Gardening for All Seasons

The lawn might have stopped growing at this time of year, but there are still plenty of tasks you can do in the garden. We do have the UK’s largest selection of lawnmowers available, but did you know we also have lots of tools for autumn and winter jobs too?

Wood-burning fireplaces are once again in vogue, and what better way to prepare for the cold winter than by cutting your own firewood?

Our range of chainsaws will make short work of cutting through large tree branches and the Cordless Chainsaw will run for up to 50 minutes on a 90 minute charge.

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Autumn is a good time to have a clear out of beds and borders if they have been allowed to grow out of hand for some time. Our Quiet Shredder is great for shredding garden waste up to 40mm in diameter, and comes with a practical plunger for increased throughput on heavier loads. Naturally, we think it’s great but don’t just take our word for it. Kitchen Garden magazine recently recognised it as their Best Buy too!  http://www.kitchengarden.co.uk/-Kitchen-Garden-Best-Buy-and-Top-Picks-45f2ZKC

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Likewise, you can prune any trees that have become unruly. To cut branches that are normally out of reach, the Pole Pruner can extend to up to 2.7 metres, so you can tame overgrown trees or collect extra firewood before winter sets in.

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Alternatively, the Cobra log splitter is designed exactly for this task. The LS520H, with its 1500w powerful motor and 5.5 tonnes of splitting force, can split logs up to 25cm in diameter in to four with just one stroke. We even has an extensive range of carts and trailers too, to help you transport the logs once cut!

Finally, to give your garden an instant neat and tidy look, clear up fallen autumn leaves from the lawn, driveway or patio. Our Electric and Petrol Blower Vacs collect nuisance leaves in a handy collection bag for easy disposal.

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To view all of Cobra Garden’s product, visit www.cobragarden.co.uk

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And the UK’s Best Garden belongs to…

Earlier this year we launched the Gardeners’ Garden Competition with Garden Answers magazine, to find the best garden in the country. We were blown away by the quality and sheer number of entries we received, and now we are pleased to announce the winner and runners up for 2018…

The winning garden is located in Knaphill and is lovingly tended by husband and wife team, Barry and Pamela Gray.

The couple were visited by judges in July who were instantly in awe of the garden. The panel included gardening writer and broadcaster, Martin Fish; editor of Garden Answers, Liz Potter; Liz Chaloner from Cobra; and George Plumptre, chief executive of the National Garden Scheme (the NGS).

The judges were taken aback by the dedication and perfection in the garden, and commented there wasn’t a dead head or struggling plant in sight, despite the heat wave! One of the most visually impressive features of the Gray’s garden is in the front of their house where their array of bedding plants and fuchsias are a spectacle for passers-by, which the judges described as “a real piece of theatre.”

The house was previously council owned to provide accommodation for hospital workers, and the Grays have completely transformed it from a square of lawn with two apple trees to an immaculate and well planned garden with lots of different areas and “rooms”.

Discussing the competition, Liz Potter, editor of Garden Answers who ran the competition, commented: “The standard of entries was really high, so getting through to the shortlist for judging was a real achievement. We were looking for a garden that combined exciting planting with good design ideas, a fusion of gardening skill with plant knowledge and a sense of style. Pamela’s garden really caught our eye with its colourful bedding display in the front, and the back garden was immaculate – lots of exciting plant combinations, thematic borders and clever use of a modest space, offering surprise and delight at every turn.”

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Gardeners’ Garden Competition winner Pamela Gray!

In response to the news, Pamela said: “We really love our garden and when others enjoy it too we are chuffed to bits! Winning the competition is absolutely amazing and we will certainly enjoy our prize”.

The win sees Pamela and Barry receive £1000 to spend on equipment from the Cobra range. We have the UK’s largest range of powered equipment, with new products being added every month, so they certainly had a lot to choose from!

In second place was Sarah Rayner’s garden in Mount Bures. With her £500 prize, she opted to splash out on a new lithium-ion battery powered hedgetrimmer and chainsaw, as well as a blower/vac to help keep the garden tidy!

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Sarah Rayner was awarded second place in our Gardeners’ Garden Competition with Garden Answers magazine

Sarah commented: “When I received the email to inform me that I’d been shortlisted I was absolutely thrilled to bits. Keeping everything alive until the judges visited was a quite a challenge for all of the finalists during the hot summer! I was overjoyed to come in second place. As gardening is one of my passions you might be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t anything I needed in the way of extra tools but you’d be wrong! It was Christmas come early and I was like a child flicking through the Cobra catalogue with a whopping £500 to spend!”

Third place was awarded to Mary Hayter in Brockenhurst, who for the past thirteen years has opened up her garden to the public under the National Garden Scheme, raising a staggering £35,000 for the charity in the process.

Mary received £250 to spend on Cobra products and commented “I am thrilled to have done so well, given the difficult growing conditions this year and with the judging coming at the time when the garden was desperate for rain. The Cobra tools will help tremendously with the maintenance and it’s exciting to be rewarded with such great products.”

For more information about the competition, visit https://www.gardenanswersmagazine.co.uk/

How to Plant a Hedge

Autumn is a good time to plant a new hedge, as it gives the plants the best chance of survival and becoming firmly established. There are three keys to success – soil preparation, planting and aftercare.

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Begin the initial groundwork early by preparing the soil in your chosen area. Dig over the ground with a spade or fork, removing all weeds, roots and debris as you go. Add in good quality organic matter as you dig, then leave the ground to settle before planting.

To plant the hedge, rather than digging individual holes it is best to prepare one long trench. Dig a long strip in a single row and mark out the site first, then be sure to add more organic matter to help add nutrients to the roots.

Dig the trench to be one spade’s depth and 1m (3ft) wide, then remove all weeds and loosen the soil. When spacing the plants, try not to plant too closely to allow room to spread and develop. Place each plant slightly proud of the soil and fill in around the roots, then firm in well.

Then, when it comes to aftercare, particularly during the first year, it is vital to help the plant thrive. Do this by adding mulch to keep the roots moist and the soil temperature regulated. This will also help to suppress weeds. Then remember to water regularly throughout the year.

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Cobra Electric Hedgetrimmer – available with 55cm or 60cm cutting length

Evergreen hedges generally grow faster than deciduous so they will need trimming at least once a year – preferably twice. Cobra has a range of electric, petrol and battery hedgetrimmers for when the hedge becomes unruly.

Cobra has two electric models in its range. These are a 55cm blade width and 60cm. For more awkward jobs and trickier hedges there is the LRH40E long reach hedgetrimmer, which has an articulating head and maximum length of 185cm. Alternatively, in the petrol options, there is a 62cm or the long reach model comes with the choice of a Cobra or Kawasaki engine.

The latest additions to our hedgetrimmers are lithium-ion powered for extra cordless convenience. These have options of a 50cm 24volt model (the H5024V) or a 55cm 40 volt (the H5540VZ). The batteries on these are interchangeable with other Cobra products too.

When dealing with hedges it’s important to remember a few key points:

  • It is illegal to disturb nesting birds so it is best to leave pruning until autumn and check the hedge thoroughly for wildlife before cutting
  • Always remember safety comes first when trimming a hedge – never use hedge trimmers in wet conditions
  • Keep any chords untangled and out the way to avoid tripping
  • For extra protection make sure you wear safety goggles and sturdy gloves.

To view our entire hedgetrimmer range, click here.

Autumn Lawn Care Tips from the Experts

It has been a tough year for lawns so far this year – the freezing, snowy conditions in March, followed by a blazing summer heatwave has meant lawns have not really followed their typical growing pattern.

Now that the scorching weather is cooling down and autumn rain is on its way, you will notice that the grass is starting to green up again, recover from the heat stress and grow. Keep mowing the lawn this month, and possibly into October too, if it needs it. As the mowing season began later this season, and in some places never really got off the ground, we expect that it will extend until later than usual into autumn and winter.

When the grass eventually becomes dormant, store away your lawnmower until next year and concentrate on aeration and repair work. If it is a petrol mower make sure you drain the engine, or add a fuel stabiliser to guarantee easy starting next season.

The lawn will benefit from some scarifying and aeration to aid healthy growth and remove the dead moss and thatch, and to help it retain its moisture for longer during next year’s summer months.

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Our SA32E Electric Powered Scarifier makes light work of scarifying lawns and saves all the painstaking raking up of moss and thatch that would otherwise be involved. It comes with two cylinders as standard – a scarifier with blades and an aerator with spring tines, so you can tackle two jobs with one machine!

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Once you have scarified the lawn, repair any patches by sprinkling over lawn seed. Spread a thin layer of compost over the top to help prevent the seeds from being eaten by birds and water occasionally, if there is no rainfall, using a fine rose watering can.

Click on the links to find out more about all of our scarifiers here.

For more tips to lawncare and gardening, you can find us on Facebook here.

The heatwave is killing my lawn! What can I do?

It has been a long, hot summer and it isn’t over yet! Whilst it’s been great for barbecues and garden parties, the plants and lawns have not been feeling quite so carefree.

Under long periods of drought, all grass eventually turns yellow, becoming very straw-like and crackling under foot. What can you do to help?

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Here are our top tips for looking after the lawn during a heatwave:

  1. If your lawn has turned yellow, it has gone into ‘survival mode’ and is also stressed. If possible, avoid walking on the lawn as much as you can to limit the damage caused
  2. There is no need to mow your lawn regularly once it has turned yellow. Once it does rain and the grass begins greening up again, keep the blades on your lawnmower to the highest setting so that you are not cutting the grass too short and taking too much moisture away
  3. Don’t try and water the grass! With possible hosepipe bans looming, using a watering can will be time consuming and it’s unlikely to be sufficient water
  4. Don’t use feeds or fertilisers – this can end up causing more damage if there is not enough moisture
  5. Remember that grass is one of the world’s most resilient plants – it can withstand arctic frosts and desert droughts, even fire! So, it will always grow back once the rain arrives.

Once autumn arrives, the lawn will benefit from some scarifying and aeration to aid healthy growth and remove the dead material, and to help it retain its moisture for longer during next year’s summer months. We will be including more tips on this in our September blog!

Click on the links to find out more about all of our scarifiers here.

For more tips to lawncare and gardening, you can find us on Facebook here.

Battery powered lawnmower - Cobra

Cordless Convenience!

The rise in battery-powered garden equipment has really taken off in the past few years, and we have fully embraced this technology with two lithium-ion battery sizes in our range, allowing us to offer an extensive range of battery products.

Our 40-volt range consists of three lawnmowers, a grass trimmer, a chainsaw and a hedgetrimmer. The 24-volt range includes a grass trimmer, a blower and a hedgetrimmer. Each product is light and stylish, with no petrol and oil required and no cables to get in the way.

Our ethos at Cobra is all about offering something for every gardener and every garden, which is why we have over 150 powered products to choose from!

Compared with traditional battery technology, Cobra lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package. The three mowers (a 16” hand-propelled, a 16” hand propelled rear roller and an 18” self-propelled) all utilise a 4ah battery to give 30 minutes usage from a 90 minute charge.

Battery powered lawnmower - CobraThe handheld 40-volt products also take 90 minutes to charge from flat and the grass trimmer has an 80 minute runtime, the hedgetrimmer is 85 minutes and the chainsaw is 50 minutes, so there is plenty of time to tackle front and back gardens – and you can interchange batteries within the range so you can keep on working.

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The 24-volt range is powered by 2ah batteries which charge in two hours. The run time varies depending on the task but the grass trimer will have an average usage of 30 minutes, the blower will be 20 minutes and the hedgetrimmer 50 minutes. Spare batteries and chargers are also available to guarantee continuous usage whilst one battery is charging.

Click on the links to find out more about all of our lawnmowers in the range, as well as grass trimmers, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, brushcutters, pole pruners and multi-tools.

For more tips to lawncare and gardening, you can find us on Facebook here.

Get the Chelsea Look in your Garden!

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show took place this week – and as the world’s most prestigious flower show – you probably didn’t fail to catch some of the wonderful designs that were on display this year.

We were struck, in particular, by ‘Stihl Inspiration’ by Hillier, designed by Sarah Eberle. This garden had three distinct zones: work, rest and play, and Sarah is quoted as saying “The potting area, the work area, should be celebrated – let’s not hide it, it’s charming in its mild chaos” and we couldn’t agree more! The act of gardening is just as important as the resulting look of the garden – plus, a garden is never truly finished!

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With that in mind, we’ve compiled some gardening tasks you can enjoy this month to help create that well-maintained Chelsea look:

Luscious lawn

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A freshly mown lawn makes an instant impact by smartening up the overall look of your garden. At this time of year, you will probably need to mow the grass once a week, or at least once a fortnight, as long as the weather is not too dry.

A cylinder mower is a good tool to have to keep on top of this routine. The grass bag can be removed so that grass clippings can be scattered onto the lawn as you mow, returning nutrients and moisture back to the ground and promoting healthy growth.

For an easy, lightweight solution to mowing, a hover mower is amazingly light and flexible to use. It is great for a gardener who may struggle to push a heavier model, or if you have an undulating or steep lawn.

Neat edges

Edging your lawn with a grass trimmer is a quick and easy way to immediately neaten the overall look of your garden. It gives the lawn a professionally finished look and we have electric, cordless and petrol models available, so there’s something to suit every garden and budget.

Smart hedging

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Having a hedge in your garden is beneficial for many reasons. A hedge at the front of your house, for example, can help to absorb some of the noise and pollution caused by passing road traffic. They also make excellent habitats and hiding spots for lots of different wildlife including beneficial insects, birds and hedgehogs.

Keep your hedge looking neat and healthy by trimming it regularly. A light cut will encourage the hedge to grow more shoots, making it appear denser and thicker.

Click on the links to find out more about all of our lawnmowers in the range, as well as grass trimmers, chainsaws, hedgetrimmers, brushcutters, pole pruners and multi-tools.

For more tips to lawncare and gardening, you can find us on Facebook here.