Compost your way to success!

Posted by Click4Garden on November 07, 2013
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In many gardens, sitting resolutely in a corner, perhaps hiding under a tarpaulin, dilapidated, crumbling, a little forgotten, sits a hidden gem, an absolute garden necessity that has become sadly a little underappreciated in recent times. We refer of course, to the compost bin.

This endlessly useful garden helper should be the star attraction of all gardens. Far from being the time-consuming and messy nuisance many believe it to be, the good old compost bin is in fact, a fabulous investment for anyone who turns their hands to planting of any sort.  In modern times, being environmentally friendly has understandably become somewhat of a priority, and whilst some may be unwilling to sacrifice their prized cars or fuss about with plastic bags, composting is a simple and easy way to cut back on house-hold waste, and reinvigorate your garden at the same time, without cost.

Composting is not a complex art, nor does it mean just chucking in old fruit peel now and again. There are many different things that can contribute to a compost bin, such as your old coffee grounds and their filters, dust from the Hoover, and even old pet bedding (provided it comes from vegetarian pets, such as hamsters, rabbits etc).  You could really save on the amount that goes into your wheelie bins. Indeed, recent studies have shown that nearly half of waste that goes into wheelie bins, could have been composted.  Investing a little time in a timber compost bin is a real joy, the fun of which can only really be discovered once you are fully immersed in it. Composting using a wooden compost bin is easy to make and use, is inexpensive and natural, and transforms both your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient-rich food for your garden plants. And of course, its means spending less on expensive compost and plant food from shops.  Give your garden what it truly needs, and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Compost itself when added to your garden will help improve soil-structure, maintain moisture levels, help suppress plant disease and keep soil PH levels in balance. Within it is everything your plants need, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; all that sciencey stuff you think you can only get from pricey garden centre bags- it can all be produced with ease in your own back yard! And as said before, it needn’t be complex. A Timber compost bin is the perfect solution for any garden. With gaps between the wooden slats, this design means that the compost is able to breath, speeding up compost production, and creating decent produce, rather than an oogey mess that refuses to blend. The wooden varieties come in different sizes, and so you can choose the size most suited to your garden. Some include compost covers. Additionally, their simple yet appealing square structure makes them easy to assemble, and are low-maintenance.

To make life even easier, compost covers can be bought for a relatively low cost, and these help keep moisture out (especially important now the wetter weather is approaching), and helps keep the warmth in, maintaining compost production throughout the year. The very best compost takes about nine to twelve months to be produced, but if you remember to pay a little attention to the upkeep of your compost bin every now and then, you should be able to maintain a steady supply of compost, to use whenever you see fit. We mentioned previously that timber compost bins can be found in different sizes, to suit smaller gardens. The same can also be said of gardens will little natural ground. Provided you add a few shovelfuls of soil to the base of your bin (injecting essential micro-organisms and attracting worms), it can be placed on bare soil, paving slabs, even concrete!

So why not grab yourself a good compost bin, one which needn’t be pricey, and get in on all this composty goodness? Rope the kids in to help, and all enjoy an afternoon garden sesh. Let them get their hands good and filthy mixing up your compost ingredients, having simple fun and learning about nature, whilst you sit back on a deck chair, sipping lemonade and thinking about all that lovely compost you’ll soon have- for free!

Happy composting, and feel free to comment and tell us how you’re doing!

Fabulous fencing!

Posted by Click4Garden on September 27, 2013
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With the vast variety of garden fence styles, shapes and colours on offer, you can afford to be picky. Fencing panels are a good, traditional way of marking out boundaries and creating a personal space. However, you needn’t stick to the usual old style of fence. With just a bit of looking around, you can find a fence panel that not only serves its purpose, but also makes a statement about you and your home.

Those who prefer a private, enclosed feel might like to have tall, close-slatted fencing; providing piece of mind and a space away from prying eyes. Additionally, this style is great for keeping in pesky pets, and reinforced varieties are available, perfect for withstanding the kid’s overly enthusiastic football games. But even these needn’t be bland, you could have bow-topped panels, flat-topped, painted panels, even the slat design can be different, the room for creativity is quite large.

There are also those who like an open, welcoming feel to their garden, and so might choose a low form of fence, or one with well-spaced slats, allowing light in, whilst also providing a view of the world outside your garden. Again, here the list is endless. Picket fences, bow-topped designs, perhaps even a lattice-trellis effect, which not only gives that open feel, but is also great for growing climbing plants up.

Once you’ve selected your perfect fence, it needn’t end there. You could decide to paint, dye or stain the panels, in whatever colour. Perhaps you’d like them to blend in amongst your garden, in a subtle and natural way? Or perhaps you’d prefer to choose a bold colour, making a statement, with your garden paradise as a backdrop? For a truly complete look, there are fence panels available with a gate to match, giving your perimeter line a fluid look. You could even place trellis along the top of your panels (there are some designed for this purpose), enhancing the aesthetics, and providing a good frame for climbing plants. You could also alternate bow-topped panels with flat-topped or concave panels, creating the look of waves.

When looking to alter or enhance your garden boundaries, be sure to explore your options. Your garden haven is a reflection of you, so why not have a fence line to prove that? Whether you’re looking for practicality, style or a blend of both, be aware that there is a fence panel for every person, and every garden, so be picky! Your garden is after all, a place to suit your needs, nobody else’s.

Work level picks up, but so does the chance for creativity.

Posted by Click4Garden on September 01, 2013
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From our August blog, you’ll have noticed that we used the term ‘lull’ to describe the pace of that month’s garden work schedule. Well, we warn you now that September can bring with it a brisk change of pace!  Now is the time to get busy again, as although plant growth has generally slowed, roots are still active, so be sure to keep your garden duties in check, before the chills of autumn set in.

Lawns are still a high priority, and whilst last month was based on general upkeep, this month is an opportune time to bring your lawns back to life with some-much needed TLC, after the heady heat of earlier summer.  This is particularly essential if you’ve noticed any yellowy or threadbare patches in your lawn, as although you may have kept on top of pest control and weeding, some level of dehydration is largely unavoidable, so be sure to keep on top of your watering. Mow regularly also, in order to encourage thicker growth to cover up those patches, and rake regularly to sift out any thatch. This will allow the grass to ‘breath’, and helps support natural growth.  Whilst the recent intense heat has sapped energy from gardens, making them look a little tired, it does however mean that compost heaps are good and warm, so add any grass clippings to it, so that your lawn can re-invest in itself next year.  Bearing in mind the encroaching cooler weather ever-nearing October brings, a sturdy wooden composter with a compost cover is a good idea, as this will help to keep out excess moisture, and keep the warmth in, ensuring optimum compost production. In addition, don’t be worried by any fungal growth you may find in your compost heap; this is actually a benefit, as fungi helps the decomposition process.

Whilst we are on the subject of looking ahead, we will take the opportunity to mention spring bulbs. A delightful aspect for the avid gardener, many of you will be pleased to know that this month is a good time to begin the planting of spring bulbs, to ensure that they be ready in time. In between the general banal tasks of tidying and mowing, here presents an opportunity to exercise a little creative talent, as you select your favourite colourful choice of flower bulbs in anticipation for a spectacular display next spring.  You can also afford to be a little more imaginative with your choice of containers. It’s all too easy to stick to the usual boring containers, the plain wooden boxes, the rounded planter; but why not do your garden justice? With spectacular flowers should come equally spectacular planter containers, so be bold, and select garden planters with a little more style and sophistication to them.

When planting new seeds, Cold frames are of course a useful piece, as these sturdy containers will help protect seedlings from the colder weather, whilst still allowing plenty of light in. Upkeep is of course still an important task, particularly where garden structures are concerned. If you have a spare moment, aim to check and repair any trellis-work, fence panels and posts, particularly those with plants growing up them, before next month’s autumn winds topple them, and ruin your hard work.  For the foodie-gardeners out there, you will of course be inundated with harvesting your now fully-fledged crops, and finally enjoying the fruits of your labor. Of course, different plants are often ready at different times, so be sure to re-fill any gaps in your crops with new ones to see you through next winter and spring. However, the weather is still quite balmy, so although we mention this, be sure to keep on top of your watering; this is especially crucial when growing young vegetables- they must never be allowed to dry out.

This month is an opportune time for the general tidying-up tasks around the garden, you may perhaps be tempted to spare a thought for the local wildlife. Bees, frogs and hedgehogs are often a delightful sight when spotted hidden in the garden somewhere, happily pootling around at their leisure. Whilst a neat and tidy garden is often a priority, these visitors often make great fun for children, and encourage them to get out in the garden and learn from nature, so you may feel tempted to leave a few places looking a little wild; perhaps a flower-bed, or an area beneath some trees? We’ll leave you with a final little word of advice for this month that is to keep dead-heading any perennials you may have growing in your garden, to ensure a good display run into October.

The summer is upon us!

Posted by Click4Garden on August 02, 2013
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Now is the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour- Alfresco style.

With the summer finally in full swing, a long-awaited, yet momentary, break has opened up in every over-worked and wrung-out gardener’s schedule. With the onset of exceptionally warm weather, you can finally sit back and enjoy the result of all your hard work. What better way to do this, than with a little alfresco dining?

With the hot and stuffy weather, who wants to be cooped up indoors when you could be relaxing in your garden paradise with family and friends, or perhaps entertaining guests with a wonderfully summery garden party? Of course, in order to truly appreciate this alfresco opportunity, garden furniture is a necessity this season. Sturdy and long lasting metal table and chair sets are perfect for those summery lunchtimes, whether you’re having a get together with the family, or just enjoying a quick break with your other half. Some people’s concern is that it isn’t economical to spend money on something that can only be enjoyed for a small portion of the year, but you needn’t shell out a fortune. A cheaper alternative is polyurethane sets that have a cast iron effect. These are just as sturdy and last for years, whilst still looking absolutely stunning, but with the added bonus of being more lightweight, and so more mobile.

If you’re still looking to enhance or simply add to your garden, with the boom in growth this season, Pergolas are the way to go. These wooden structures are a marvellous addition to any garden and are wonderfully versatile. Grow climbing plants such as climbing roses and clematis up Pergola arches to create a stunning transformation to any entrance or pathway, or for a truly magnificent and functional garden bonus, install a more classic or traditional timber Pergola, and plant ivy at its base. With due care and attention, within about four years you should have an ivy-roofed Pergola structure, providing optimum shade for any garden get-together and of course, it looks absolutely fabulous! A real investment.

For those foodie-gardeners out there, now is the time to reap in your harvest, and of course, plant new ones! Whilst most of us would love to remain in this beautiful summer haze, it is now an opportune time to begin sowing for autumn. Due to this year’s unpredictable weather, it may be prudent to plant a few fast-growing autumn crops, such as peas and Carrots, to ensure a decent yield. A raised section bed is perfect for growing vegetables, as the sections help keep gardening manageable and straightforward, whilst the raised aspect of such wooden beds help guard against insects encroaching on your legumes territory, the voracious appetites of which have been particularly great this year.

And of course, we leave you with one final word of advice. Whilst this momentary break in work schedule is available, take the time to tidy up your hanging baskets, by dead-heading the flowers and of course, ensuring they are kept well-watered and bug-free.

Happy Gardening.

The August lull approaches!

Posted by Click4Garden on June 26, 2013
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Take this time to organise your garden before you set off on your holidays.

I use the word ‘lull’ here lightly, as of course there is still plenty for the busy gardener to be getting on with. The later warmer weather affords us with steady growth, and a reasonably relaxed winding-down as our plants approach a comfortable middle-age.

Now is the time to begin the preparing and tidying-up of lawns, as the more avid gardener will, I’m sure, appreciate this little extra free time to devote to the more basic and yet over-looked aspect of our gardens. Mow weekly for optimum grass condition and aesthetics, and contribute the clippings to your composter- the August sun will speed up production, although a compost cover should best be used to keep in the warmth as the nights grow cooler. When mowing lawns, a complaint I often hear from people is that it is all too easy to run into their flowerbeds and end up unceremoniously beheading their favourite Geraniums. However, this problem is easily avoided by employing the use of edging; garden edging such as log-roll; an easy-to-install and attractive looking addition which can be placed around your flowerbeds, lawns and even pathways. This will help protect, add effect and stop it all running into each other, giving it a pleasingly crisp appearance which and generally makes life easier.

Along with tidying up your lawn comes an equally opportune time for weeding, a banal but essential task. Hoeing frequently is a good and simple way to keep the weeds out, and whilst you may be tempted to swathe the whole lot with weed-killer, this is merely a blanket solution. Rosette-forming weeds like Plantains and Dandelions have roots which are often left untouched by usual weed-killer. Because of this, it is much more effective to simply dig out the whole plant, and this is often simple enough to do.

With the welcome addition of sunny days and that wonderful but all too brief feel of summer, you may be preparing to set off on a well-deserved holiday. A neat and organised garden makes this brief separation all the more easy, particularly if you intend to leave your beloved garden haven in the care of a well-meaning but amateurish neighbour. Here, the use of garden planters becomes essential. An attractive and charming way to lighten up and organise any garden, wooden planters such as troughs are ideal. Combine your trough with a timber trellis and you can grow climbing plants such as Roses or even Tomatoes with relative ease, and display them in a more attractive manner. A herb wheel or other such planter is also ideal this month, as the window for herb planting is closing, that is if you want a decent and enjoyable crop by winter.

I’ll leave you with one piece of advice I hardly need to tell you, and that is that this month, watering is key! Keep ponds well topped-up, and spray humidity-loving plants liberally in the mornings, when its cooler. Keep an eye-out for brown leaf tips- you may need to up your watering!

Salad Crop Growing with Click4Garden

Posted by admin on May 07, 2013
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Salads are the perfect crop that reward in so many ways.  Children, as well as adults,  will enjoy planting them, watering them, watching their rapid growth and (hopefully) eating them.  Salad crops flourish in the smallest of spaces and so containers perfect.  You can use wooden or timber containers , tin cans of varying sizes, plastic containers or any other recyclable container you can lay your hands on!  The most important thing is to make sure you have drainage holes.  Of course raised beds or beds you have made yourself out of timber or wooden sleepers look fabulous and add ornamental, as well as practical, value.

Once your salad crop is in situ you need to check it every day, particularly in the summer when growth is rapid.  Of course watering is vital as containers dry out quickly.  When the salad is still at seed level or very small do water with a watering can with a rose otherwise the seeds will be washed away in the deluge.  Water in the morning or evening to avoid the midday heat (which we hope we will be having!) as droplets of water on the leaves will dry out too quickly and cause leaf scorch.  Don’t forget to water slowly………gushing water will only pass over the top of the soil and not sink into the compost.

Feeding salad crops does help.  Please do check for the relevant products at your local garden centre.  Next you need to be worrying about weeds. Remove them by hand for risk of damaging your seedlings and growing plants.  Remember to ensure the root fragments are not left behind. Weeding is nice and easy if you have a large raised bed made from garden sleepers as you can sit on the wall of timber.

A lot of salad crops cannot be stored and so you need to plant seeds every couple of weeks to ensure continuous cropping; you need never be without a delicious fresh salad!

Here at Click4Garden we like to use companion plants and have always found them to be successful at keeping the bugs at bay; apart from which they look lovely scattered amongst our vegetables & salads in our raised bed which we made from timber sleepers. We use French marigolds – said to repel green fly from the tomatoes and nasturtiums – these look fantastic and are or course an edible flower which tastes peppery and adds colour to the salad bowl. We have planted rosemary and lavender in the centre of the raised bed.

Have The Recent Winds Blown Down Or Broken Your Fencing?

Posted by Click4Garden on March 13, 2013
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Have the recent strong winds knocked your fencing for six?  Then now is the time to take action.  Did you know that now is the best time of year to sort out your garden fencing as your borders have not yet grown up and your garden fence line is clear?  As well as providing security and privacy, choosing the right fence can be an investment in your property.

Although you can choose from traditional lap panels, professional lap panels and closeboard panels; perhaps this is the opportunity to be more inventive? Continental style or Elite style fence panels have more creative styling, are of higher quality and longer lasting. They have mortice and tenon corner joints, a smooth planed finish and are pressure treated for longer life. They are also FSC certified – the trademark of the Forest Stewardship Council – thereby ensuring that the timber has come from environmentally approved forests.  Whatever the style you choose, it is worth fixing your fence now and not waiting until you have to struggle with the grown-up flower border and hard summer ground.

If your fence or fence posts have suffered damage but are still serviceable, you may be in need of some Metpost Repair Spurs. The Metpost Repair Spur is the solution to the problem of posts which have broken off at ground level but are in a sound concrete base.

The Metpost Repair Spur is ideal for repairing gale damaged fencing and is available in 3″ and 4″ sizes both have the Wedge Grip fixing design. If the concrete around the old post is not sound, it may be necessary to move or re-stagger your fence post using a Metpost Spike.

The Metpost Spike is the workhorse of the Metpost family. They are manufactured from heavy gauge steel and the rigid construction is finished with a durable, protective red oxide coating which can be painted to match your fence panels and posts. The spike holds fence posts above ground level which helps to protect the base of the wooden post against rot so ensure a longer life

Christmas Newsletter from Click4Garden

Posted by Click4Garden on November 21, 2012
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Here at Click4Garden we are celebrating our 7th year of bringing garden products to your door at competitive prices. We have gone from strength to strength thanks to customers such as you.  Thank you so much for your support.

We are writing to tell you that we have some wonderful CHRISTMAS GIFT OFFERS that would make IDEAL PRESENTS for the gardeners in your life. Potting Tables, Table Troughs, Herb Wheels, Garden Mirrors, Planters and even a Garden Arbour for snuggling up.  These are all reduced in price, flat packed and ready to be home delivered to the recipient. It makes Christmas shopping very easy. Click here to find out more: http://www.click4garden.co.uk/special-offers.html

Whilst writing perhaps we can tell you a little bit about us.  Click4Garden is run by a team: Clare, Sarah, Mel and Hollie. We each have a field of expertise and run our business from a log cabin on a farm in rural Shropshire.  We pride ourselves on our customer service by running a modern online company in an old fashioned way – answering the phone, helping our customers, advising on gardening projects and just being here to help.

Would you like to receive seasonal gardening tips and selective special offers? If so please ‘like’ our Facebook page where you will find all sorts of information, tips, offers and beautiful photographs of our surroundings.  Click here to have a look: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Click4Gardens/162071637163091

If you are signed up to Twitter you can also find us there, search for @click4gardens and follow Clare as she takes you through the gardening year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May your garden flourish in 2013.

 

With best wishes from

The Click4Garden Team

Home Composting

Posted by admin on September 23, 2012
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Where did the summer go?  Before you can draw a breath, you will find that the nights are drawing in, and after having lovingly tended your garden over the past few months, you now find yourself faced with the next seasonal task – composting.

Using your own composter is both cost and time effective, and choosing a beautifully crafted wooden composter is a great alternative to the plastic composters that you  generally see hidden from view underneath a decomposing tarpaulin or heavily disguised behind a tree at the farthest reaches of your garden!

Home composting is the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with our garden waste plant material. Composting can be fun and easy and you don’t need a huge garden to accommodate a click4garden timber composter. So how do you get started?   Our wooden composters are available in three different sizes, small, medium and large, they provide insulation and allow the compost within the bin to breathe.   It is also extremely easy to assemble and brilliantly low maintenance.

With regards to the composting process itself the following items are very easily compostable:

 . Fruit and vegetable peelings, seeds and cores

 . Tea bags

 . Coffee grounds and filter papers

 . Paper towels or tissues (not if they have touched meat)

 . Egg shells

Compost is the final leg of an extremely complex feeding pattern which involves an array of different organisms, bugs,worms and fungi to name but a few.  After these organisms are broken down you are left with a rich, earthy mass that of which is your soil’s idea of heaven. 

Have a look at our click4garden composters www.click4garden.co.uk/Compost-Bins-c  and become greener today!

 

How much time do we actually spend in our favourite, personally designed garden retreat?

Posted by admin on September 08, 2012
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How much time do we actually spend in our favourite, personally designed garden retreat, not enough time we hear you cry! Why not? -   is the answer screaming  right back at you?   Nowhere but nowhere  compares to the peace and tranquility -  not to mention privacy,  afforded to you by your back garden, so don’t  overlook your  garden, unless you’re dashing for cover from yet another heavy down pour!

If we are fortunate enough to be able to savour the day’s offering of sun, which hopefully we can before the summer disappears. Why not Indulge yourself with a  pretty wooden seated Garden Arbour. These charming arbours, which have become popular in recent years,   would without doubt be top of anybody’s list for style, suitability and preference.

Garden Arbours with rounded tops, pointy tops,  solid timber backs and sides for that more intimate, secure feel. Timber Garden Arbours with trellis sides  and topped for the added gardener’s benefit of indulging in your need to plant ,grow and GROW some more.  Colour co-ordinate your Wooden Garden Arbours to blend in and complement your garden’s theme with subtle greens, blues, greys and reds. Take a look at Click4Garden’s colour chart as we can offer all our Arbours prepainted.    Go on -  invest in your very own little garden hideaway – every garden deserves one!

Please visit our  Click4Garden website for details of all Wooden Garden Arbours available and if you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to contact us.