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Archive for June, 2016

We have had lots of entries to our March April School Competition to win a Wooden Raised Bed Kit containing:

Twin Standard and Deep Tall Post Raised Bed

Wooden Raised Beds With Tall Posts - Deep

3 x 1.5m Cloche Hoops, 12 Cloche Clips and Enviromesh Extra Fine Netting

It is a fantastic prize worth over £100 and perfect for growing a wide variety of vegetables which are easy to plant, tend and pick.

As with most competitions there can only be one winner and the winner is: Fleming Fulton School in Belfast.

Fleming Fulton is a school for children with physical disability, they plan to put the Wooden Raised Beds in the Early Years Nursery outdoor learning space and grow a variety of vegetables to help the children learn about where food comes from, the different heights and depths of the beds will allow all of the children including the little ones and those who need a special chair or walker to reach in and get mucky and dirty like children should!

Congratulations to you, we would love to hear how you get on and see photographs of your progress and your crops.

Here are some suggestions of what you can sow and plant in June:

Sow outdoors: Beetroot, Pak Choi, Carrot, Broccoli, Kale, Courgette, Squash, Peas, Radish, Salad Leaves, Spinach, Spring Onion, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Turnips, French Beans, Runner Beans, Broad Beans

Plant out: Broccoli, Summer Cabbages, Cauliflower, Kale, Leeks, Celeriac, Celery, Cucumber, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomato

Click here for more ideas of things to do in your garden in June.

For fast results why not order a vegetable, fruit or herb garden pack containing ready to grow plants delivered to your door click here for details

Have fun

Gill

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This Sunday (19th June) is Father’s Day, it is a special day when we show how much we love and appreciate our Dads and Grandads. My Dad is as passionate about gardening as I am which makes choosing a gift for him fairly easy, especially as I work at Gardening Works which has lots of great gardening products, here are my top ideas for Father’s Day gifts from Gardening Works.

 

UNDER £60

Standard Wooden Manger Planter (SM 60) £55.95

Stewart Premium Electric Thermostatic Electric Propagator £43.99

Stewart 52cm Premium Thermostatic Electric Propagator

EM Garden and Home Yoghurt Activator EM Fermenter £41.99

EM Garden & Home Yoghurt Activator Effective Microogamisms Fermentor

Garden Patio/BBQ Table £34.99

Garden Patio / BBQ Table

 

UNDER £30

Barnel Heavy Duty Precision Pruner £27.25

Barnel Heavy Duty Precision Pruner

Wildlife World Coniston Bird Bath £25.99

Wildlife World Coniston Bird Bath

Outside In Westminster Tower Wall Clock £24.95

Outside In Westminster Tower Wall Clock - 15" Black

Wildlife World Urban Bird Feeder £18.95

Wildlife World Urban Bird Feeder

 

UNDER £15

Rostaing Expert Premium Leather Gardening Gloves £14.99

Rostaing Expert Premium Leather Gardening Gloves

Burgon & Ball Potato Harvesting Scoop £12.95

Burgon & Ball Potato Harvesting Scoop

Large Nether Wallop Berry Picker £9.99

Nether Wallop Berry Picker

Stewarts Traditional 10 litre Watering Can £9.99

Stewarts Traditional Watering Can - 2L, 5L and 10L

Order early to avoid disappointment.

Have a lovely Father’s Day everyone.

Gill

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This year Moth Night takes place over 3 nights 9th-11th June, if you missed it last night you can still take part tonight or tomorrow night. Moth Night is organised by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation and is an annual celebration of moth recording throughout Britain and Ireland by enthusiasts with local events being held to raise awareness of moths.

Every year Moth Night has a theme, although recorders are always welcome and encouraged to do their own thing, this year’s theme is Hawk-moths.

Hawk-moths are spectacular, their name reflects their size and their powerful flight, in Britain there are 17 species of Hawk-moths, 9 are residents and 8 are migrants which fly from as far away as North Africa and the Canary Islands, not all of these moths fly at night the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk, the Broad-bordered Bee Hawk (which both resemble Bees) and the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (which hovers to feed from nectar plants and looks and sounds like a humming-bird) fly during the day.

Hawk-moth caterpillars are just as spectacular as the moths, you might even call them slightly frightening, with spots, stripes and a spike like a tail at the back, they vary in size from 4.5cm (Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk) to an alarming 12cm (Death’s head Hawk-moth) they overwinter as pupae in the ground below their food plant.

This picture shows an Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar that we found in our garden in July 2014.

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar July 14

This is what the caterpillar transformed into – a tropical looking Elephant Hawk-moth.

Elephant Hawk Moth

Last night we caught this Poplar Hawk-moth in our trap.

Poplar Hawk 10.6.16

This stunning Lime Hawk-moth was caught in the trap on Tuesday night it is a new species for us and we were very excited.

Lime Hawk 2 8.6.16 crop

If you want to read more on the Gardening With Children website about the moths that we have caught in our garden and how to make a simple moth trap click here.

You can take part in Moth Night in any way you choose, this might involve having a moth-trap in your garden or in the countryside, looking for moths at your kitchen window or at blossom, attending a public event, or travelling further afield to search for unusual species. You can still record a variety of species at light without a moth-trap by leaving outside and porch lights on after dark, check lighted windows and lit walls and fences for moths during the first two hours of darkness and again in the morning. Moth Night is a great opportunity to raise awareness about moths, so why not get family and friends involved in whatever you do?

Weather permitting let’s hope its a good weekend for Moths.

Gill

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Snail

Snails can be a real problem in the garden eating plants and crops but believe it or not they can be fun too, why not have your own Snail Races?

What you will need

  • Some willing Snails
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Marker Pen
  • Round containers e.g. plant pots
  • Small labels

What you need to do

  1. In the centre of your piece of cardboard, mark out a series of different sized circles radiating outwards, the smallest centre circle is the starting point where your snails will begin their race, the largest outer circle will be the finishing line.
  2. Find and collect your snails, snails are more active at night and during damp weather, during the day they like to rest somewhere dark and damp, try looking underneath or behind your plant pots.
  3. Carefully stick a label on each snails shell with their number so that you can identify them.
  4. Place all your snails in the centre circle and watch them go!
  5. The snail that crosses the outer circle first is the winner, it make take longer than you think snails do not always move in straight lines.
  6. After your races place your snails back where you found them or in another suitable place away from your plants.

Interesting Snail Facts:

  • In the World there are around 50,000 different types of land snails.
  • During very dry weather and in winter snails retreat into their shells, they seal the entrance to form a hard cap.
  • Snails can see but can’t hear, most land snails have two sets of tentacles, the upper ones carry the eyes, while the lower one has the olfactory organs.
  • Garden snails have a top speed of 45 metres per hour, this is about 1.3 cm per second, they are one of the slowest creatures on Earth.
  • The largest land snail recorded was 12 inches long and weighed nearly 2 pounds, it was a Giant African Land Snail.
  • Depending on the species snails can live 5 – 25 years.

Have fun

Gill

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