Compost Duvets Help Worms Work Even Harder


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compost_duvetDid you know that Compost Duvets will enable the worms to work harder as the weather chills in all that extra autumnal organic waste?

They will also make cocoons all winter which will all hatch in early spring. This will make a big difference to the speed of composting when spring arrives and you get a huge burst of hungry young worms in the compost.

How they work: like a conventional Duvet in that any heat below causes the stuffing to swell up and provide a physical barrier preventing the natural heat from escaping. This concept has proved to maintain high temperatures within the compost, both day and night. This heat can be maintained for up to 10 days.  It will also keep out frosts in winter so that the worms can work all year round. The Duvet fits snugly into the wooden bins but it can be used on any compost pile.

Our Compost Duvets are available in a choice of two sizes and if you’d like further details simply click here.

Fruit Garden Tasks To Do In June


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P1010589If you’d like to look after your fruit garden, then here is a list of jobs that may be applicable for getting out in the garden in June:

  • Pinch-prune figs. By pinching out the growing point of new shoots, this encourages a heaver crop of fruits
  • Thin out fruitlets of apples, pleases, peaches and plums this month to ensure that those that remain have room to swell.
  • Move citrus trees outside and gradually acclimatise them to the higher levels by opting for a shady spot for the first two weeks.
  • Peg down strawberry runners if you’d like to propagate from your stock.
  • Thin out new shoots of raspberries to ease congestion.
  • Cover ripening cherries with sheets of clear polythene during wet weather as this prevents the fruit skin cracking.

Then you can reap the benefits of your hard work and enjoy eating your produce!

Composting – The First Steps On A Simple Road To Success


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single-wooden-composterAt Gardening Works we know many wonderful Master Composters but for those of you that might be wondering where to start, we thought these tips might help!

First create a space in which to do your outdoor composting. This should be an open space preferably direct on the ground, otherwise on hard standing. Compost can be made in a heap or a suitable container can be used such as a compost bin , which we have a huge variety of available at Gardening Works.

Gather together as much organic waste as possible and make a loose pile. These organic materials soon begin to heat up as the composting process starts. The volume then quickly shrinks. At this stage it is important to dig over the compost using a pitchfork, to introduce more air into the middle of the pile. This should be done a few times at the early stages of composting as natural compacting occurs.

The heat naturally generated quickly builds up again as microbes resume composting in the improved conditions. The temperature will quickly reach 130-I60F in a large well-mixed pile. This will help destroy weeds, seeds and disease and the materials will decompose much faster.

Turning also subjects insect larvae and spores to lethal temperatures inside the pile, which later cools as the microbial activity is succeeded by that of worms and beetles. Add more materials at any time until the pile is as big as the space will allow or the bin is full. Check regularly. Compost should be moist to give the best results. If it is dry add a bucket of water. If it is too wet mix in some brown or dry materials and cover to prevent more rain getting in. A well-balanced mixture of green and brown materials produces good compost. Compost will mature at less than half the original volume.

Once the composter is full and the contents have stopped shrinking quickly, the compost is left to mature. At this point you can start a new compost pile. In time the contents will become unrecognisable and the mixture is then ready for use. A big well-managed mixed pile can be ready for use in a few months. An unattended pile may take about a year. It is traditional to use 3 separate units, one mature and being used on the garden, another maturing and one currently being filled.

So we hope this helps you get started and here’s to lots and lots of lovely compost!

If You’re Looking To Save Water – Use A Water Butt!


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With the British Summer’s being so unpredictable, one minute it’s hot and the next it’s raining, collecting rain water has probably never been so unpredictable but with a Water Butt – it’s easy!

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Simply position the Water Butt in the ideal position and when it rains, let it do it’s work automatically without having to even think about it.

Here at Gardening Works we have a choice of Water Butts available, either a 100 litre, 210 litre or 250 litre version – the choice is yours!




Nemaslug Slug Killer – A Green Way To Kill Slugs


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nemaslug2NATURAL CONTROL By applying Nemaslug® Slug Killer. The nematodes in Nemaslug® Slug Killer are found naturally in UK soil and have been approved for use in organic gardening by the Soil Association. Nemaslug® needs a soil temperature of 5c, so apply Nemaslug® OUTDOORS from March onwards AS SOON as the soil is warm enough to protect your plants naturally. Please never use chemicals in your garden.

Contents Nemaslug® contains millions of microscopic beneficial nematodes that occur naturally in your soil.

How it works Nematodes are invisible to the naked eye and come as a powder, which is mixed with water and applied to the soil where they search out and invade the slugs. As the nematodes invade the slug, it will stop feeding and will burrow underground to die. As it decomposes in the soil, the nematodes are released back into the soil to search out more slugs and the whole process starts again. Nemaslug® works at temperatures above 5C/40F, so apply Nemaslug® AS SOON as the soil is warm enough . Nemaslug will work in wet weather. Nemaslug® works BOTH above and below ground.

Application Dilute and Water into the soil. Each application of Nemaslug® will control slugs for six weeks, so for a slug free garden, apply Nemaslug® every 6 weeks. Nemaslug® is easy to use. Simply mix the harmless powder with water & apply to the soil around the plant using a watering can using acoarse rose or a hose-end feeder. Use the whole pack before the expiry date, which is marked on the inside of the pack and will be at least a couple of weeks. Apply in a broad band around your plants to increase the chances of slugs coming into contact with the nematodes.

Environmental – Nemaslug® is a bird/wildlife friendly solution for slugs. Nemaslug® will not harm children, pets, birds and wildlife. Song birds i.e. thrushes, hedgehogs, toads and some insects i.e. ground beetles love to feed on slugs and their eggs.

To find out more or purchase simply click here.

Handy Tips to Help Take Care Of Your Summer Pots

Pots or Bags - The choice is yours!

Pots or Bags – The choice is yours!

Growing fruit and vegetables in containers is massively popular – many of us do it and many of us know why. It’s easy, it’s accessible, it makes weeding a whole lot easier and, arranged with a bit of artistic finesse, a collection of pots can look mighty fine, too. Of course, there are restrictions and pots do need different maintenance to plants growing in the ground, so here are some pointers: volume is key.The less of it you have the more demanding your potted fruits will be. Very few fruit crops will be happy in small pots – strawberries are the only real candidate. Lingonberries and cranberries might suit, too, but these need permanently moist compost.

Water-demanding crops like pears, peaches and plums require a half barrel as a minimum (dwarf peaches can be given smaller). Choose thick-walled tubs and avoid porous materials like unglazed terracotta.

When in growth your fruit’s roots require constant moisture, plus regular additions of liquid potash. It’s that tricky balance of keeping things damp enough but not waterlogged. Irrigating in the evening will minimise evaporation, as will applying mulch. Make sure there’s a gap of 3cm between the mulch surface and the top of your pot, else the water you do apply will simply spill over the edge.

Move pots into the shade (the leaves and stems can still be in the sun) and avoid windy sites as this can cause rapid moisture loss.