Gardening Jobs for July

July means that summer is in full swing (despite the odd downpour!), and the garden is buzzing with growth, colour and wildlife. What jobs can you be getting on with this month to keep your outside space looking at its most vibrant?


Lawncare

At this time of the year, the lawn will need mowing regularly. Ideally, make sure the grass is dry when you cut – mowing damp grass can be detrimental to the lawn and can prevent your lawnmower from running smoothly. If the weather is particularly hot, set your mower to cut slightly higher than usual – this means you won’t be cutting your lawn quite so short, which will stop it from drying out too quickly in the sunshine.

It is also a good idea to use a quick-acting summer feed on your lawn now, if you haven’t already given it a spring feed. At this time of year, a fertiliser that is high in Nitrogen will promote green, healthy growth and will also help to thicken the grass.

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Borders and Beds

Throughout July you should be regularly deadheading your bedding plants to keep them flowering throughout the summer.

Most flowering garden plants in containers, borders and hanging baskets will benefit from deadheading and don’t worry about damaging the plant. Simply removing a flower that is fading, or has died, will stop the plant from transferring energy trying to repair it, instead, it can use that energy to produce new growth.

You can deadhead many plants such as pansies, petunias, polyanthus and rhododendron using your finger and thumb. For more substantial stalks, such as those on dahlias and marigolds, use secateurs or scissors to ensure a clean cut.

Some flowering plants like fuchsias will cleverly deadhead themselves! But even if you deadhead a plant by mistake or incorrectly, don’t worry, you are unlikely to cause permanent damage and they will soon recover.

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Water, water everywhere…

Make sure you regularly water your garden throughout the growing season, particularly containers and hanging baskets, as these will dry out first in hot conditions.

The best time to water your garden is in the evening, when the sun is no longer at its hottest. It might seem like a good idea to water your garden first thing in the morning, but once the sun reaches its peak at midday, any droplets of water left on leaves and grass will burn off, scorching the plants and lawn. If you have to water during the hottest times of the day, try to water directly on to the soil, avoiding plant stems and leaves.

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Remember to relax!

July is one of our favourite gardening months because many of the necessary tasks involve the maintenance and upkeep of the work you already carried out earlier in the spring.

As a result, it’s important that you remember to take a step back and appreciate your hard work. July and August will see the fruits of your earlier planning and efforts, so a well-deserved break with a glass of something cool and refreshing is in order!

 

Celebrate National Children’s Gardening Week

It is National Children’s Gardening Week this week, 29th May – 4th June, and we want you to celebrate by getting your kids involved in gardening this summer.

Gardening is a great activity for children and adults alike – it is good exercise and an excellent way for children to learn about plants, animals and insects, as well as getting them to stop staring at a screen (for a few minutes at least!).

Here are some ideas you can use to get your child gardening. These activities are suitable for kids of all ages and are lots of fun!

  1. Plant seeds!

It sounds obvious – but it’s the easiest and best way to get kids interested in gardening. They love planting a seed and watching it sprout. It gives them the opportunity to care for and nurture the plant, and if you get them growing vegetables, children are more likely to eat something that they have helped to grow!

Some of the seeds that are easier to grow than others, and are big and easy to handle, are: peas, sunflowers and broad beans.

sowing seeds

  1. Build a bug hotel

This one is great for children to be creative and get a bit messy, but it’s also a good excuse for you to tidy up the garden, too.

First, gather any old bricks, wood, rocks, slates, logs, stones, tubes, plant pots and anything else you can find.

Start building – the design and how you approach this is up to you, just make sure it is going to stand on a reasonably flat, firm base, so that it doesn’t topple over. I would recommend creating a stable platform using bricks, then pile up the other bits and bobs you find. The aim is to create a tower of objects that have plenty of holes, nooks and crannies, perfect for hundreds of insects to call home.

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  1. Plant a butterfly garden

This one isn’t the easiest or quickest, but planting flowers that attract both caterpillars and butterflies will delight your children.

You can choose which flowers you grow based on which butterflies you would like to attract. For example, milkweed attracts the beautiful Monarch butterfly. Many meadow flowers and dandelions, daisies and everlastings also attract a range of different types of butterfly including Orange Sulphur and Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Plant your butterfly garden in an area of your garden that gets plenty of sun, but isn’t too exposed to the wind.

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Whatever you decide to do, just remember to keep chemical-based products, as well as gardening tools and equipment, locked away and safely out of children’s reach.

Let us know how you’re getting your children interested in gardening this summer!

Some of the best gardening and flower shows you must visit this year

There are dozens – no, HUNDREDS – of different garden and flower shows and exhibitions each year in the UK. The most famous of these shows are undoubtedly the RHS’s, with RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is taking place this month, being the most famous and highly-anticipated of them all.

But there are plenty of other shows to choose from across the country, each offering something different to explore.

This month, Plant Lovers’ Day (27th May) at Creake Abbey, Norfolk is now in its tenth year and brings together specialist plant nurseries to show off their stunning collections of plants, flowers, herbs and shrubs. Set in a beautiful location it makes a great day out for all the family, and all profits from the day goes to charity.

The Blenheim Flower Show (23rd – 25th June) is a popular exhibit that takes place in the grounds of the breath-taking Blenheim Palace – one of the largest palaces in the UK. Featuring everything garden-related from food and drink, show gardens and even Alan Titchmarsh!

blenheim palace

If you’re looking for something a little different, then the new Garden & Harvest Festival (16th – 17th September) at Forde Abbey in Somerset may be just the ticket. It’s in September, and will feature autumnal gardening ideas, demonstrations and harvest-related entertainment. A great alternative to the spring and summer flower shows!

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Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can only go to a garden or flower show if you’re a gardening expert. In fact, these shows may be even better for the beginner gardener because it can be a great introduction to the world of horticulture. With thousands of plants and products to discover, it’s a great way to get started!

http://www.cobragarden.co.uk/

Will you be celebrating National Gardening Week? …You should be!

National Gardening Week, launched by the RHS to encourage people to dig in (literally) and do some gardening, is 10th – 16th April.

The benefits of gardening are more than just planting some bulbs and hoping that they grow the following spring – it is also a great way to stay healthy and happy.

After a long day in the garden, we at Cobra like nothing more than taking a step back and seeing the fruits of our labour. It is a chance to be creative, experiment and get some exercise.

Gardening is a wonderful opportunity to get children involved too, helping them learn about plants, wildlife and the process of nurturing a plant from just a seed.

If you’re looking for some ‘me’ time, it can also be a therapeutic activity to undertake on your own. Research suggests that spending just five minutes in the garden and simply looking at nature can help to reduce blood pressure and increase feelings of happiness!

There are so many things you can do to get involved with National Gardening Week, whether it’s cleaning your driveway, planting herbs or mowing the lawn (We have lawnmowers!).1347885647_f6c27b1341_m

For more information on National Gardening Week, visit http://nationalgardeningweek.org.uk/

http://www.cobragarden.co.uk/

 

Welcome to the Cobra garden…

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Here at Cobra we’re delighted to say we had a successful, enjoyable day exhibiting at the Garden Press Event at the Barbican Centre in London last month.

Over 250 journalists visited the show – we tried to talk to as many as possible to show off our latest products!

With over 115 products in the range, the Cobra range of gardening equipment offers something for everyone. Within the range are 50 mowers that cover all spectrums from electric to petrol and now lithium-ion battery too with cutting widths ranging from 13” to 22”. There are also rear rollers, self-propelled options, professional models and now even hover mowers!

The newest products to the Cobra range include additions to both the 24 volt and 40 volt lithium-ion ranges that were introduced last year with a new 16” rear roller mower, a grass trimmer, a chainsaw, a blower and a hedge trimmer becoming available.

We were excited to showcase our new petrol hedge cutter, electric cylinder mower and cordless ranges at the press event.

Our stand (and our cupcakes!) went down very well and we are already looking forward to next year’s show.

www.cobragarden.co.uk

New Year, New Colour

Every year there is endless speculation about what the next trends will be; technology, fashion, design, gardening. Nothing is out of bounds these days!

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on colour, has recently announced their Colour Of The Year for 2017 – Greenery – a bright shade bursting with vitality. We at Cobra think it’s an excellent choice!

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Their official description is “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew… The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.”

And in the current turbulent social and political climate, seeking a stronger connection with nature and going back to basics might be exactly what we need.

Greenery also reflects the world’s growing concern for our environment; our lifestyle choices, design ideas, architecture and efforts to recycle and reuse as much as possible are values that continue to resonate on a global scale.

Green is synonymous is the outdoors and gardens – what’s more green than grass?! At Cobra we’re passionate about green, green grass and keeping lawns healthy so we were delighted when we heard Pantone’s choice for 2017.

So, here’s to a greener, happier, healthier 2017!

www.cobragarden.co.uk

www.pantone.com

Starting 2017 the green way

We all know that Christmas can sometimes get out of hand. There’s tinsel and glitter everywhere, enough chocolate to last you a year and your gift budget went out of the window weeks ago. But don’t worry, there is one thing you can do with your real Christmas tree that will leave you with a big, eco-friendly smile on your face.

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If you chose a real Christmas tree rather than an artificial one, your carbon footprint is already lower than if you had bought a fake one. To go the extra mile, why not turn your Christmas tree into mulch and give it back to your garden this year?

Mulch is material made up of decaying plant matter such as leaves and bark. By using it on top of your existing soil, it can be beneficial to your plants in a number of ways. It will prevent weeds from sprouting through, help retain moisture, ease water drainage and provide an excellent environment for worms and other insects that your garden relies on.

Start by sawing off your Christmas tree’s branches and leaves. Using Cobra’s 40v Cordless Chainsaw will make light work of it – there are no wires to get in the way and its 14inch Oregon bar and chain will cut with ease. Then, cut the tree trunk into small, manageable pieces.

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Cobra’s Quiet Shredder with a large 50 litre collection box will finish the job off quickly and efficiently. The Cobra QS2500 quiet drum shredder is supplied with a practical plunger to help feed through the branches, trunk and leaves and will help to speed up the shredding of heavier loads.

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What would normally be an impossible task without this shredder can be completed within minutes. Cobra’s Quiet Shredder also has a safety mechanism which cuts the motor if the collection box is removed. For extra safety, always remember to wear protective gloves and eyewear when using the shredder.

…and that’s it – your mulch is ready to use! You can spread it around your borders, underneath planted shrubs and in your pots – the garden will thank you!