers – start a few seeds in pots now inside on a windowsill ready to plant out in the spring – a great project for children. When the flowers have finished they can be cut and hung to dry as  wildbird food to feed your garden birds in the winter.

Cosmos and Pyrethrum – sowing a few seeds on a windowsill now will produce plant that can be planted out in the spring to produce some summer flowers.

Skimmia Japonica –  At this time of year one of the easiest plants to take stem cutting from placing the cuttings on a windowsill in 75 mm pots the cutting will root in 10 to 20 days and start to grow away to

Sweet peas – starting a few sweet peas seeds in small pots will produce some great summer colour. Sweet pea seeds have a very hard coat so lightly scratching to break the seed coating them will help the seeds to germinate.

For further ideas on creating summer colour in your garden visit the GardenAdvice.co.uk web site.

As spring get nearer its the last change you will have to winter wash your fruit trees and bushed

Its a great way to make sure they get of to a great start in the spring as winter washing is a great way to help remove all the overwintering pests and disease than hide out on your plants over the winter under the bark or in cracks at stem joints etc

Another job in the garden at this time of year often overlooked is to feed your flower borders gardeners spend hours applying mulch to the soil in the flower borders but very few feed the borders. A simple dressing of a basic fertilizer such as Growmore will help achieve better flowers. In also offsets the effect of the soil bacteria using all the available nutrients in the soil trying to break down the mulch. So the message is feed and mulch. Feed for better flowers and mulch for weed control and water retention.

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GardenAdvice gardening calendar

Looking after your garden birds in the colder parts of the winter

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

As gardeners over the years we have build up a knowledge of the seasonal cycles. Winter normally starts wet and warm and then this leads into a colder period in mid January and its in this period when your garden birds need the most help to survive until spring. The three main areas in which you can help your garden birds in the colder parts of the winter are  

Shelter

The main requirement for providing shelter for wild garden birds in the winter is to create a place or area that cuts down the wind chill factor from the cold winter winds by creating a microclimate with such plants as ivy and other dense evergreen plants such as bay and elaeagnus plants. These types of plants provide the best place for birds to shelter overnight or in bad weather conditions away from the wind.

 

Food

Another key area in helping your birds in cold weather is food because this for a wild bird can be hard to come by when the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Ideally you need to provide a food thats easy to digest at low body temperatures and provides almost instant energy. Whilst a lot of gardeners us suet balls, seed and bread these are not easy for the birds to digest in cold weather conditions. One of the best sources of food for wild birds in the garden especially in cold weather conditions is mealworms either live or dried, easy to digest and provide a welcome energy boost to the birds within minutes helping them to maintain body temperature. Our recommended supplier for mealworms is chubbymealworms.co.uk

Water

In frost conditions water is another key requirement for wild garden birds as often sources of water are frozen.  Access to water is important for drinking water and also to help maintain the birds feather in top condition used in cleaning to help maintain body temperature in cold conditions. Filling a bird bath daily will help and removing any ice that forms during the day will help maintain the birds access to water

 

Tips For Making Maintaining Your Garden Easier

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors while enhancing the quality of produce available to you and your family. If not done smartly though, gardening can end up being hard work! Back pain and sore knees will be a thing of the past after applying a few of these gardening tricks to your backyard farm. 

Read on for some of the best tips to make gardening as effortless and enjoyable as possible. 

 

Keep Your Garden Simple

 Try to keep the majority of your garden dedicated to plants you will regularly eat, use, or store. Flowers you particularly enjoy, vegetables that you and your family enjoy eating, and herbs for your most popular recipes should be the bulk of what you grow in your garden. 

If you are keen on growing more exotic varieties of plants and vegetables, ones requiring special care and attention, grow them in smaller quantities and separately from the rest of your garden. Keeping them separate will make them much easier to care for and control. 

 

Give Container Gardening a Try

 Consider planting the bulk of your garden in containers instead of straight into the soil. Planters can be moved easily so you can work on your plants from a more comfortable angle. Containers make watering and weeding your garden much easier than if your plants had been grown in the ground. 

Take it a step further and utilize mobile planters or hanging baskets to make maneuvering your plants a breeze while also making the most of the space you have at hand. For an easy DIY option that can make your planters mobile, you can make a homemade wooden planter and attach casters, such as the Colson caster sets. These wheels can make moving a heavy planter from place to place easy. 

 

Go a Step Further and Try Vertical Gardening

 Vertical gardening takes all the crouching out of the picture. By building or buying a trellis that is at the right height for you, gardening will be much easier on your back and knees! 

As an added benefit, by utilizing vertical gardening you can get maximum use out of what space you have available in your yard! 

A Trellis can easily be made out of PVC tubing, making vertical gardening an easy option to try. 

 

Raised Beds Offer a Variety of Benefits

Besides bringing your plants up to a more manageable height for you to work with, utilizing raised beds offers many other great benefits! Offering better soil drainage and the ability to choose the best soil to meet your plants’ needs will ensure optimal growth and is bound to increase the yield you get out of your garden. 

Raised beds can be made from a variety of materials such as wood, rocks, concrete, or pavers. Ideally, they should be made 3 to 4 feet wide to make them easy to work with. Depending on your height and mobility, different heights are recommended. 

The above tips should set you on the right track to gardening as efficiently as possible. By planning ahead and planting your garden in a way that makes it easier to work with from the beginning, you’ll likely get much more pleasure out of gardening while also enjoying greater yields.

Garden Maintenance: How to look after your garden this winter

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

Get all the information you need on how to care for your garden this winter and get the best head start on your garden and lawn for the upcoming year!

Throughout the busy period of Christmas and New Year, when weather can be bitter and for us, staying inside beneath a warm fire can seem much more appealing than venturing outdoors, it is often easy for our gardens to be neglected and fall apart.

Yet despite how difficult winter can be, it is crucial to keep up with garden maintenance in order to keep your garden and lawn ticking over during those winter months and to ensure you don’t lose out on all the efforts you put into gardening throughout the year.

With that said, here are our top tips for how to achieve full garden maintenance this winter

 

Lawn Treatment

A stress free way of making sure your lawn will be completely protected over the winter is to get a professional winter treatment applied between months November and February. Companies, such as Greensleeves, can provide affordable lawn care services which will ensure full winter lawn maintenance and make sure all the groundwork is completed for you so you can focus on the rest of your garden.

By applying specialist liquid product to your lawn, Greensleeves will treat your lawns with essential plant nutrients, target moss, and keep all other fungal diseases at bay.

Think of it as a seasonal MOT! You can also follow up with specialist lawn treatments in the next Spring, Summer and Autumn.

 Composting

You may not have thought it, but there are actually many benefits to winter composting. Even though your compost can freeze over which stops decomposition, it is the action of freeze-thaw which will help to break down materials so that they’ll be ready for a faster decomposition in spring. Another benefit is that you’ll minimise your impact on the environment.

In order to maximise success of winter composting, it is important to maximise heat by composting in a covered bin and even insulating it with cardboard to keep the heat in. You can also speed up the composting process by regularly turning the contents of the bin. This can be done by tipping out the bin and refilling it whilst turning the contents so it composts evenly.

3. Plant protection

There are some measures you can take to protect your plants this winter. Half-hardy plants in pots can be protected by covering their pots in bubble wrap or fleece which will help to retain heat. For more sensitive plants, take them inside for the winter providing they can live indoors.

Another method is Mulching, which involves covering the soil’s surface with insulating materials will do a great job protecting other tender plants such as dahlias, and entire beds and borders from the cold weather. Winter or early spring is the best time to do this and many different materials can be used such as bark chippings, leaf mould, and chopped organic wheat straw. By the material creating a barrier between the cold air and the soil, they can protect the root and stem of plants and suppress the growth of weeds. Mulch material can also provide your soils with important nutrients!

 

 Treat wooden fences and doors

Harsh weather conditions in Winter can seriously damage wooden fencing and doors. Use a rainproof wood stain to prevent wooden surfaces from cracking and warping, and protect it from mold mildew and rot.

You can also prevent additional moisture causing further damage to your fencing, by keeping the spaces between your fence clear of debris, leaves and snow.

Small Jobs

Lastly, don’t forget the smaller garden maintenance methods which can really make all the difference!

 

  • Look after wildlife by leaving out nuts and seeds for birds to eat, and some loose leaves and twigs for hedgehogs to contribute to their homes. Leave out some fresh water and replace it when it starts to freeze over!
  • Prune any fruit trees, shrubs and wisteria plants to prevent or remove disease and damage.
  • Avoid walking over the grass as it can be easily damaged during winter. Place a plank down to spread your weight more evenly if you need to access a part of your garden that requires use of your lawn.

So there you have it! The best garden maintenance tips for this winter!

This post was written in  collaboration with Greensleeves, a British lawn treatment service specialising in seasonal treatments, as well as aeration, scarification and overseeding services. For more information on how to keep your lawn thriving this winter, visit Greensleeves at https://www.greensleeves-uk.com/ or call them on 0808 100 1413.

 

Help with your garden – MyGardenTeam

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

The GardenAdvice MyGardenTeam service  is a membership model designed to help you develop a garden but teaming up with our expert gardeners. Its designed to be flexible so we can carry out work such as planting with you or you could carry out the work yourself or we could carry out the work for you. The ideal is the system is flexible and offers long term ongoing support in your garden. 

The first stage is where we are now to develop an over all plan for your garden which we can work towards 

The MyGardenTeam service includes 

  • Your own gardening expert with advice by email, phone and garden visit – support from our gardening experts additional visits are charged for normally we provide a quote. But if the visit is less than on hour we do not charge 
  • Help and advice on your gardening projects and questions – provided by our expert gardeners 
  • Online calendars, SMS and email alerts on when to prune and feed your plants – when creating a plan for your garden we also create a schedule of items to do such as bulbs planting pruning etc 
  • Plant swap – swap plants with other MyGardenTeam members – in the winter all the members on the service swap plants that they do not need. Mainly these plants have come from dividing perennial plants.
  • Free lawn care up to 75 square metres – general lawn feed and weeding. For people with astro turf we normally switch to a general feed of the flower borders 
  • New – Free Tool Hire – we have a range of tools streamers, chippers etc 

for further details Click Here

Become a gardener with the GardenAdvice Gardening Course.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

Become a gardener with the GardenAdvice Gardening Course.

If you are new to gardening it can all seem a bit complicated at first with all the Latin names and the gardening terminology.
GardenAdvice.co.uk have developed a especially designed short one day course to be able to teach you all the basic skills of gardening to get you started.
The courses are being held locally thought the U.K and in your own garden cover such basic skills as pruning, correct digging methods, growing your own shrubs and creating the perfect lawn.

See some of our clients our gardening course and our MyGardenTeam service on Instagram

 

The GardenAdvice gardening course for beginners and new gardeners is available as a home course – we send one of our experts to you for the day ring us or send us an email for more details courses@gardenadvice.co.uk or telephone us on 01225 637218

 

 

The course takes place in a garden and involves both practical demonstrations and short talks aimed at giving your an introduction To all the basic skills you will need in the garden. The following areas are covered –

 

Short introduction to the history origins of gardening.

 

Basic gardening techniques such as digging, grass cutting, pruning, planting and watering.

Easy garden maintenance covers methods to make your garden easy to look after. Including weed control.

Basic construction methods covering how to lay a lawn, a small patio and decking.

Pest and diseases how to control them by using organic methods and creating a natural balance in your garden to keep them under control.

Creating special areas in your garden including a organic veg plot, fruit garden, perennial borders and water features.

Planting designs basic design techniques for garden planting to encourage all year round interest.

MyGardenTeam service – All our course include a years membership to our MyGardenTeam service so you are supported for a whole year Click Here

Looking for the ideal gardening tool for the gardener in your life this Christmas

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

 

If you are looking for the ideal gardening tool for the gardener in your life this Christmas here are the GardenAdvice teams top tips for ideal tools as gifts 

Spades and forks – always a welcome gift for the new gardener. Always go for quality, a good spade and fork should last a life time, As with most tools the best cost a bit more but in the long run turn out the be more cost effective than the cheaper tools. One good tip is to look for Spades and forks with wooden handles that are riveted to the head so they are replaceable as this is a sure sign of quality. 

Strimmers or weed whackers – Another great gift for the gardener in your life. Ideal for getting the grass under control in the early season after a warm wet winter. Also useful for trimming lawn edges and getting weedy areas in your garden under control. With lots to choose from a number of manufactures its best to get some expert advice on streamers and whackers so try Healthy Handyman

Watering cans – A bad watering can can smash your seedlings with a rose or head thats simply too course delivering droplets of water that will damage your seedling and the soil. The best watering cans are make by haws watering cans

Pruning knifes – A quality gardening knife will last a life time. Ideally it should have a stainless steel blade. Look for a budding or grafting knife rather than a simple plain knife. 

Secateurs – you can spend a fortune on a good pair of Secateurs. The prices range from £6 to £60. A good glue to the quality is that the blades are detachable so they are replaceable or can be sharpened.