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Posts Tagged ‘water butts’

WOW it’s hot, summer has finally arrived, the temperatures are soaring and the plants need watering again! Watering your garden can be time consuming and even expensive if you have a water meter, here are our top tips for looking after your garden in hot weather.

Collecting and storing water

Water butts are ideal for storing rainwater from greenhouses, sheds and house roofs; they are invaluable on allotments and situations where there may not be an outside tap. Guttering can be easily added to collect rainwater from sloping roofs and rainwater diverters attached to down pipes to collect valuable rainwater that would normally disappear down the drain.

Rainsaver Rainwater Collector

When and how to water

The best time to water your garden is in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler; the advantages of watering in the morning are that the drier conditions overnight will discourage slugs, snails and fungal diseases. Hand watering will ensure the right amount is given to each plant/crop but this can be time consuming, an irrigation system around the garden, greenhouse and throughout your containers may seem an expensive option but you can water your whole garden just by turning on the tap, why not make it even be easier by fitting a water timer to your water butt or outside tap, watering can be done whilst you are not there and is the ideal solution for the holidays.

Haws Deluxe 5L Watering Can

Mulching

Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture as well as suppressing weeds, this is best done in the spring when the soil is wet and plants are small, ideally use compost from your compost bin you could also use bark chippings, dried grass cuttings or gravel, containers will benefit with mulch too.

Classic Triple Wooden Compost Bin

Containers

Containers, Patio Tubs, Growing Bags, Hanging Baskets, window boxes and Standing Raised Beds all require extra watering to prevent them from drying out, the addition of Rain Gel Water Storage Granules to your compost/soil will substantially reduce the need for watering as the granules absorb large amounts of water which is then slowly released to the plant roots just where it is needed, some window boxes/containers have a water reservoir at the bottom which is drawn up by the compost to the roots. During hot weather or your holidays move your containers out of the sun to a shady corner where they will not dry out as quickly.

Free Standing Wooden Plant or Vegetable Manger Trough Crib Planter

Greenhouses, Polytunnels, Conservatories and Cold Frames

Glass magnifies the sun’s rays, plants are vulnerable to being scorched and will dry out much faster. Open doors, vents and windows in hot weather, automatic greenhouse window/vent openers are very useful especially during holidays, net shading or a glass shade paint can be used to protect plants from the direct glare of sunlight. On hot days pour water on the greenhouse floor first thing in the morning this will slowly evaporate and add moisture to the air to prevent your plants from suffering heat stress.

Standard Mini Wooden Cold Frame

Wildlife

Birds, insects and animals all need water to survive, keep bird baths and water bowls topped up with fresh water daily, you may be surprised who arrives for a welcome drink.

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath Water Dish

Most importantly if you can get outdoors and enjoy this glorious weather!

Gill

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Next week (17-23 May) is Recycle Week.

We are all aware that recycling is very important to the environment, I am sure that many people recycle items of their rubbish in their weekly collections, but could we do more? Can we recycle our waste and benefit our garden?

 Twin Bin Composter from The Recycle Works

Green Waste

Millions of tonnes of green garden waste are produced each year, don’t throw it away it contains valuable nutrients. Set up a compost bin to collect and transform your garden waste (grass, prunings, leaves, weeds etc) into wonderful home-made compost which can be used to grow flowers/vegetables, as a soil improver or as a mulch.  Teabags, Cardboard, Newspaper and Fruit and Vegetable peelings can all be added to the compost bin too.

 Twin Bokashi Bucket System

Food Waste

Cooked food waste including meat, fish and vegetables is usually thrown away but can be recycled in a Bokashi Compost Bucket using EM’s – Effective Microrganisms without the fear of smells. Simply place your scraps into the bucket with a sprinkling of Bokashi Bran and re-seal the lid, when your bucket is full leave for two weeks keeping the lid sealed and either dig the contents into the garden or add to your compost bin. Whilst the compost is maturing a nutrient rich liquid is produced, dilute this with water 1:100 and use as a plant feed in the home or garden.

Harcoster Rain Diverter

Water

Gardens can be very ‘thirsty’ especially during warm weather to reduce the amount of tap water you use collect rainwater from your down pipes with a rain diverter and store in water butts.

Paper Potter

Biodegradable pots

Why not make your own pots out of newspaper using a Paper Potter they are very easy to make and great fun for children to do. Egg boxes are great for filling with compost and sowing seeds in, cardboard rolls and toilet roll tubes are perfect for sweet peas, peas and beans as they provide a deeper root run, keep the containers continually moist to allow the roots to penetrate, once planted they will rot down.

 Love Your Environment shopping bag

Shopping Bags

We as a nation use far too many plastic bags, millions go into landfill sites and thousands more become nuisance litter in our countryside, towns and even our seas, looking unsightly and becoming a danger to our precious wildlife. Invest in a reusable shopping bag that will last for years, helping the environment and if it’s a Fair-trade one it helps farmers and workers in developing countries too, it’s a good idea to keep one by the front door as well as a couple in the car.

 PIR Solar Utility Light

Solar Power

Save electricity by recycling the suns energy with solar powered lights which are bright enough to use inside your shed or greenhouse and to light up your garden and feature plants.

Odd Socks!!!

Ever wondered what to do with all those odd socks, if you collect rainwater direct from your greenhouse or shed roof pop one of them on the end of the down pipe to collect the dust and debris keeping the water clean, replace when required!

Reducing And Recycling Waste In Schools

If you have got the recycling bug and want to do more there are many good books on the subject including Recycle – The Essential Guide and Reducing and Recycling Waste in Schools.

Love your environment – reduce, reuse and recycle

Gill

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Before the growing season gets into full swing get organised, make plans and prepare for a busy Easter Weekend and a productive year ahead in your garden.  

Tools   Check, clean, oil and replace any that are damaged or worn, make sure that you have the right tools for all your jobs this year.

Propagators   These will soon be in full use, test yours early to check it is working properly and give it a good clean, hygiene is very important when sowing seeds. Now is an ideal time to buy one, it will be invaluable throughout the year and in years to come.

 Potting Tray in black

Pots, Trays and Compost   Organise your Greenhouse/Potting Shed sort through your pots and trays throw away any broken ones, give the rest a good clean as well as your potting tray, order new Seed Compost and Vegetable Compost, last year’s opened bags may not be suitable for starting off your new seeds and plants.

Watering Cans & Water Butts   Drain and clean out, check the rose on your watering can and replace if necessary, don’t be caught out by the weather invest in a Water Butt, remember the drought we had in Spring 2012.

Steel Seed Tin 'Dig For Victory'

Store your seeds in a Seed Tin

Seeds   Take stock of your seeds, discard any that are opened and out of date and order more while stocks are still available, store in a suitable Seed Tin to protect them from Mice, Pests and moisture.

Plan   Sit down with a nice cup of tea and draw a plan of your garden/vegetable patch make notes on crops that did/did not do well and where your crops where grown last year, make a new planting plan for this year rotating your crops to get the best results and to avoid problems.

Growing Vegetables by Pauline Pears 

Read   Gardening books are invaluable for reference, ideals, hints and tips for your garden/vegetable plots.

Order Early   If you need any gardening products order early whilst products are available to make sure that you have everything you need.

Make your plans and preparations now, Easter is early and it’s the busiest gardening weekend of the year, let’s hope it’s warm and dry.

Gill

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Recently there has been a lot of coverage in the news of water shortages in Britain and as it’s also Climate Week I thought it would be useful to look at ways of collecting and saving water.

Not all of Britain is affected by water shortages, it is generally in the South East and East of England, and is not due to water being wasted but by a shortage of rain. Recent winters have seen unusually low rainfall and last Autumn was one of the driest on record, although we can’t make it rain we can help by using the water we have carefully, by re-using it as well as collecting any rain that we do get.

Super Space Saving Water Butt 250L

Water Butts are the most obvious way of storing rain, they can hold quite a considerable amount, the Super Space Saving Water Butt has a 250 litre capacity and is ideal for smaller gardens/spaces, its square shape allows it to be positioned against a wall. To enable you to collect rainwater from your downpipes a Rain Water Downpipe Converter or a Guttermate 2 Rain Diverter and Filter can be used.

Did you know that the water you use in the bath or shower can be reused to water plants and on the garden, if everyone has a bath/shower every day there is an awful lot of water that can be recycled. An easy way to do this is to use a Bath and Shower Water Saver which is connected to your bath/shower/hand basin waste water pipe and the water can be diverted via a hose to a Water Butt.

Have a look at on website for more information on these great products which will pay back dividends year after year.

 

 

 

 

 

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