Category Archives: Gardening Advice

bring your grass back to life

How to bring your lawn back to life in 5 easy steps

Bringing a lawn back to life after a long stint of cold, damp weather is a hugely rewarding but challenging process. As a general rule, when the first signs of spring begin to appear, it’s time to focus your attention on the lawn to get it primed for summer.

So, if your lawn is looking a bit patchy or brown, and sunshine alone won’t bring it back to full health, follow this guide to get it looking like a key feature to be proud of once again.

Bring your lawn back to life in 5 easy steps

1.Get rid of winter weeds and dry blades

Dead, dry blades, fungi and moss can all build up on our lawns during the winter and extended cold spells. Snow mould in particular only rears its head during extreme weather, so watch out for that in your garden. It’s time to get your wire rake out of the shed to get rid of this debris to make way for spring growth and reseeding if necessarily. Think of this raking, otherwise known as ‘scarifying’ the lawn, as exfoliating your lawn of the dead cells and dirt to celebrate the spring season.

2. Reseed to freshen up a sparse lawn

Shaping your lawn from seed is inexpensive and straightforward. Whether you are sowing seed to start from scratch or fill in patchy areas on an existing lawn, sowing is a much cheaper option for larger spaces – just don’t get expect instant results.

The right watering strategy is key: water your existing lawn well, sow your seeds and don’t water again until you begin to see the shoots coming through. Watering too early risks washing the seeds away and increases the chance of mould setting in.

How To Sow Grass Seed – A Complete Guide

3. The more your mow, the thicker your grass will grow

As soon as the cold winter snap seems to be over, and your grass seedlings are dry and established, start mowing at least once a fortnight in spring and once a week in summer to prompt full and thick regrowth. Remember to collect your clipping to store in a your compost bin. If you don’t have one, a thick black bin bag will do!

4. Feed your lawn regularly

Nothing brings existing foliage in the garden back to life like a good quality feed. Some feeds are designed specifically for the lawn, which are great if your lawn is moss and weed-free, and others have added ingredients to kill unwanted fungi, weeds and moss for quick results. Some are designed for the spring to promote new growth, and others are for toughening up your autumn grass in time for winter.

Not all feeds are pet-friendly, so check the packaging beforehand or ask the supplier. Chemical-free weed killing alternatives include boiling water – which may also affect your grass so it’s not ideal – vinegar, salt and sugar.

Whatever feed you choose, spread from April through to September for extended growth and health. Try a liquid feed from later spring into summer to feed as well as moisten your lawn during dry spells, then opt for a gentler feed which is low in nitrogen in autumn which won’t speed up growth and leave new shoots susceptible to winter frosts.

5. Aerate your lawn in late spring and early autumn

Your lawn can becoming compacted through use and different weather conditions, which restricts the absorption of air, water and nutrients at root level.

The concept and process of aeration is simple: take a strong, long-handled fork out of storage, put on a pair of boots or wellies with thick soles and use your weight to dig the fork down into the lawn to create small holes. Leave a set of holes every two feet or so until the entire lawn has been aerated.

Your work will stimulate new growth, improve water drainage and de-compact your lawn below surface level. Timing is key: aim to aerate in late spring and early autumn, when your lawn is established but when very hot weather hasn’t made the soil dry and hard to dig.

Why, How and When to Aerate a Lawn in the UK

Revive your lawn this spring with Bury Hill

Now’s the time to invest in a high-quality grass seed mix that has been blended for your specific use. Bury Hill supplies Limgrain grass seeds which have been treated with a transparent coating made from seaweed extract which ensures fast germination and strong root growth.

Find out about our package options and delivery prices by clicking through to our Grass Seed page.

child-friendly gardening checklist

Child-friendly gardening checklist for spring

It’s always exciting to see our gardens wake up once again after a long winter slumber. Spring is an active season for plants and gardeners in the UK. It’s a great time to inspire the next generation of gardeners to get outside and lend a hand to start growing their own flowers, fruit and veg.

Spring is a time for sowing seeds, watching wildlife and maintenance in the garden. A cool breeze may be lingering, but the garden still needs tending. We’ve put together the following guide, which lists child-friendly jobs, planting and activities by month to help your whole family enjoy your garden space.

March

Spring has sprung, busy days have begun!

Jobs to help with

Regular bug watches! Keep an eye out for slugs and snails

Cover bare borders with good quality topsoil

Rake up leaves and stick them in your compost bin

What to plant

It’s time to get summer bulbs in pots for summer colour

Sow herb seeds thinly in a tray or large pot

Sow lettuce seeds early indoors

Clear an area for wildflowers then spread a wildflower seed mix

Clear weeds to sow hardy annuals, like ‘Ladybird’ poppies

April

Prepare for April showers and sunshine

Things to do this month

Dig in a 5cm layer of good quality topsoil along borders

Help plant hanging baskets with bright blooms

Keep on top of weeds! Spread woodchip if needed

Continue your good work

Plant herb seedlings into separate pots or into the soil

Water your newly-planted fruit trees regularly

Add a soil conditioner before summer planting

Tie tomato plants to stakes for straight growth

Look out for frogs and frog spawn in the pond

May

A marvellous month for green fingers!

Now’s the time to

Find a good soil conditioner to break up heavy soil

Begin picking lettuce leaves for lunch!

Bundle herb sprigs into drawers for freshly-scented clothes

Spring sowing and planting

Sow sunflower seeds in a sunny spot outdoors

Pick a spot on a fence or wall for wallflower plants

Plant delicate indoor seedlings outdoors

Gather the first flowers of spring into a lovely bunch

3 ways to attract wildlife into the garden

Make a dark, warm hedgehog hotel using a wooden crate filled with leaves left turned upside down, with a small air hole and an entrance.

Place a small strip of carpet, or any other thick fabric, along a border to attract slow-worms. Often mistaken for baby snakes, these lizards are becoming an increasingly rare sight in the UK.

Create a makeshift bird feeder by stuffing melted fat or lard (an adult must be present) peppered with nuts and seeds. Finally, attach some rope to the container and hang it from a tree that is in plain sight from your house.

Make your garden look and feel great in time for spring with a nutritious topsoil and soil conditioner. All our premium grade topsoils and loams are blended using high-quality natural soils, selected sands and grits and organic compost from known sources, using local materials where possible. If you would like to place an order, visit our topsoil delivery information page.

 

Money-Saving Gardening Tips

10 Money-Saving Gardening Tips Part two

Last year, we took you through our top 10 money-saving gardening tips for our thrifty customers, from money management to researching your landscape supplier properly. However, a gardeners work is never done, and every season presents fresh opportunities to plan ahead! So, if you’re a beginner looking to cut costs or you need a tips top up, you’ve come to the right blog.

1. First, preserve leftover seeds

Seed packets may be small on size but many are big on price – the rarer or more popular the flower, for example, the more expensive they are to grow from seed. One of the easiest ways to cut down on seed expenditure every year is to store all your packets and leftover seeds (because you will always have some left over). Airtight plastic containers and glass jars are best, in a cool dry area away from direct sunlight.

2. Or, collect seeds to use again next year

Collecting flower and vegetable seeds at the end of their growing season will keep your seed collection topped up every year without having to head to the gardening centre. It’s not difficult to do, and some plant seeds are easier than others to harvest. Here’s a quick list of seed-saving vegetables to consider:

  • Peppers

  • Melons

  • Squash

  • Aubergines

  • Cucumber

  • Tomato

The smaller the seed, the bigger the hassle. But trust us, storing home-grown seeds is very satisfying – and frugal!

3. Learn how to take and grow cuttings

You don’t have to wait until a flower or fruit has lost its luster until you can start creating money-saving tips. As soon as plants begin to grow additional stems and shoots, there’s potential to take cuttings to grow on, sell or barter with friends. Here’s a quick tree cuttings guide, for example, to note:

  • Softwood cuttings: late spring, early summer

  • Semi-hardwood: midsummer after flowering

  • Hardwood: end of summer

4. Buy mulch in bulk

If you’ve decided that you’re a minimalist gardener – more interested in materials and practicality- consider using attractive materials in bulk like woodchip and bark to spread around the garden. Bulk buying is often a cheaper, easier and quicker solution for this type of garden project.

5. Shop comparitably

There are plenty of online comparison sites to choose from, selling everything from garden furniture and features to tools and lawnmowers. So shop around to find the cheapest prices on the market, alongside seasonal deals and sales.

6. Avoid overplanting

It’s easy to burden a big flower or vegetable bed with too many plants all at once to achieve a mature, lively scene straight away. As a rule, start with the bigger plants at the back and work your way forward in size until you reach the front, leaving enough room around each plant so they’re not constantly competing for light and nutrients.

7. Test your soil

If you go on a spending spree before testing your soil – what nutrients your soil lacks and its pH – your plants may not be suited to the conditions and will eventually wither, no matter how much you feed them. Test your soil and plan a planting scheme accordingly, like you would with shady and sunny spots in the garden. Consider using specialist soils to give your beds a boost.

8. Try natural, DIY feeds

We’re big fans of trying natural products in the garden when you can. Our pH-neutral organic soil conditioner, for example, is used by customers who want to improve their soil without potentially damaging chemicals.

Natural options to include in the garden include:

  • Making your own weed killer

  • Making your own compost

  • Save your grass clippings to use on your lawn as a DIY feed

9. Get free advice or speak with an expert

If you’re looking for extra ways to be creative in the garden, there’s a wealth of free knowledge online, at your local library or in free magazine supplements to get you started. Alternatively, as we pointed out in our earlier post, investing an hour or so with a landscaping expert to discuss your project to avoid mistakes is often good value for money over the long-term

10. Finally, use water wisely

Rather than add to your water bill during the summer when tending to your garden, collect water from other sources where you can. Installing a water butt, or leaving open containers around the garden to collect rainwater, is quick and easy. Additionally, watering directly on the soil rather than higher up on the leaves ensures water goes to where it is needed and adding two to three inches of mulch to your soil locks in moisture for longer.

For more even more evergreen tips on how to keep your garden looking great for less, revisit our first money-saving blog.

If you’re interested in any Bury Hill product or service listed in this blog, please call our team on 01306 877 540 for more information, or use our postcode delivery finder to receive an estimated price for your order.

Loam Soil – Everything You Need To Know.

Loam soil means your garden will flourish

For those of us who simply want to pot some plants, to plant some shrubs, and flowers and keep our gardens looking neat and tidy, sometimes gardening can be tricky. It can quickly become overwhelming when we’re faced with gardening terms and decisions such as which soil is best, and all the things we need to do to ensure our gardens stay healthy.

While you don’t need a degree to be a good gardener, educating yourself on some aspects will help you to make sure that your garden flourishes.

One of the most basic rules of gardening is that if you want your plants to do well, you need great soil to plant it in.

This is where you may have heard the term loam soil come in.

Loam soil is what many gardening experts say you should aim for as it provides optimum conditions for most plants and flowers to grow in.

Good soil is soil that contains a healthy mix of plant boosting nutrients, that has good drainage but also retains moisture well enough that roots get a chance to suck it up, that is moist and crumbly but neither too wet or too dry, too clumpy or too soft! Yes getting the perfect soil can be tricky.

Loam soil is the ideal for growing most plants. It usually contains

- around 50% sand,
- 30 – 50 % silt, and
-10 – 25% clay

These numbers don’t have to be exact. As long as there is the same amount of sand and silt with about a 10th to a quarter of the soil’s makeup being clay, you should have a good enough mix for plants to thrive.

The reason why this mix works is that sand particles help to keep the soil loose, they are the largest of the three particle types and break up the soil well making it easy to work with. They also don’t hold onto too much moisture thus making it easy for water to drain right through the soil when it rains, or you choose to water your garden.

Clay particles are very small, however, they retain moisture far better, therefore are needed to ensure your soil stays moist enough that plant roots can access the water within it.

Silt particles help to mix the two.

The mix of particles in loamy soil means that it is rich in nutrients too, this keeps the soil healthy, and healthy soil means healthy plants. The pH balance is near to neutral, and the consistency of loam soil allows for lots of movement, so water, air and nutrients can move freely within it, again resulting in those hungry roots being easily able to reach what they need.

How do you know if you have loam soil in your garden?

Some lucky gardeners already have loamy soil in their gardens. It’s easy to test whether you have by picking up a handful of your garden soil and squeezing it between your fingers. If the sand content is too high the soil will sift through your fingers, too much silt and the soil has a more powdery consistency, too much clay and it will feel sticky and won’t absorb water well.

If you have loam soil, you should be able to form a loose ball of soil in the palm of your hand.

I don’t have loam soil – how can I create it?

You’d think just by adding more sand, silt or clay to your soil would result in loamy soil in your garden. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this.

To achieve loamy soil, you must carefully and consistently tend to your garden. Working in some good quality organic matter each season to your existing soil will help you choose the optimum soil conditions for your garden.

Alternatively, for a fast solution, you can buy loamy soil to add to your garden for instant and impressive results.

At Bury Hill, we pride ourselves on providing a fantastic range of loamy topsoils which can be ideal to help your garden flourish. So whether you are a novice gardener or have been doing so for years, why not browse our great variety of premium grade topsoils and loams to give your green space a real boost in time for next years planting season?

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – November Gardening Tips

November gardening tips

November gardening tips

Winter is approaching

November sees the last of the leaves fall, frosty days and nights and often freezing rains – oh the joys of the British winter! Protecting your garden should be your priority now.

What to do in the garden in November

Plants and Flowers

Get any other plants that can’t withstand the cold inside the greenhouse now. Keep lawns and flowerbeds free from fallen leaves. Plant out winter bedding plants.

Fruit

You can prevent winter moths from damaging fruit trees by wrapping grease bands around their trunks.

Vege

You can still enjoy your own vegetables at this time year. Grow hardy winter salads in the greenhouse such as Winter Gem, winter land cress, and corn salad.

 Top 5 gardening tasks for November

  •  Raise any containers on your patio to ensure they don’t get waterlogged
  •  Get your tulips in the ground
  •  Insulate outdoor containers from the harsh weather – wrapping them in bubble wrap will do the trick.
  • Feed the birds! It’s a tough time of year for many birds so why not give them a helping hand?
  • Make the most of bonfire night to clear your garden debris.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – October Gardening Tips

October gardening tips

October gardening tips

The weather turns colder

October will feel noticeably colder, time to get those jumpers on when out in the garden! This is a wonderful time of year with frosts appearing and blankets of golden leaves from the trees on the ground. However there is still garden work to be done!

What to do in the garden in October

Plants and Flowers

Move more delicate plants into the greenhouse to protect from early frosts and cut back on those perennials that have started to die down.

Fruit

Reap the rewards of your autumn fruit by harvesting apples, pears and grapes.

Vege

Time to think of spring vegetables for next year! Spring cabbage should be planted out now.

 Top 5 gardening tasks for October

  • Trim back on overgrown hedges
  • Prune climbing roses to ensure excellent flowering next year
  • Collect the final seeds from your garden for next year
  • Give your lawn a final mow 
  • Give you garden a mini makeover by laying lawn turf on tired lawns

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – September Gardening Tips

Gardening calendar September

September gardening tips

Autumn days are upon us…

September brings cooler weather and shorter days. Now is the time to enjoy your autumn harvest of fruit and vegetables and start to think about planting for next spring too.

What to do in the garden in September

Plants and Flowers

Plant your spring flowering bulbs now to have them ready for early flowering next year.

Fruit

Enjoy the abundance of autumn blackberries and raspberries and get creative with them in the kitchen.

Vege

Get the last of the potatoes out of the garden and ensure you have protected any leafy vege such as lettuce with bird proof netting.

Top 5 Gardening Tasks for September

  •  Separate herbaceous perennials.
  • Gather and plant seeds from perennials as well as hardy annuals.
  • Protect your ponds from being clogged up by autumn leaves by covering them in netting.
  • Pay attention to your houseplant watering – the cooler weather means you can cut back.
  • Have an ‘end of summer’ clean of your greenhouse, pots and sheds to have everything ready for the coming months.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Prevent Weeds From Taking Over Your Garden!

During the summer months, weeds can become a particular problem. While the warmer weather, combined with the rainy days that we have come to enjoy as a typical British summer, are ideal growing conditions for plants and flowers, they are also ideal growing conditions for pesky weeds which clutter your garden and can be harmful too.

Weeding your garden can be time-consuming, and even the most avid gardeners would agree that they’d rather spend their time tending to their beloved plants and flowers rather than having to spend their precious gardening time trying to keep on top of weeds.

So naturally, the ideal solution is not to have to pull out weeds, but to prevent them from growing in the first place!

While it might be impossible to completely eradicate weeds from your garden, there are certainly some things you can do to ensure they are kept to a minimum.

So if you want to prevent weeds from taking over your garden, try these helpful tips.

Try not to disturb the soil.

Many weeds live below the surface of your garden, and if left undisturbed are unlikely to see the light of day. While it may be necessary to turn over soil from time to time keep it from compacting, done too frequently and you risk exposing weed seeds to sunlight and stirring them into action! Instead, a high-quality organic mulch can do the trick and will encourage earthworms to keep the soil loose and nutrient rich – with the minimum input from you.

Suppressing weeds with a mulch is extremely useful when it comes to weed prevention. Mulches effectively smother weed seeds in the soil, preventing them from rising to the surface and being exposed to sunlight. Mulches also have the benefit of keeping the soil cool and helping it to retain moisture. Late spring is an ideal time to do this.

Weed at optimum times

If weeds to appear in your garden, to make life easier for yourself it’s a good idea to do so after a heavy downpour. When the soil is soft and wet, it will be less difficult when pulling out even more stubborn, deep rooted weeds, and can ensure you get the whole weed out, rather than breaking off the top part, only to discover a regrowth a week later!

Choose close plant spacing

If you plant the plants, shrubs and flowers you do want in your garden close together, there will be fewer gaps for those pesky weeds to emerge. When thinking about your garden design, choose plants that compliment one another and it won’t look like you have squeezed in too many.

Careful watering

Another way to prevent weeds from taking over is to avoid giving them the care they need to grow! Be careful to water the plants you want to flourish while depriving weeds of the same. Drip or soaker hoses, placed beneath a layer of mulch can work wonders, and depriving weeds of water can reduce weed-seed germination by 50 to 70 percent, so it’s definitely worth a try!

Using the above strategies can help dramatically reduce the number of weeds appearing in your garden and provide you with effective solutions to making them easier to remove when they do. So if you want to prevent weeds from taking over your garden this summer, why not give them a try?!

 

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – August gardening tips

August gardening calendar

August gardening tips

Hazy days and warm summer nights…

Keep to a strict watering schedule in August and make sure you’ve got garden helpers on hand if you are planning to spend some time away from home. Prune summer-flowering shrubs to keep them neat and encourage further growth.

What to do in the garden in August

Plants and Flowers

Collect seeds from garden plants which can be used for next year’s garden. Keep soil nourished by topping up with high grade topsoil and green manures.

 Fruit

Pruning fruit plants is essential at this time of year, and make sure you cut out old fruited canes on raspberries. and pot rooted strawberry runners too.

Vege

August is a great time for harvesting veggies so keep an eye on your vegetable patch, sweetcorn, broccoli, and lettuces should all be ready to enjoy.

 Top 5 GardeningTasks for August

  • Deadhead your flowering plants on a regular basis.
  • Watering! Pay attention to all your plants and flowers and don’t let them dry out – but do try to recycle water where you can.
  • Keep ponds and water features clean and free of dirt and debris, and top them up with water if needed.
  • Reap the rewards of a well thought out vegetable garden and eat what you grew!
  • Give soil a helping hand by adding composts and green manures to keep it healthy.

For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here

Bury Hill Gardening Calendar – July gardening tips

July gardening tips

Summer is in full swing…

July is one of the warmest months in the calendar and when gardens can be enjoyed for lazy summer reading, lunchtime BBQ’s and evening soiree’s. This is the time where you’ll want your garden looking it’s best and in order to do so you need to be on high alert for weeds, pests and parched plants.

What to do in the garden in July

 Plants and Flowers

 Keep weeds at bay by weeding regularly, keep plants and flowers well watered in the summer’s heat, and deadhead any flowers that need it to keep those blooms coming.

 Fruit

 July should see the first crops of fruit plants and trees flourish. Protect them with netting to avoid all that hard work going to waste by them being devoured by cheeky birds or pesky snails. Apricots, peaches and nectarines should be ripe for the plucking in July.

Vege

 Juicy courgettes should be ready to be harvested now – make sure you get to them before they turn into marrows.

 Top 5 gardening tasks for July

  • Keep your eye on wilting plants and flowers, particularly delicate climbers such as clematis and treat them accordingly.
  • Pay attention to ponds and water features and clear any algae or debris that has built up in them.
  • Get ahead of the game by ordering catalogues to peruse and plan for spring next year.
  • Give your grass a good lawn feed to keep it lush and healthy looking.
  • Don’t forget about your houseplants – keep them well watered and make sure they are cared for if you go away on holiday too.

 For helpful tips and advice throughout the year you can Download our full 12 month calendar here