May is the perfect month to get serious about sowing and planting your fruits and vegetables. Hopefully the hard frosts are finally behind us and summer is on the way - so now’s the time to start dreaming about living The Good Life with your own glut of homegrown produce.
With the cost of living on the rise and grocery prices soaring, it’s no wonder so many people are turning green-fingered and growing their own food. The process doesn’t have to be too arduous either; the key is to invest in good products that will help your produce to thrive. Here are some ways you can do just that…
Invest in your compost
Making your own compost is a great idea, but it can be a long process, and sometimes your soil might need something a little more refined to really help get those plants growing. That’s why it’s worth investing in a really good quality mix to boost your soil. We offer specialist mixes for either seedlings or pot plants, and each contains essential nutrients and has been specially developed to aid growth effectively.
You might also want something a little more bespoke, especially if you’re working with tricky soil, are trying to grow a difficult plant, or perhaps have specific conditions in your garden that other composts and soils can’t cater for. We can tailor-make a unique mix for you to suit your specific needs - just get in touch to let us know what you’re looking for.
Pick your favourites
It can be tempting to fill your garden with ten different varieties of kale, but unless you eat it like it’s going out of fashion, there’s little point. Instead, grow fruits and vegetables that you regularly incorporate into your meals, and nothing will go to waste.
Growing lettuce is a good option because it’s easy to grow but can be quite expensive to buy, especially when pre-prepared. Tomatoes, cucumber and other salad ingredients are also worth growing because you’ll use them a lot - and cut down your weekly shopping bill in the process.
Fan of berries? Consider fruit bushes - they require little effort on your part and should produce plenty of fruit. When it arrives, freeze what you can’t eat (or use in crumbles or cocktails!) and you’ll have your favourite berries available all year round.
Be seed savvy
When selecting which fruits and vegetables to grow, seedlings may seem like the obvious choice, but growing from seed only takes a couple of weeks longer, and you’ll get a lot more for your money.
Swapping with friends, family or your neighbours is also a great way to grow your garden for free - cuttings, excess seeds and duplicate plants are all readily available if you know where to look or who to ask, and can really make a difference when it comes to diversifying your plants.
It also pays to be selective and really plan out what you want ahead of time so you only need to accept plants that’ll benefit your garden - (many of us have accepted a plant from a neighbour and then left it unattended and unloved because we can’t work out where to plant it!) You’ll be happy you were selective in a few months’ time when your garden is filled with plants you truly love rather than border fillers you feel obliged to water because your next door neighbour generously offloaded them onto you.
Raise it up
Elevate your fruits and vegetables to a higher status by building raised beds in your garden. The soil warms quicker than at ground level, helping your produce to grow quicker. Not only that, but you’ll achieve better drainage, better water retention and fewer weeds. If you really want to get the best out of your fruits and vegetables this year, then make sure to give them some special treatment in their own raised beds - the benefits will be worth the initial outlay.
Often, when we want to give our garden a makeover, the first thing we do is invest in a whole load of plants, hoping they’ll give the space the transformation we desire. But, this can be costly, and unless you’ve carefully planned out which plants are going where, often once you arrive home from the garden centre with a car boot filled with new purchases, the garden can quickly become chaotic as you try to plant up your new finds.
A solution, then, is to refrain from reverting to new plants to improve the garden’s aesthetic, and instead choose other ways to give your garden a makeover. Something as simple as edging your lawn can instantly create a tidy look, or threading lighting through the trees gives a nighttime glow.
Read on for more inspiration…
It’s amazing what a difference a bit of gravel can make to the overall aesthetic of your garden. A neat and tidy pathway can work wonders for giving your garden a bit of a spring clean - and that’s before you’ve even delved into weeding the borders. Our self-binding gravels are a really simple way to pave pathways and driveways, and give a polished finish whilst providing a hard wearing surface. Firmer than loose gravel, self-binding gravel compacts down to create a smooth surface, and is easy to maintain, too.
Sometimes a fresh lick of paint is all you need to really give something a new lease of life. From fences to furniture and sheds to sun loungers, revitalising the wood or metal in your garden with a new hue is a cost effective and reasonably straightforward way to improve your garden’s appearance. If you really want to switch things up, then move away from plain wood or white, and add a splash of colour to your garden. Jewel tones are one of 2022’s biggest garden trends when it comes to flowers, so why not take inspiration by adding some vibrancy to your woodwork?
Adding a water feature to your garden creates a focal point, offers the opportunity to encourage wildlife to the garden and adds some tranquility to the space too. There’s plenty of different styles to choose from, depending on budget, space and of course, personal taste. From waterfalls to ponds, and fountains to contemporary water features, there’s sure to be a style to suit your garden. Bird baths are also back in vogue, so be bang on trend by adding one to your lawn and encourage your feathered friends to pay a visit.
Mulching might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re thinking of ways to make your garden prettier, but hear us out. Mulch has many benefits, including conserving water and smothering weeds - so while it may not be the obvious choice for making the garden more attractive, it’s a great way to start. Adding mulch to your beds and borders will make them look instantly tidier, will help to keep the weeds at bay, and will also reduce the amount of watering you’ll need to do in the height of summer, which is surely a win?
Orderly edges to your lawn can make a world of difference, and creating neat edges is easy, too. Use a half moon edger to cut the edges of your lawn, then mow the grass and trim any overhanging with long-handled edging shears.You can also use the shears to cut any grass that’s grown onto pathways, or if you prefer, use a sharp knife.