Best Websites for Gardeners

There’s a website for everything – and several thousand for most. It can make it a bit of a chore sifting through what’s out there and finding the best places to read up about you hobbies, and for advice which will make your life easier. Gardeners will know that with a topic as big as gardening there are literally millions of different places you can turn, and they don’t always agree with each other about the best time to prune your roses.

One of my personal favourites (and one of the UK’s most definitive gardening resources) is the Royal Horticultural Society’s site. Their advice section provides lots of simple, easy to follow information about which gardening jobs you should be carrying out each month. Just remember that temperature and humidity are more important than the actual dates when it comes to the garden, to if it’s a particularly mild winter you might be able to carry out some tasks earlier than usual. There are also sections where gardeners can find local gardening groups, read more about specific plant varieties, and even find the perfect plant for your garden based on soil type, how shady it is, and the direction your garden is facing.

Sound good? Head to www.rhs.org.uk to peruse all the Royal Horticultural Society have to offer.

Thompson & Morgan offer a fair few seeds in their extensive online catalogue. With more than 150 years in the industry, they definitely know what they’re talking about. With a blog, a plant finder, and plenty to browse, you’re sure to find something which piques your interested over at www.thompson-morgan.com.

If you’ve just moved to a new house and are yet to tackle the overgrown jungle that the previous residents left in their wake, have a look at this useful online Garden Planner. It’s really easy to use, and you can design a layout which works for your garden by trial and error with none of the expense. Include walls, different types of plants, ponds and more as part of your design, and then print out your plan when you’re all done so you know what you need to buy and what goes where – easy!

There are also lots of gardening directories which can point you in the direction of almost any sort of website that you’re looking for. Both Grow.co.uk and The Gardening Website  are good places to start if you’re a gardener looking for technical information or an amateur who doesn’t want to do more harm than good.

Of course, we also think our own guides for gardeners (keen and reluctant alike) are worth a read too. There’s out free advice section as well as the blog to help you make decisions about garden machinery and accessories. We try and update frequently so there’s usually something new to read and as we’re always adding new products to the site there’s plenty to look at.

 

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Make Your Own Lasagne Bed

Sometimes gardening can seem a bit too much like hard work, but lasagne gardening (also called sheet composting) is perfect if you want to avoid some of the pitfalls. Lasagne gardening is a no till, no dig method that as the word ‘lasagne’ implies is all about the layering. But layering what? Got a few dead branches or twigs lying around, and how about all those leftover vegetables? Well, put it all in the lasagne bed and that’s your recycling done. But how do you do it?

Carbon Layer

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Firstly you need a carbon layer and this is made out of dry, dead products such as twigs and wood chippings, dry leaves, hay and importantly a few sheets of newspaper or one piece of cardboard. Put the newspaper or cardboard down first and you’ll immediately be squashing any weeds that fancy sprouting and taking over your whole garden (something they do after tilling). And because the newspapers do the job an herbicide would do, you’re not putting down anything that may be poisonous to birds.

Nitrogen Layer

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Secondly you need a nitrogen layer and this will be made out of green waste, such as leftover fruit and vegetables, animal manure (but not dogs’ or cats’), egg shells, grass clippings and even ground coffee. This nutrient rich compost reduces the need for additional fertiliser. Put the nitrogen layer on top of the carbon layer and so forth, as if you were layering sheets of pasta and then meat then pasta to make delicious lasagne, and this nutrient rich compost will be just as yummy for the vegetables and herbs you may grow. Remember you can always pop into your local fruit and vegetable store if you’re short of any compost ingredients, as they’ll probably be throwing some items out at the end of the day.

You will usually want a carbon to nitrogen ratio of two to one, i.e. for every two inches of carbon there should be one inch of nitrogen – but the ratio can be in bigger chunks, for example a six inch layer of carbon and a three inch layer of nitrogen until the bed is around two feet tall, then cover it with some low nitrogen mulch such as shredded bark. Unlike traditional composting, you don’t have to check its moisture level or aerate it, just ensure that the bed is soaked thoroughly with water. Now that you’ve finished the fun stage of the process, the hard part begins… the waiting game.

Best time to make the bed

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The best time to start your lasagne bed is at the end of the summer. Then leave it over the winter (it usually takes about six months for it to bake down into the earth), ready for spring when the garden will be a perfectly nutrient rich environment for your plants to grow in. Remember, it could take up to a year for everything to break down completely, but if for example the cardboard is still fairly hard you can always cut through it to plant.

Ready to go?

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But once it’s all beautifully baked, you can start planting – tomatoes, onions, olives, garlic, herbs and whatever your heart desires, though planting methods vary slightly. Use some extra compost or potting mix when planting seedlings and seeds, while for shrubs or plants that need soil for the roots, you will need to dig a hole and put some compost in first.

Basically, the rules are, whatever nature throws in your way, you can usually add them to your layers. Interestingly as earthworms love paper, you’ll have created a wonderful environment for worms and other crawlies to set up home (in traditional tilling methods you often get rid of the earthworms and other organisms that enrich the soil and let it breath). So simple and eco friendly, and you can add extra mulch or scraps at anytime – the more the merrier.

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10 Amazing Examples of Chainsaw Art

Chainsaws aren’t just for ridding your property of unruly branches or trees – recently, they’ve become the chosen tools for making some pretty incredible artwork. Just the idea of making art with chainsaws is amazing in and of itself, considering just how cumbersome the tool can be. Creating a delicate statue laced with realistic details isn’t an easy feat when using something that’s fuelled by a powerful motor and uses a saw blade.

And yet somehow, chainsaw artistry has emerged, seeing craftsman from all over the world carving awe-inspiring pieces that’ll have you wondering just how they achieved such intricacy without tools the size of needles. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these ten amazing examples.

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This wooden eagle is yet to be finished, but you can already tell how spectacular it will be. The details on the wings alone are incredible, especially when you consider how thin the wood has been carved down to and the eagle’s lifelike motion.

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It probably isn’t necessary to point out how stunning the details in this carving are, as you can’t really miss them. The grooves in the owl, the leaves framing it. This piece also combines finished and unfinished wood so that the owl is perched upon a realistic branch. With chainsaw art, it’s all about the details.

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Whoever thought chainsaw art couldn’t be adorable has clearly never seen this carving of a smiling baby bear poking out of a log. Consider our hearts sufficiently melted.

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Chainsaw art isn’t just for rustic, mountain environments. Here, this pack of grizzlies has infiltrated a plaza fountain, ridding the pool of its trout population. The artist had to combine a number of pieces in order for this one to really pack a punch, which, when considering the scale, had to have taken an enormous amount of work. The pay-off is well worth it though, as this installation is definitely a show-stopper.

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These vibrant flamingos took a lot of precision and concentration when you consider just how thin and delicate their necks are. And this little flock goes to show that you can take the carvings that extra step with a bright coat of paint. Passersby will have a hard time ignoring them.

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Chainsaw carvings aren’t just for statues. This example is one you can admire and use on a daily basis. It’s the perfect addition to a countryside courtyard, whose minute details are unbelievable. The fur on the bear, wolf and deer are positively pet-worthy.

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This work of art might not be on the same level as others in terms of details, but when it comes to sheer size, it’s a notch above the rest. This oversized carrot is still rooted into the tree it came from, and would have taken some high-flying carving in order to trim those leaves at the top.

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Bigfoot is alive and well, at least in the world of chainsaw art. The piece of wood this massive guy had to come from is pretty amazing on its own, and the artist has handled it with serious care. Just imagine all the time that went into carving each tuft of fur. This branch of the art world isn’t for the impatient.

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Photo by Rick Obst

It really, honestly, doesn’t get cuter than a mum horse nuzzling her little foal. And don’t even get us started on the almost gravity-defying angle of this sculpture. The perfect placement of these horses heads and muzzle just makes the scene that much more realistic-looking.

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Creating human faces in the world of chainsaw art is incredibly challenging and, as a result, not often done. But this artist nailed their rendition of a realistic human face, dismayed though he may look.

 

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A Brief History of Lawnmower Racing

Although we all like to get those blades buzzing for a whizz around the garden to keep things trim, there are some people who are so revved up by their mowers that they’ve turned it into a motorsport. Make no mistake – lawnmower racing is a much loved pastime across the world, and involves everyone from easy riders to legendary lawn leviathans.

So how was the leap first made between garden utility and motoring over the meadows? It’s a question sure to cross the mind of anyone who first comes into contact with this fun and fast-paced sport, and its roots are closer to home than you might think.

More than a pub pipe dream

As you can imagine, lawnmower racing largely sticks to the ride-on variety, so as comical as it might be to visualise scores of people frantically pushing their whirring contraptions across the grass, wheezing for breath, it’s a little more sophisticated than that.

Much like the famous story of the invention of the telephone, the history behind lawnmower racing describes similar ideas surfacing at around the same time on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK, it’s said that in 1968 a lawnmower grand prix was organised by the Ashton on Mersey Cricket Club. The idea was to fundraise for Lancashire’s cricket legend Kevin Higgs’s benefit fund, and the race itself played out over almost 900 metres of grass.

The stunt gained a lot of press, as well as sponsorship – even Esso threw its name behind it. However, in 1978, a group of friends in West Sussex were drinking at their local pub, dissatisfied with how their love of motorsports always seemed to involve sponsors and big money moving around. They wanted a fast, inexpensive and accessible way to enjoy a day at the races, and one crazy idea and a mad 80-mower dash across the local common field later, they’d invented the British Lawnmower Racing Association.

The BLMRA is as active as ever today across the British Isles, with its core principles – no commercialism, no sponsorships and no modified engines – making it a down to earth bit of fun with a sizeable national following. The likes of Chris Evans, Sir Stirling Moss and Phil Tuffnell have all been behind the wheel in BLMRA races over the years, and events are held at fetes and dedicated meets all year round.

Mowing across America

Our friends across the pond have just as much love of lawnmower racing as here in the UK, and just like here, the history of this terrific little motorsport has its roots in the 1960s. In a tradition that continues to this day, the city of Twelve Mile in Indiana commemorates Independence Day with 60 laps of mower madness around the local park. Back in 1963 the event began as a simple competition between factory-built mowers with their blades removed. Cut to today, and the race is a massive event on the local calendar. Both original model and modified mowers are welcomed nowadays, and that’s just a taste of how much the US adores sending those mowers motoring.

Two major alliances have sprung up in the USA – the American Racing Mower Association (ARMA), which was founded around a decade ago, and the more storied United States Lawn Mower Racing Association. The latter organisation commemorates 25 years of activity in 2017, although both organisations promote and co-ordinate lawnmower racers throughout North America.

Whichever side of the Atlantic you look, it’s pretty clear that lawnmower racing has a passionate following. It appeals to a huge range of people, from kids with the need for speed through to professional hobbyists who tend to and care for their prized racing mowers, right through to hot-blooded granddads with a taste for some full throttle meadow mayhem. Reckon you could one day take to the circuit?

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A Quick Look at Lawnmowers in Film

When you think of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the trusty lawnmower isn’t necessarily the first thing that springs to mind. But while action heroes speed around in fast cars and helicopters, some of our best-loved characters have been taking it slow, giving faithful ride-on mowers their fifteen minutes of fame. Not just the gruesome stars of hard-to-watch horrors like Braindead and Sinister, lawnmowers have trundled through gardens from Alabama to Arizona sharing feel-good moments on the silver screen.

Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

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In this classic American high-school drama, we meet our main character, Ronald, mowing lawns to save up money for a telescope. However – spoiler alert – when Ronald sees a cheerleader spilling wine on her mother’s very expensive suit, he also sees an opportunity, and cuts her a deal that he’ll give her enough money to replace it if she pretends to be his girlfriend.

Slightly creepy? Yes. A little desperate? Definitely. But by the end of the film the two are genuinely in love. The final scene sees the young lovers ride away into the sunset aboard Ronald’s faithful mower, a beautiful moment for both romance enthusiasts and lawnmower lovers everywhere – later referenced in a copycat scene during 2010’s Easy A.

The Lawnmower Man (1992)

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This sci-fi horror flick sees a disabled greenskeeper, usually employed to help with odd jobs and most often seen mowing lawns, manipulated into agreeing to some underhand experiments.

The experiments start out on chimps, and are designed to increase intelligence. When ‘Lawnmower Man’ Jobe is experimented on, he does indeed rapidly begin to increase in intelligence. In no time at all, Jobe goes from intellectually disabled to possessing telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers. Living through a mad world of virtual reality, things get gradually more and more out of hand. Thankfully no lawnmowers are used for evil in this film, unlike the grisly murder scene in Sinister, but it’s safe to say that by the end of the film, Jobe is no longer stuck mowing lawns to get by.

The Straight Story (1999)

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This biographical film tells the emotional story of Alvin Straight’s 240-mile journey across Iowa and Wisconsin, riding on a 5mph John Deere 110 lawn tractor. Why didn’t he just take a car, you ask? When Straight heard the news that his brother had had a stroke, inspiring the lengthy journey to make amends before he passed away, Straight’s vision and use of his legs were already so impaired that he couldn’t attain a full driving license. Thus was born the heart-warming true tale of one man and his lawnmower on an incredible journey across the states.

Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989)

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Automated lawnmowers may seem like a very recent addition to the garden care family, but this 80s shrunken-children classic wouldn’t be the same with out its famous remote-control lawnmower scene. Having already been shrunk to minute size by a science experiment gone wrong, the child stars of the film find themselves navigating their now jungle-like garden, evading giant ants and dodging death by mower blade along the way.

It’s a tense scene, but all’s well that ends well, and those of you who haven’t seen it will be pleased to hear that nobody gets hurt by the cutting-edge technology on display.

Forrest Gump (1994)

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Alright, so a lawnmower didn’t get to take a starring role in this feel-good classic, but it definitely featured in one of the most emotional scenes. As Forrest mows the lawn on his rear-engine Snapper ride-on, we see the return of his long-lost lover Jenny, who he has been pining for throughout the film. Overwhelmed, Forrest stops mowing and runs over to her, and the red ride-on mower looks on as the pair are reunited at last.

This isn’t the only time lawnmowers get a look-in during the film however, as one of the most well-known quotes from Forrest Gump states – “And ‘cause I was a gazillionaire, and I liked doing it so much, I cut that grass for free.”

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3 of the Most Incredible Lawns in the World

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Lawns require a constant input of time and attention, and as a result many are leaving the traditional lawn behind and replacing their expanse of green with low maintenance alternatives such as patios, raised flower beds and decking.

Different cultures view lawns differently around the world and in some countries they don’t exist at all for the average citizen. In Russia, lawns are seen as a luxury item and associated with the wealthy. Fifty per cent of agricultural output is from backyard gardens and of the one in three residents enjoying their own personal garden, it’s used as their main source of food.

In other countries such as Brazil and Malaysia, gardening and maintaining a lawn just isn’t part of everyday life. Due to the lack of space and over population in urban areas there’s neither the time or capacity for it. Again, in rural areas, any extra space that could be used for a lawn is usually designated to growing crops.

In the United States, the perfect lawn is the ultimate mark of gardening respectability, as it was traditionally here in the United Kingdom, but as the urban population continues to rise and gardens increasingly become a thing of the past, things are starting to change. The Aussies take great pride in their yards and their lawn care industry is ranked second in the world behind the United States.

Wimbledon Centre Court, London

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A whopping nine tonnes of grass seed is used each year across the 19 grass courts at the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Taking around 15 months to prepare a championship standard court before it can be played on, the process is rigorous and thorough.

During The Championships the height of the grass is 8mm and is cut every day with a little bit of watering at night to help the grass survive in the dry soil.

Since 2001, the grass courts have been sown with 100 per cent perennial ryegrass, having previously been a mix of 70 per cent rye to 30 per cent creeping red fescue. After independent research from The Sports Turf Research Institute, it was proved the change would improve durabilty and enhance presentation without affecting the speed of the court.

The White House, Washington

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The President has two back yards – the South Lawn and the North Lawn. The South Lawn, which is closed to the public, is long and broad and used to host official events like the State Arrival Ceremony and the annual White House Egg Rolling Contest. Marine One, the presidential helicopter, lands on this lawn to pick up and drop off the President.

The North Lawn, or front lawn, is used to officially welcome visiting heads of state as they enter the White House grounds and you’ll often see news reporters standing on this lawn with the North Portico as a back drop.

It is the job of the National Park Service to maintain the grounds 365 days a year, and keep the lawns looking green despite the constant foot traffic. Every autumn they undertake a major turf renovation which includes thatching, aerification, seeding with tall fescue and fertilising. After major events the lawn is aerated to release the compaction.

Champ de Mars, Paris

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One of the largest parks in Paris, the lawn at Champ de Mars sits proudly in front of the Eiffel Tower. The grass here is bursting with history from hosting the first ever Bastille Day celebrations in 1790 to the launching of the world’s first hydrogen–filled balloon in 1783 and features in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill.

Originally, the public space was reserved for market gardening where citizens would claim small plots and grow produce for the local market and later used by the military for battle training.

Your Guide to Weeding in Summer

The summer months are meant to be when your garden flourishes and blooms into stunning arrays of colour and foliage. But not everyone sees their desired results, due to another plant that’s also flourishing in the sunshine – the dreaded weed.

Weeds can grow anywhere and thrive in any conditions but are most happy to sprout when they have an abundance of sunshine and good amount of rain, meaning conditions are perfect during the British summer. It’s important to get rid of these pesky plants before they begin to overtake your garden. Weeds love to compete with your chosen plants and will gladly suck up any water, nutrients and light meant for your other plants. They also can create a lovely habitat for various kinds of bugs, and these can increase the chance of bringing disease to your garden. Don’t be dismayed though, there are several practical steps you can take that will make sure it’s your beautiful plants that are blooming, and not a garden full of weeds.

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Weed every day

Weeds tend to grow quickly during the summer and it can be a perpetual task just to stay on top of them. Consistency is the key. Taking just 10 minutes out of your day to rid your garden of any growing weeds will help you keep ahead in the battle and won’t feel so time consuming. There’s no need to spend hours pulling out weeds if you just do a little bit, and have it as part of your everyday routine.

Use your hands

Your best line of defence against these nuisances are your hands. Put on some gloves and start weeding by hand, making sure to pull them out before they begin to flower or set seed. If you wait too long they could begin spreading, making your job longer and more difficult.

If you find yourself behind in your weeding game and they seem to be overrunning your garden just pinch off or chop off the flower heads or seed pods. This will give you a little bit of time to catch up before they start to bloom again. It’s best to yank out weeds after period of rain. While the soil is moist it’s much easier to pull them out cleanly from the root and get the entire culprit. Pulling weeds in dry soil can cause the roots to break off, meaning in no time they’ll be back to full height.

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Find the right tools

Once you have gotten most of the easier weeds out by hand you can start tiding up the more resilient ones with your tools. Using the right tools for the job is very important. Different weeds respond to control methods in different ways, so make sure you do your research. Some great tools to keep handy in your shed are small hoes for precise weeding and a sickle or blade for cutting down taller ones at the base. As with most tools, sharpening them after heavy usage will prevent any damage and make the process a lot easier.

Consider using mulch

After you’ve finished de-weeding your garden you can start to think about maintaining it, and one of the best ways to keep them at bay is by using mulch. Weeds tend to love bare soil so it’s important to lay mulch down quickly to avoid re-sprouting. Mulch holds in soil moisture and also shades your soil to prevent weeds from germinating.

If all this fails you can look at picking up some useful weed killer, sprays or herbicide. Spraying directly will attack deep into the roots and prevent future weeds from re-appearing.

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But the main piece of advice? Try to relax! Caring for your garden is meant to be a peaceful activity, and there is no need to let a few pesky plants ruin your enjoyment of the overall process. By following these simple tips you can easily stay on top of problems that may arise and have an enjoyable summer relishing in your blooming and colourful garden.

Your Guide to Summer Lawn Care

Once summer officially arrives, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot to enjoy the warm weather than your lawn. Our lawns are the backdrop for barbecues, plush beds for sunbathing and football pitches for a high stakes match. But all of this summer activity can spell trouble for your lawn if the sun-thirsty soil isn’t properly looked after.

It’s possible to sow new seeds to damaged lawns in the summer, but not advisable. The soil is often too dry to take in new roots, so the chances of your hard work falling on deaf blades is much higher. That’s why it’s better to be prepared for this summer with a lawn care routine that’ll keep your garden looking green throughout drier months – lawns that are well-fed and well-prepared are much more able to sustain the hot weather. To get you started on a lawn care routine, here are some helpful hints and tips that’ll make your garden the talk of the neighbourhood.

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Watering

This one seems like a no brainer, but watering your lawn this summer is key. We need water when the going gets hot, and our lawns are no different. You should ensure that your lawn is well-watered throughout the summer, providing it with at least an inch of water a week, and more when the weather is especially dry. Rain gauges can help you keep track of how much watering is necessary. It’s best to water your lawn in the early morning or early evening, as these are the times when the water is more likely to soak into the soil rather than evaporate.

If the odds aren’t in your favour and your lawn goes dormant, taking on a brittle, brown appearance, it’s better to call it quits until the autumn rather than overwater the grass in an attempt to revive it. You’ll get another chance when the weather cools at the start of a new season and your grass comes back to life.

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Mowing

How much and how short you should mow your lawn in the summer comes down to a fine science. It might seem counterintuitive to cut your grass frequently in an effort to help it grow, but mowing your lawn at least once a week is actually preferable in the summer because it helps promote healthy growth. However, grass that’s clipped too short is an open invitation for pesky weeds.

You should aim to keep your grass between one to three inches high, and use the clippings as mulch that can help keep moisture in. If your grass is too long when you clip it, that mulch can smother the remaining grass trying to grow, so it’s a good idea to only mow about 1/3 inch each time, if possible.

Tackling weeds and patchy lawns

Summer is the optimal time to weed out the baddies from your garden before they disperse seeds and multiply onto next year’s lawn. You can rid your lawn of weeds by hand or through the use of herbicides. Post-emergent herbicides are preferable, because they’ll kill the weeds on contact and won’t do damage to the surrounding area – they should be used sparingly, though, as too much strain on your already heat-stressed lawn can do more harm than good.

Fertilising your lawn in the summer means you run the risk of burning the grass and growing little blades that will struggle in the heat, so you should avoid summertime fertilisation. However, if the urge proves too great, you can tackle smaller lawn patches with liquid feed, while lawn spreader generally works better for larger ones.

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Mark Bartram Prepares For Coast To Coast Challenge

Mark Bartram, Managing Director of Bartram Mowers and Lawnmowers Direct, has completed a number of endurance challenges in the past. This year he used the London Marathon as a warm up (!) and will soon be completing a nonstop coast to coast run. Everyone here at Lawnmowers Direct HQ is really impressed, and with such a great time in the Marathon we’re sure Mark is going to do fantastically in his next challenge.

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Towards the end of last year I decided that it was time for another endurance challenge before I get too old and infirm so on the 10th June I am going to run from the Lancashire coast at Workington across to the east coast at Newcastle, nonstop. I am doing this once again with my brother Matt and this is the next step on from our Norwich to London run two years ago.

We will be completing our run on the 10th and 11th June and we aim to finish it in about 40 hours. On this occasion I am running for two local charities The Big C Appeal and the Norfolk Heart Trust.

As a warm up for the coast to coast run I ran the London Marathon on 24th April and I had been hoping for a sub four hour time. In the event the run went much better than I had hoped and I managed to complete the marathon in 3 hours 36 minutes and 40 seconds. I was helped enormously during the race by being fortunate enough to find someone who was aiming to run at a similar pace to me and the other runner, Magnus Walker, helped me keep going during the painful final third of the race when fatigue was really setting in.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Marathon and the wonderful camaraderie it generates amongst the runners and I’m now looking forward to the 10th June and what will be an even bigger challenge!

You can sponsor Mark on his Virgin Money Giving Page by clicking here. Good luck Mark!

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Christmas Gift Ideas For Gardeners

It can be incredibly difficult to buy for loved ones. Unless you’re on a pretty tight budget, most people either buy or save up for the things they want most rather than waiting for the holiday season to come around. Without spending a small fortune, it can be difficult to think of anything that that person wouldn’t have bought themselves.

Garden machinery might be fairly low down on your ideas list but actually, bought for the right person this can be a highly considerate, thoughtful gift for friends or family. There’s garden machinery and tools to suit everyone, from the most reluctant gardeners, to those who need a time saving device in order to get through everything they want to in their garden.

Lawnmowers

A lawnmower is a highly practical gift; as long as you’ve got a lawn it’s something that you will need. If you know anyone who has recently moved house or started out on their own, it’s probably not something they’ve even thought about yet. After all, the grass won’t need cutting again for a few months.

The most suitable mower will depend on the size of the garden and the user. Some petrol mowers can be on the tricky side in terms of starting them, and they can also be fairly heavy. If the person you’re buying for won’t be able to cope with the physicality, you might consider a smaller, lighter electric or cordless lawnmower.

Bosch Rotak, Honda Izy, Hayter Harrier and Husqvarna machines are some of our most popular options, with Flymo being an excellent choice for sloped areas or smaller spaces.

The ultimate in lawnmower luxury comes in the form of the robot mower. These high-tech pieces of kit take all the hard work out of lawn maintenance, meaning that it’s not something the user will need to think about at all. Easy to set up and suitable for use in a range of weather conditions, robot mowers are an amazing present. As the days draw in it can be difficult to find the time to mow the lawn, but a robot mower can cut day or night, rain or shine. The clippings will be mulched and so there are no cutting boxes to empty.

Garden Tools

If you’re buying for an elderly relative who loves to garden but struggles with arthritis or weaker joints, have a look at the Radius Garden range. These tools are designed specifically to reduce physical stress and strain and maximise the amount of power. The recognisable brand colours and the innovative concept makes these a life changing product. In fact, even if you don’t have joint problems the Radius Garden range can still be a good choice.

Of course, while we’re writing this guide with Christmas in mind, a lawnmower, a chainsaw or any of the other garden tools mentioned in this post make great gifts all year round (for yourself as well as for loved ones). Christmas is one of the times you’re least likely to be in the garden, although this doesn’t mean that your gifts will be wasted – it won’t be long until the spring comes around and the garden will want sprucing up once more.

Are there any other gardening gifts that you’ve asked for this year? Have any products stood out as the perfect present for your better half? Let us know below!