IT’S TIME FOR A SPRING CLEAN!

Spring is here at last and you will have noticed more daffodils and crocus flowering, and even trees starting to blossom. The weather can be somewhat unpredictable in April with milder temperatures, rain, sunshine and frosts all possible. Despite that, you can start to turn your attention to the lawn, planting, trimming hedges and giving the garden a bit of a ‘spring’ clean after winter.

It is also National Gardening Week at the end of the month, beginning on 30th April to 6th May – a perfect time to get outdoors for some fresh air and a spot of gardening!

The lawn will have started to grow this month, after being dormant for much of the winter. To encourage strong spring growth for your lawn, lightly rake it to remove any moss and debris that may have accumulated – this will help to improve the air flow and drainage around the blades of grass, helping moisture to reach the soil below.

If your lawn is suffering from compaction, which is evident if the ground is very hard, rainwater runs off easily without soaking into the ground, and/or there is a layer of thatch (dead grass and roots) between the fresh grass growth and the soil, then you may need to use a scarifier to solve the problem. Our Electric Powered Scarifier 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.

After raking or scarifying, begin mowing it every fortnight, and make 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, you can start mowing the lawn every week. We have more than 50 lawnmowers in our range, so there is something suit every type of lawn – large or small, flat or sloping. And we have mowers that let you create the much sought-after striped lawn!

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Another way to help your lawn this season is to consider returning the grass clippings to the lawn after each cut. We offer lawnmowers that have mulching capabilities, which ensure that the grass is cut into tiny pieces, which can be deposited back onto the lawn. These cuttings contain lots of vital moisture and minerals and returning them to the lawn will promote healthy growth. We also have Cylinder mowers which are hand propelled and can be used with or without a grass bag.

Another job to consider over the next few weeks is trimming hedges, particularly privet, box and leylandii. Cutting back hedges by small amounts every so often will encourage more growth, making the hedges appear thicker and greener. To make the task a breeze, we have a range of electric, petrol and cordless hedgetrimmers.

Finally, it is a good idea to go around your lawn with a half moon lawn edger to smarten and straighten up lawn edges, an effective and easy task that makes the whole garden look neat!

Click on the links to find out more about our lawnmowers, grass trimmers, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, brushcutters, pole pruners and multi-tools, and stay tuned for updates on our new products for 2018!

 

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Showcasing Something for Every Garden at the Garden Press Event 2018

The end of February saw Cobra attend the annual Garden Press Event in London. The event allows journalists and bloggers the chance to get exclusive previews and demonstrations of new gardening products, and we were delighted to showcase our extensive range of mowers and gardening equipment there this year, as well as introduce brand new designs to our collection.

The Press Event is a special show for us at Cobra as it’s where we had a first public outing! Cobra was launched at the show 2013 and ever since then we’ve continued to grow.

We’re very proud to say that Cobra is now firmly established as the most comprehensive range of garden machinery in the UK, and we add new products  on a regular basis. We have over 150 products available, so there is something for every gardener, from lawnmowers, hedge and grass trimmers to chainsaws and brushcutters – all of which are available as petrol, battery or electric models.

We launched new products into our lithium-ion battery range at the Garden Press Event this year. New roller mowers were also on display at the show, which are famed for letting gardeners achieve the quintessentially-British striped lawn effect!

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Ready for spring, we are introducing a new range of environmentally friendly, low emission petrol brushcutters and multi-tools which have an impressive high power to weight ratio, so make the toughest gardening tasks easier and less tiring to use.

Finally, our latest Air Mow hover mowers were also on display and were a favourite with guests to our stand. The Air Mows have been incredibly popular since we first introduced them to the range last year because they give gardeners the option to navigate difficult slopes, banks and uneven turf with revolutionary ease and efficiency.

Click on the links to find out more about our lawnmowers, grass trimmers, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, brushcutters, pole pruners and multi-tools, and stay tuned for updates on our new products for 2018!

 

A BLOOMIN’ EASY WAY TO BRING COLOUR TO YOUR GARDEN THIS SUMMER

February is still a quiet time in the garden – winter isn’t quite over just yet, but the first signs of spring, namely daffodils and snowdrops, are appearing.

A little planning this month, and deciding which bulbs you would like to plant, will ensure you achieve a colourful, vibrant summer display of blooms all season long.

Some of our favourites include:

Begonia

Tuberous begonias produce stunning flowers all the way through summer and continue until November! The Begonia ‘Fragrant Falls’ variety come in delicate pastel colours of lemon, peach and pink. They quite like shady areas, so will brighten up a patio or shaded area of the garden beautifully.

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Alliums

Alliums are a firm favourite in the garden. Their purple, spherical blooms stand proudly on tall stems, adding height and structure to borders and beds. Allium ‘Ambassador’ can reach over a metre in height and have large, full umbels which are made up of dozens of tiny, delicate flowers. A real statement in the garden!

Large purple heads of Ambassador giant ornamental onion (Allium 'Ambassador')

Lilies

Oriental lilies bring a touch of the exotic to the garden. They prefer to be planted first in containers until their flowers are just beginning the open, then move them to centre stage during summer! Lilium hansonii will flower in early summer in beautiful yellow-orange, white or red.

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Gladiolus

Varieties of gladiolus have interesting foliage, with sword-shaped leaves and often funnel-shaped flowers. Gladiolus flanaganii will flower in mid to late summer, so it’s a great choice to extend the colour in your garden. These varieties come in different shades of red, so will really stand out in any border.

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You can also consider using containers and hanging baskets to brighten up your patio, front door or driveway. Bedding plants are ideal for this type of planting. We would recommend lobelias, petunias and osteospermum for fabulous flowers for minimum effort.

Osteospermum Serenity Blue Eyed Beauty - 5 Large Plug Plants

Osteospermum ‘Serenity Blue Eyed Beauty’

WHAT ARE YOUR GARDENING RE-SOLUTIONS THIS YEAR?

Happy New Year!

Christmas is over, as is all the leftover turkey (we hope!).

Although January is still a cold, dark month, we can’t help but get excited about a brand-new year of gardening ahead of us. What are your resolutions for the garden this year?

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Are you determined to get a lush, perfectly maintained lawn this year? Grow your own fruit and vegetables? Or perhaps you want to plant a tree or two, or nurture a new hedge? Whatever your resolution this year, we have a solution designed to make the task easier, so you will have more time to sit back and enjoy your garden!

Over the coming months we will be posting some how-to guides for the gardening tasks mentioned above, and more besides.

Gardening jobs for January

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  • Remember to keep feeding birds. You can feed birds in your garden all year round, but they are particularly in need of extra food at this time of year.

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  • Now is a good time to clean out your shed or greenhouse, and wash any plant pots or containers ready for planting in March and April.

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We’d love to hear what you have planned for your garden in 2018! You can find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a Cracking Christmas from Cobra

It’s that time of year again! Whether you’re a Christmas fanatic or not, it’s still a wonderful time to give the gift of giving.

If one of your loved ones is an avid gardener, we have plenty of ideas when it comes to choosing the perfect present!

Even if you know someone who dislikes gardening, but it is still a necessary weekend task for them, you can choose from our range of tools that are designed to be lightweight, easy and quick to use, saving more time to do the things they enjoy instead!

hedge

Our range of hedgetrimmers are available as electric, cordless and petrol models. This H5024V has a 24v Li-ion battery, providing as much as 50 minutes runtime. Its 50cm/19inch double-sided blade, combined with the fact that it only weighs 2.6kg, will make light work of the garden hedges!

£76.99

lawn

Help your loved ones speed up mowing the lawn with a self-propelled, battery-powered lawnmower – the Cobra MX46S40V takes the hard work out of pushing a heavy machine around the garden. It also has mulching abilities, making it possible to provide the lawn with vital moisture and nutrients without needing to take any additional time to do it – and there is no need to empty a grass collection bag!

£489.99

multi

The Cobra MT250C has everything needed to help around the garden without having to purchase and store four individual tools. This multi-tool is powered by a Cobra petrol 25cc engine and has four quality attachments – a grass trimmer, brushcutter and pole pruner and an articulating long reach hedgetrimmer.

The grass trimmer attachment tidies long grass and undergrowth thanks to its double line feed, as well as tap ‘n’ go for releasing more string when required with complete ease. It also features a robust guard to protect the user – and their flower beds!

The pole pruner helps to access hard to reach branches with its long reach shaft and 30cm bar and chain, of chainsaw quality. Similarly, the hedgetrimmer feature has a 72cm shaft with 42cm cutting blade with 30mm tooth spacing along with an articulating head allowing you to easily adjust the angle of the cut through 180 degrees.

The lightweight MT250C multi-tool comes as standard with a single shoulder harness for enhanced user comfort.

£249.99

glove

…and no gardener can go without gloves! Our Cobra Gardening Gloves provide all-round protection, warmth and comfort – made with Spandex and PVC, they have extra padding on the palms and knuckles, as well as silicon fingertips for added comfort. There is also an adjustable wrist strap for a super snug fit – the perfect stocking filler!

£10.99

Tree Careful this Winter!

At this time of the year, the nights are drawing in and the weather is turning colder. It is time to start protecting your garden before winter arrives.

To protect any trees or shrubs you may have, it is a good idea to cut away any dead branches now. This task is made easier and quicker with a chainsaw. Use it to cut down larger branches and saw them into smaller pieces and add it to your compost or leafmould pile. A shredder will tackle large branches and shred them into much smaller pieces, which will speed up the time it takes for them to break down into compost.

Take some time to inspect any climbing plants in your garden, and make sure they are secured to a trellis or support if necessary. It is also important to check any trees too, in case a harsh winter storm causes branches, or the entire tree, to fall down. You can cut away any branches you are unsure about with a chainsaw.

Regularly collect any fallen leaves from lawns, paths and driveways. These can also be added to your compost mix.

Why is it important to collect fallen leaves from the lawn?

Leaving leaves to pile up in the garden could mean they become dangerously slippery when damp or icy, particularly on driveways and other hard surfaces. Piles of leaves may also harbour pests and diseases over winter, potentially spreading to your lawn or other plants next spring.

Finally, leaves which cover the lawn can also prevent vital sunshine and ventilation from reaching the grass, hindering what little growth there is left for this season, and damaging its health for next year.

For more about what to do with your fallen leaves, click here to read last month’s blog.

In the meantime, enjoy the different colours on the trees while they last, this month will probably be the last month to appreciate them before they all fall off by December.

Autumnal Inspiration

There are some trees and shrubs that produce wonderful autumnal colour displays, such as Acer palmatum which has deep red leaves.

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Another is Rhus typhina which produces a stunning display of red, pink, yellow and green leaves.

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Callicarpa bodinieri is a mid-sized shrub that produces delicate lilac flowers in summer and amazing purple berries in autumn!

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Much Ado About Mulch

Summer is well and truly over (if we can call it a summer this year?!) and the leaves are starting to fall as autumn brings the wind, rain and even frost.

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Fallen leaves can pose a hazard in the garden; they can be a haven for pests and disease, as well as becoming dangerously slippery once it rains.

Rather than leaving them to rot on the ground, you can collect them and turn them into leaf mould, a type of mulch that is a nutritious, inexpensive material which will provide many health benefits your plants, soil, containers and borders, including:

  • Improving soil texture, helping drainage
  • Helping to retain moisture
  • Protecting roots from extreme temperatures
  • Suppressing weeds and keeping containers and borders looking attractive and tidy

The process of making leaf mould is very simple. Start by raking up all the leaves from your garden into a large pile, or, for an easier method, use a leaf blower – your back will thank you for it!

Next, either place the leaves in a compost bin, a container made from chicken wire or bin liners. To help improve the leaf mould, you can also add the grass clippings from your last mow this year, which will add more nutrient to the mixture.

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You can leave the mixture to slowly break down, and it can be used next spring or anytime over the next two years. To help it break down quickly, use a shredder to cut the leaves into small pieces. It is important to keep the mixture damp, so add water every now and then. You can also turn the mixture over once every few weeks; this will aerate it and cause it to break down further.

When you’re ready to use it, the leaf mould mix should be placed over the top of cultivated soil. It does not need to be mixed in with the existing soil – having it sit on top will help to protect plant roots from the cold, like a blanket, and stop weeds from creeping out to the surface!