Tidy up the garden and enjoy a summer outside

Summer is on its way, and as we prepare to enjoy spending more time relaxing and entertaining outside, it’s a great time to tidy up your garden so you can make the most of your outdoors during the warmer, brighter months.

Although the more intensive gardening tasks are usually done later in the year, it’s important to maintain certain areas all year round so your garden stays tidy, vibrant and healthy. Here at Cobra, we know that looking after your garden can take a lot of time and effort. But, with our wide range of tools, your garden maintenance becomes a quick, simple and effortless task.

Look after your lawn all year round

It’s important to look after your lawn all year round and it’s especially helpful to make sure that during the warmer weather your grass is well maintained so it doesn’t dry out and cause more serious damage. Regularly watering your lawn during hot weather can help the grass root develop deeper into the soil, creating a more vigorous lawn that can respond better to drought during heavy rainfall. If your lawn has been exposed to especially hot weather, heavy watering is recommended so your lawn is kept well-hydrated whilst there is enough water to generously penetrate the root. However, it is best to do this only occasionally to avoid an excess of water.

If you’re spending more time outside and making use of your lawn, light aeration may be needed to relieve soil compaction and improve the circulation of air, water and nutrients. This will help to keep your grass thriving, creating a robust and vigorous lawn.

Keep your edges neat and tidy

To achieve a picture-perfect lawn, it’s important to make sure your grass edges are well looked after too. After being left for some time, overgrown grass edges can make lawns look unsightly and ragged, so regularly trimming them can help to create a lawn to be proud of.

Our wide range of electric, petrol and cordless grass trimmers help to make garden maintenance quick and effortless, so you can enjoy more time relaxing in the garden. The GT600E electric grass trimmer is a powerful, high performance grass trimmer, offering a 600W efficient motor along with a 30cm cutting width, allowing you to make fewer passes, speeding up cutting time. Its 90 degree tilting cutter head allows you to get to hard-to-reach places and is equipped with a plant protection bar so you can trim around delicate plants and shrubs without damaging them.

The GT3024V cordless grass trimmer is part of our cordless collection and also offers a powerful grass trimmer, allowing you to create a perfectly tidy lawn. Powered by a 24V Lithium-ion battery, the GT3024V offers the same high-quality performance as our electric and petrol products but offers ease of operation and quieter running. Plus, Cobra’s cordless battery technology can be used across a range of other products, providing greater convenience and allowing garden care to become a task that is quick and easy. With the addition of a 45-degree rotating head, the GT3024V also provides you with more flexibility when trimming boarder and verges – making garden maintenance simple and stress-free.

Neaten up your hedges

Just like lawn edges, unruly hedges, bushes or any type of shrubbery can look unkempt and messy when left to grow without regular trimming and maintenance. Hedges can lose their shape and become overgrown easily, so regularly trimming your hedges can help you maintain some structure to your garden. Here at Cobra, our wide range of electric, petrol and cordless hedge trimmers allows you to create enviable hedges without all the hard work.

The HT62C handheld petrol hedge trimmer offers a 62cm double-sided blade which makes it suitable for all types of hedges. It’s double-sided feature also provides the ultimate product for shaping hedges as you can alter the direction of the cut easily. It’s Twist Grip Handle also helps you to tackle the most awkward jobs and as it’s fitted with Cobra’s own 22cc 2-stroke engine, it offers a powerful performance so you can create neat and tidy hedges without the back ache.

The LRH5024V cordless long reach hedge trimmer is also a great tool for tackling the most awkward jobs and with its long reach ability, it can make light work of long, tall hedges. Plus, with a 19’’ cutting head and a tooth spacing of 15mm, you can easily transform over-grown, dishevelled hedges into a beautiful architectural vision.

Make sure to be mindful of cutting your hedges, though, as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that it is an offense to cut certain mature hedgerows between March and August as birds are likely to be nesting there!

It’s important to invest in your garden all year round so you not only have a luscious space to enjoy during the summer months but it will make it easier to keep on top of your autumn maintenance too! Here at Cobra, we are passionate about making your garden maintenance as easy and stress free as possible, so your gardening journey is one you can enjoy.

Invest in your natural lawns and reap the benefits

Despite artificial lawns promising ease of maintenance, this synthetic option can have a damaging effect on the environment, not least due to it being non-biodegradable. Artificial lawns also lack the plethora of other benefits that come from a having a natural lawn.

How can natural lawns positively impact the environment?

A natural lawn is one of nature’s biggest allies. Whilst natural grass improves air quality by trapping dirt and other impurities, it also removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to keep temperatures low and keeping the environment as healthy as possible. A thriving, natural lawn can therefore supply appropriate amounts of oxygen into the environment, with an average size garden lawn producing enough oxygen for a family of four!

Reduce water run-off with a natural lawn

During heavy rainfall, surplus water can easily become an issue, especially in areas where lawns are absent. Excess water can run off, taking with it debris such as loose gravel and soil which can easily block nearby drains and cause further flooding. With a grass lawn, though, water is absorbed into the grass and seeps into the soil, helping to keep underground resources replenished whilst slowing down the runoff of water. The high retention of water also helps to keep lawns cool, especially during warmer weather, so you can keep cool whilst enjoying the great outdoors.

Natural lawns inspire nature and sustainability

Unlike synthetic lawns, natural grass is able to repair and regenerate itself with very little help. This means that natural grass will regularly clean itself, helping to prolong its quality and lifespan. Artificial lawns, however, will simply store impurities without respiring, gradually building up over time, meaning it may require specialist repairs regularly which can be costly.

Healthy, natural lawns also compliment outdoor surroundings such as trees, plants and flowers – so you can create the perfect nature haven that looks beautiful, compared to the manufactured colour of synthetic grass.

Mulch to help the grass and wildlife grow!

Opting for a natural lawn means that you can give back much-needed nutrients to the earth, whilst supporting biodiversity and wildlife, by recycling the grass and turning it into mulch that can be used to return goodness back into your lawn.  

Here at Cobra, we know your natural grass has the potential to look beautiful and healthy when it’s well looked after. Our lawnmowers offer the perfect, multi-function solution, so you can not only tidy your grass but nurture it to health too!

Our MX460S40V is a great all-rounder mower, offering exceptional performance and style. The mower is not only self-propelled and equipped with 7 cutting heights, but it also benefits from a mulching function. A mulch plug allows grass to be recycled by finely cutting the clippings after it has initially been cut. Once the grass has started to decompose, nutrients and fertilisers are returned to the soil so the lawn can be maintained and fertilised simultaneously – helping to create a vibrant and healthy natural lawn.

 MX51S80V offers the same features as the MX460S40V but supplies added force for those who need it. The MX51S80V is the perfect choice for larger gardens as it offers double the power by using twin 40V Li-ion batteries, so you can be sure that even the largest of lawns can be well looked after too.

Natural lawns offer an abundance of benefits compared its artificial alternative so it’s important to help it thrive so you can reap the benefits in the months to come.

Get out in the garden and experience better mental and physical health

Lots of us find enjoyment relaxing in our own green spaces or getting our hands dirty transforming our gardens, and these activities are great for positively impacting health. The benefits of connecting to nature, and nurturing lawns, plants and vegetables are diverse, impacting both physical and psychological health. 

The University of Exeter and the Royal Horticultural Society backs up the theory that gardening and caring for lawns, plants and vegetables provides added value to people’s lives. The study found that the 61% of people who don’t make use of their garden experience poor health, whilst 71% of those who are regularly out in their garden report good overall health and concluded that people who use their gardens and outdoor areas experience a range of benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress and an increased confidence and self-esteem.

At Cobra we also know how important it is to get out gardening and have a wide range of tools to make it effortless and convenient, so it becomes something to enjoy rather than dread! With an impressive range of electric, battery, petrol, and cordless products that offer reliability and power, each has unique features that ensure there is the perfect tool for everyone.

What’s the best mower for smaller spaces?

The award-winning MX3440V cordless lawnmower is one of the best if you’ve got a smaller lawn. Its adjustable lever gives you the option of five cutting heights, so it can tackle even the unruliest grass, and the foldable handles mean that it can be stored away in restricted spaces – making it the perfect choice if you have a small shed. The MX3440V is also powered by a Samsung 40V Lithium-ion battery, resulting in power with a lightweight feel and quiet running. For added convenience, the batteries from this range can also be used to power the strimmer and leaf blower, allowing garden maintenance to become quick and easy, leaving you with more time to enjoy the great outdoors.

How to tackle areas the mower can’t reach?

Our range of brushcutters make the maintenance of hard to reach, long, uneven grass effortless. The BC260C offers consistent, strong power – with its 2-stroke engine – whilst achieving reduced fuel consumption and industry leading low emission levels. It also comes complete with a tap ‘n’ go double line cutting head, allowing for ease when mowing and thinning, whilst the robust guard increases operator safety. In addition to its straight shaft and loop handle, which creates increased operator feel and manoeuvrability, the BC260C has also been designed with ergonomically positioned controls that not only makes using it more comfortable, but also as safe as possible.

How to achieve a perfect lawn with ease

For the ultimate in lawncare, our range of scarifiers help to revitalise grass by removing any damaging thatch, providing better drainage, and allowing air, moisture, and nutrients to reach the root so your grass stays healthy.

Scarifying can be done by hand with a rake, but this is backbreaking, labour intensive work. The S390H offers the complete scarifying experience, with its 16 fixed blades – meaning it can collect thatch in 15” passes – taking the hard work out of lawncare. For increased flexibility, the SA40E combines a scarifier and aerator in one compact machine with a 15” scarifying drum and a 14-blade aerator. This means you can de-thatch, improve drainage and ease your soil compaction using one machine, producing healthy and vibrant grass with ease.

Getting out into nature and creating a lawn that is loved and cared for is important for people’s health, whether mental or physical, and at Cobra, we are passionate about providing the tools to make it as easy and stress-free as possible.

How to connect with the natural world

Guest post from Ellen Mary Gardening

The benefits of gardening are becoming much more documented now with people all around the world experiencing positive health and wellbeing from being outside. We already know that gardening helps to reduce anxiety, depression and the risk of cardiovascular disease plus getting hands in the soil is great for increasing serotonin levels due to contact with Mycobacterium vaccae which research has shown to kick off happy chemicals!

Apart from those wonderful benefits, just getting outside in the fresh air, listening to bird song and sowing seeds is incredibly therapeutic and gardening allow us time out from our busy lives and focusses our minds on the tasks at hand. All of which of course provide us with hope for the future, and as we nurture our plants we can liken that to nurturing ourselves as well.

So how do we better connect with the natural world when we are outside in our gardens?

  1. Walking bare foot

Walking bare foot brings us into direct contact with the planet and allows us to absorb the natural negative energy the earth provides. This is known as ‘earthing’ and can help to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and physically helps us with balance and posture. It’s great on a warm morning in the garden or on the beach.

Activity: Get your socks off! Put your shoes aside. Feel liberated by walking outside on the lawn with bare feet or a soft outside surface. The garden, the beach, the spongy woodland floor. Feel the natural negative charge from the earth being absorbed through the soles of your feet. Allow it to happen, accept it. Breathe deeply and relax.

  1. Sow some seeds

Gardening is a great way to get outside, enjoy some physical exercise and get the endorphins flowing. Working the soil is a great way to be in contact with the good bacteria so getting your hands dirty is no bad thing. Sowing seeds is a great way to not only grow your own food but also for children to understand where their food comes from. Great seeds to try with children as Sunflowers, Nasturtiums and microgreens which grow really quickly.

Activity: Be mindful and sow some seeds. Before you do, feel the seeds in your hand. What is the texture, shape, size. Look close at the detail – does each seed differ? Smell them and if they are edible, taste them. Marvel at the way those tiny seeds become big fruits, vegetables or flowers.

3.    Make a herbal tea.

Swap out your usual cuppa for a tea made especially for you, by you. Make it with dried flowers or herbs and take your time over every sip. Feel the natural goodness healing your mind, body and soul. Focus on every step, listen to the sound as the water pours, can you hear the movement of the water absorbing the goodness from the herbs?

Activity: Think about what herbs you love the fragrance and taste of. Or, if you have a health issue that you would like to try and ease with herbs, what kind of herb can you grow in your garden to help yourself with. Perhaps Lavender for headaches or mint for digestion.

For more ideas find a free 30 moments in nature download on my website www.ellenmarygardening.co.uk and for a journey into gardening for wellbeing my new book is now available on pre-order. Find ‘The Joy of Gardening; the everyday zen of mowing the lawn’ on Amazon and Waterstones.

Make 2021 the year of the lawn with expert buying advice from Cobra

It may feel like a long way off, but spring really is just around the corner, and now is the time to get planning for the growing season. Lawncare will have eased off over the winter months, but with grass growing at temperatures above 5°C, it won’t be long until you need to get the mower out and start trimming.

Whether you are looking to upgrade and replace an existing lawnmower, or if you are buying your first one, Cobra’s wide range offers petrol, electric and battery powered options, to suit every garden, and new models for 2021 provide even more choice.

Looking for a convenience?

For the ultimate in convenience, the Cobra Lithium-ion battery powered products areideal as the batteries are interchangeable across the whole range. One battery can power your mower, your strimmer and your leaf blower –  letting you get more done without the need for petrol or cables.

The new MX460S40V  is a great all-rounder mower from the 40 volt collection.  It is self-propelled, making it great for sloping gardens and has seven different cutting heights ranging from 25mm for a superb low finish, up to 75mm for tackling longer grass. With a cutting width of 18”, it’s ideal for small or medium sized gardens.

The mower also benefits from a mulching function, allowing the grass to be recycled by finely cutting and re-cutting the clippings. As the clippings decompose, nutrients and fertilisers are returned to the soil meaning grass can be cut and fertilised at the same time – creating a healthy, green lawn.

For those who want all of the features of the MX460S40V but need more force, the MX51S80V doubles it by using twin 40V Li-ion batteries to deliver 80V of cutting power as part of the new Cobra 80V range due to be launched in the spring. With a larger cutting width of 21”, this model will be best suited to a medium sized garden to help get the job done more quickly.

MX460S40V

Power: 40V 5Ah lithium-ion

18” cutting width

Small / Medium size lawn

Up to 45 minute run time £379.99

MX51S80V

Power: Twin 40V 5Ah lithium-ion

20” cutting width

Medium/ Large size lawn

Up to 55 minute run time £559.99

Also in the new 80v range is theRM43SP80V . With a cutting width of 17” it is compact, but absolutely feature packed. It has self-propelled drive and a rear roller to provide a neat, traditional finish to the lawn. All this, with a 101 minute run time off a single charge. For slightly larger lawns, the RM51SP80V provides the same 80V of power, but with an additional three inches of cutting width.

RM43SP80V

Power: Twin 40V lithium-ion

17” cutting width

Small size lawn

Up to 50 minute run time £569.99

RM51SP80V

Power: Twin 40V lithium ion

20” cutting width

Medium/ Large size lawn

Up to 45 minute run time £669.99

For trickier spaces

Awkward areas such as steep banks can be a nightmare to cut, not to mention dangerous. The AirMow range from Cobra offers the solution, as these mowers literally float on a cushion of air, to maintain grassy slopes up to a 45° angle with all the freedom that a petrol-powered machine brings. The cushion of air between the mower and the ground means it can be glided across the grass with very little effort. All AirMow models come with a 20” cutting width and a wheel-kit included.

You don’t even have to lift a finger!

For those without the time, or inclination, to mow their lawn, the MowBot is an excellent solution. This automatic, robotic lawnmower will trim an entire lawn quietly and effortlessly and is the perfect eco-friendly mowing solution. Developed with convenience in mind, the Mowbot range offers Bluetooth connectivity and a range of attractive cover styles, from midnight black to floral, to camouflage. 

There are two models of Mowbot available. The Mowbot800 is for gardens up to 800m2, and the Mowbot1200 is for larger lawns up to 1200m2. Both have a 7” cutting width and are powered by 28V lithium-ion batteries, with a charging house coming as standard with both models. The cutting height ranges from 20mm to 60mm, allowing for regular trims as well as the option to leave the grass a bit longer.

Thanks to its quiet operation, the Mowbot can cut lawns day or night, and even the weather isn’t a problem – if it starts to rain the built-in rain sensors will automatically send the Mowbot back to its included charging station.

Something for all sizes

With more than 100 mowers in its range, Cobra has a mower for all sized gardens. The best-selling and award winning MX3440V is the most compact at just 13” it is ideal for small lawns and doesn’t take up much storage space either!

The larger the cutting deck, the quicker the job! The range goes all the way up to the 22” petrol powered M56SPB, with all the power to tackle large gardens with absolute ease. And, for those in between, Cobra also has many models designed specifically for average sized gardens with cutting widths around 16”.

MX3440V

Power: 40v lithium ion

13” cutting width

Small size lawn

Weight: 16.3kg £220.00

M56SPB

Power: 163cc Briggs & Stratton 650EXI   Series petrol engine

22” cutting width

Medium to large size lawn £439.99

Beyond the mower

It is important to remember that lawncare does not end with mowers. Employing simple care and maintenance routine a couple of times a year in spring and autumn with really help a lawn to look its best. Lawns may be suffering from compaction at this time of year causing the grass to yellow or for weeds to grow. A scarifier may be needed if a manual rake is not up to the job. The SA32E Electric Scarifier and Aerator has the ability to both scarify and aerate lawns, which allows air and moisture to reach the soil and encourage strong, vibrant growth.

After raking or scarifying, lawns can be mowed around once every fortnight, making sure not to cut it too short as this will strip it of essential moisture and cause it to dry out. As spring progresses into summer, mowing frequency can be increased as it begins to grow faster.

A perfect lawn is nothing if it has messy edges. Cobra have that covered too with its range of lawn strimmers. There are battery models available, which work with the same batteries that power the mowers, as well as petrol and electric options too.

Cobra has more than 100 lawnmowers in its range, so there is a perfect solution for every garden – large or small, flat or sloping. 

Invest in your lawn now and it will pay dividends in the months to come.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a bright 2021!

It’s no secret that 2020 was the year that we were all willing to end – and now it has! January is here, and the new year brings hope and  anticipation for the future.

Whether you took up gardening last year, when you found yourself with more time on your hands, or if you were already a keen gardener, now is the time to start making plans so that all of last year’s work doesn’t go to waste. Perhaps there’s a project that you’ve been inspired to do? Whatever your ideas for your garden, it’s always best to have a plan of action. Why not spend this month, when there is little to physically do in the garden, planning and  gathering inspiration for the coming year?

Cobra has everything you need to get your garden ship-shape and well maintained throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to make a list of your upcoming tasks to see what equipment you need. One of your first jobs of the year will be trimming hedges and trees, before the bird nesting season starts. Removing any dead or damaged branches will also prevent further damage and will neaten your garden up. For trees, try the Cobra CS35040VZ 40v cordless chainsaw. Lightweight at just 5.5kg, the chainsaw is packed with innovative features to help you maintain your garden with minimal effort. For added convenience, the battery is interchangeable throughout our entire 40v range.

To tidy up your hedges, the Cobra HT55040VZ cordless hedgetrimmer is built to tackle the most demanding jobs. With its 55cm double sided blade, tooth spacing of 28mm and 40v Li-ion Samsung battery it will make light work of hedges. Lightweight, powerful and easy to use, it will see you through all of your hedgetrimming jobs throughout the year. Being cordless, it is easy and safe to transport to allotments if needed too!

If you are just starting out on your gardening journey, or if you simply need to replace a number of tools and want to save space (and money) a great option is a multi-tool. These multi-functional tools include a variety of useful attachments to tackle a variety of jobs that will always crop up in the garden.

The Cobra MT270K 5-in-1 Petrol Multi-Tool System is powered by a 26.3cc Kawasaki engine, it includes four high-quality attachments – a grass trimmer, a brushcutter, a pole pruner and a long reach hedgecutter with articulating head, together with an extension shaft for ultimate versatility. All the tools to tackle garden tasks on one space-saving handle!

A little bit of forward planning and sorting now, will mean a more productive and organised gardening year ahead.  View the full range of Cobra garden machinery here: https://www.cobragarden.co.uk/

Getting fired up this winter

Everyone loves a bonfire in the winter. They not only provide heat during these chilly months, but they’re a great way of getting rid of any garden waste that you’re not composting. This includes wood, branches, bark, weeds or anything similar. Before a bonfire is lit, though, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

  1. Read local guidelines

The guidelines for lighting a bonfire will vary depending on where you live, so make sure to check what your local council recommends before making your bonfire. If bonfires are allowed in your area, it’s important to check with your neighbours first so they can close their windows and doors to avoid the smoke. If you want to ignite that community spirit, why not ask if they have any garden waste of their own that they want to pop on the fire?

2. Choosing a location for the bonfire

Build your bonfire in a safe place that won’t present a fire hazard to surrounding buildings, trees or fences. To do this, you’ll need to make sure the bonfire is at a distance of at least five times its own height from buildings or nearby objects. A slabbed area would be an ideal base, because building your fire on grass would not only scorch it, but could also cause excess smoke.

A clear space is also key, as unwanted materials may be accidently added to the bonfire if the area is not cleared first. Checking for hedgehogs or other animals is important too, so you’ll need to make sure they’re not hidden underneath any leaves. Our Cobra BV6524V Cordless Blower would be a practical tool to clear the area and reveal any prickly friends so that you can move them safely out of harm’s way. Its turbo mode provides a strong air output – easily clearing leaves out of the way – whilst the eco mode provides a quieter blow. Being handheld and battery powered, it also allows increased manoeuvrability and a lightweight feel.

3. Avoid damp weather and materials

Damp or wet garden waste will not only be harder to light, but it can also make your bonfire really smoky. Using fully dried materials will not only reduce smoke production, but it will also be better for the environment. Remember to light your bonfire on a dry, clear day too. If the air is damp, smoke can hang and make it foggy in surrounding areas, including your neighbours garden and nearby roads. This would be classed as an offence under The Highway Act 1980, so it’s important to remember that clear skies are best.

4. Shred your garden waste

To stay in control of your bonfire, make sure the garden waste being used is cut into small pieces. If you use large branches or pieces of wood, the bonfire can easily become unmanageable and hazardous. Our range of Cobra Petrol Powered Chainsaws would be the ideal appliance for you to cut up any large pieces of wood or longer branches, making them easier and safer to put into the bonfire. Our chainsaws come in different sizes, including 14’’, 16’’ and 18’’, so you can choose a size best suited to you.

If you need to make your waste even smaller and more manageable, the Cobra QS2500 Quiet Shredder would be a great tool to use. The plunger makes it easier to push the materials through the shredder, whilst the 50-litre collection box keeps all your shredded garden waste in one place, keeping your tidying up to a minimum. That’s not all, though – this shredder is also a great tool for cutting up materials to use for compost or mulch throughout the year.

5. Save the bonfire ash

The ash from your bonfire has a number of useful qualities for gardening, so make sure you collect it after letting it cool for a few days. Using a small amount of ash in you compost heap can help reduce its acidity, and it acts as a plant nutrient too. Avoid using too much in your gardening, though, as it can create excessive alkalinity, meaning the nutrients – such as iron and manganese – will dissolve easily, which can result in lime-induced chlorosis.

Following these simple guidelines on safety, wildlife protection and neighbourliness will result in a flaming good time for all!

Protect our prickly garden friends

All gardeners know that hedgehogs are great allies to have – they hoover up slugs and snails (the gardener’s nemeses), and love eating caterpillars, beetles and invertebrates. The future has looked worrisome for our prickly friends for some time now, but due to their drastic decline, they are now listed as ‘vulnerable’ on Britain’s red list of mammals, with numbers falling by up to 50% in rural areas since 2000.

As hedgehogs prepare to hunker down for their hibernation, which begins in November and lasts until March, gardeners can play a part in helping to create comfortable habitats for them to keep snug throughout the winter.

Hedgehogs favour layers of leaves to create their winter nests, so keep a pile separate from your mulching or composting, and place it in dark corner of the garden that won’t be disturbed. Making an area of the garden more like a hedgehog habitat, even just a corner that is a little wilder, will help to encourage hedgehogs to take up residence. You may even want to make or purchase a hedgehog house and fill it with newspaper strips, hay, and dry autumn leaves. Make sure that hedgehogs have easy access to your garden by creating a hole in each fence for them to crawl through, and  remember to keep your garage and shed doors closed so that hedgehogs don’t get trapped inside.

A blower is a great tool to have to help clear leaves away, and blow them into your hedgehog corner.

The BV2600 Electric Powered Blower Vacuum has a power rating of 2600W and a wind speed of 270km/h, which means it can cope with damp, soggy leaves easily, whilst its ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to use. With the additional benefit of being able to switch instantly to its power mulching system, along with its large 45ltr collection bag, this is the perfect tool to create a pile of leaves for the hedgehogs, and clear away the rest of them neatly.  

If you’re after more power to clear a medium to large area, or even if you just prefer a petrol machine, the easy to start Cobra BV26C 26cc Petrol Powered Blower Vac has everything you need. Again, with the additional benefit of quick change blow to vac and high-performance mulching capabilities, you’ll be able to tidy your garden in no time, clearing leaves to prevent leaf mold diseases from spreading, and helping to create cosy hedgehog habitats.

An alternative to electric or petrol, and a great option for those who are after something lightweight and easy to use is a battery powered version. Being battery powered also means that it is easy and safe to transport if you have an allotment, and noise is kept to a minimum – which the hedgehogs will no doubt appreciate. The Cobra BV65V Cordless Blower is powered by a 24v Lithium-ion battery and boasts a run time of up to 20 minutes. Users can swtich between eco and turbo modes, depending upon how much power they need.

A little bit of clearing and sorting now, as the leaves are falling, can help create valuable habitats for these precious creatures, that need our support to save them from disappearing entirely. View the full range of Cobra garden machinery here, and don’t forget to check for snoozing hedgehogs before clearing any areas: https://www.cobragarden.co.uk/

Mulchi-tasking

There is no escaping the fact the autumn has officially arrived – there is that familiar crisp feel to the air, even on a bright, sunny day, and the leaves are beginning to turn an array of rusty orange and russet red. It won’t be long before the trees shake off their leaves entirely and bare their arms ready for the embrace of winter.

This sprinkle of fallen leaves can be seen as curse for gardeners, creating slippery pathways and the perfect breeding ground for pests and diseases. When used correctly, though, leaves can be a blessing.

1. Feed your lawn

A covering of leaves on your lawn can suffocate it, but by mowing them in, you can feed the grass with a great soil conditioner that will help it retain moisture and stay healthy over winter. You’ll need a mulching lawnmower for this, which is designed to recirculate the grass clippings so they are cut into small pieces and can be left on the lawn rather than collected and bagged.

2. Make mulch and compost

Leaf litter can be used directly as mulch, by simply drying and shredding the leaves, and spreading them around your plants. Leaf mulch has a number of great benefits, breaking down into a soil conditioner and insulating plants and vegetables, and acting as a useful weed barrier. For an extra boost, the collected leaves can be turned into leaf mould, a nutritious mulch material that can provide multiple health benefits to your plants and soil, including;

  • Improving soil fertility, which reduces the need for fertilising
  • Suppressing weeds
  • Improving soil texture, which helps with drainage
  • Helping to retain moisture
  • Protecting roots from extreme temperatures

The process of making leaf mould is very simple. Once you have gathered up the leaves – try using a blower for speed and ease – place them in a compost bin and leave to break down over time, keeping the mixture damp and turning it over at least once a week. For a nicely balanced compost, mix in some grass clippings to add nitrogen. 

Your mixture will be ready to use in spring, providing your garden with free, organic goodness through the year.

3. Insulation for your shed

The simplest thing you can do with leaves is collect them up and pop them in a bag, packing them as tightly as you can. Stack the bags up along the walls of your shed to keep it insulated during the freezing winter months. The leaves can then be used in spring as a useful mulch – that is some seriously helpful mulchi-tasking.

September is the best month to invest in your lawn

September is the best month for autumn lawncare and renovation as the weather is still relatively warm with little risk of frost, there is plenty of rainfall (certainly the case for the last couple of weeks), and there are fewer seeding weeds. It is also great time to examine your lawn for any signs of wear-and-tear so that any treatment you apply has a chance to take effect before temperatures drop.

Weekly mowing can still continue but it’s important to raise your mower height by one or two settings once the growth starts to slow. It’s also best to mow in the afternoon as dew is returning and damp, morning grass can easily clog up inside your mower.

Our wide range of mowers offers petrol, electric and battery powered options, to suit every garden. If you’re looking for a good all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with our award-winning MX3440V Cordless Mower. It lets you get more done without the need for cables and has five different cutting heights. It’s ideal for small or medium sized gardens. It’s great for people trying to choose more environmentally friendly alternatives too and can be easily and safely stored away over winter, without the worry of draining and storing unused petrol.

September is the time for heavy scarifying, if your lawn requires it. This is only necessary if your lawn has thick hatch or moss infestations, so check for that before you begin. Scarifying is a process that removes this ‘undergrowth’ from lawns which, if left, can prevent water and fertilisers from reaching the roots and soil. If done by hand, scarifying can be a backbreaking process, particularly if you have a large lawn or if it is particularly affected by moss and thatch. In these circumstances, a scarifier would be a much better choice of tool than a rake.  Our S3840V Battery Powered Scarifier is ideal for domestic lawns, running for up to 45 minutes on a single charge.

You may have also noticed that your lawn is suffering from compaction, with the ground feeling very hard and rainwater running off it easily. This is not uncommon after a long, hot summer – particularly one when we all had to spend most of it at home and in our gardens, trampling the lawn. Aerating your lawn will allow better movement of air and water throughout the soil, creating a healthier root system so that it will manage better in periods of drought or waterlogging. Concentrate on areas that receive the most wear and those that are heavily compacted. Our SA32E Electric Scarifier and Aerator has the ability to both scarify and aerate your lawn, which will allow air and moisture to reach the soil and encourage strong, vibrant growth.

Once you’ve scarified and aerated, you may notice that your lawn looks worse than it did before you started. Don’t worry, this is totally normal! After several weeks of strong growth the look of your lawn will improve and it will, in time, be much healthier than before. To help with recovery it may be necessary to overseed, particularly where there are bare patches. Again, September is the perfect time to be doing this, as the weather conditions are just right.

You can now harden your lawn up for winter by watering well and applying an autumn lawn feed, which is high in potassium which will help the grass to develop deeper roots, followed by applying a top dressing. This is the application of loam, sand and well-rotted organic matter in order to correct surface irregularities and improve the texture of difficult soils. This encourages greater rooting and thickening of turf.

Top-dressing mix is generally three parts sandy loam, six parts sharp sand and one part compost or leafmould which is worked into the lawn using the back of a rake.