Spring is upon us which means it is time to prep our gardens to ensure they are bloomin’ beautiful come the summertime but why not use chemical free gardening methods this year?
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Probably slightly dramatic when applying it to the context of gardening but there is some truth in it if you are aiming for an abundant, colourful garden over the summer. For many people that means lots of chemicals, pesticides and lots of time spent relentlessly digging to get their garden in ship shape. However, the use of all those chemicals in your garden can have knock on negative environmental effects and can be rather expensive too. Plus,let’s be honest, spending all that time prepping your garden can be rather tiresome, when all you really want to do is sit back and enjoy the Spring weather! So, we’ve put some tops tips together to ‘spring clean’ your garden using chemical free gardening methods that are not only sustainable and simple but will also leave you more time to sit in the sun and enjoy the view!
Forget weed killer, use mulch!
Weeds, weeds, weeds. A gardener’s arch nemesis due to their ability to find their way into every corner of the garden. Whether they are in beds or popping up in paved areas of the garden, you either have to you have to sit there tediously pulling out each one or spray large areas with chemical weed killers which can end up damaging the plants you actually want to keep.
Well, there is another way of getting rid of weeds and preventing them in the future. A very hassle free way that requires zero chemicals. MULCH. That’s it. Mulch.
If you are wanting to get rid of weeds across a whole bed, something like our Sheep Wool Garden Felt is perfect! All you have to do is lay the felt over the area you want weed-free. The felt will smother any active weeds and keep any new ones from growing through. Easy peasy!
If you are wanting to just protect individual plants from the competition caused by weeds, rather than covering whole beds, then our SUPER dense jute mulch mats can be slotted around individual plants to create a barrier against weeds. The mulch mats are very simple to use, very effective and a wonderful natural way of suppressing weeds.
But what about on paved areas when mulching isn’t really an option? Well, there is an even simpler solution. Your kettle! Boil your kettle, pour it over the weeds that are popping up in your paved area and they’ll die off. Simple as that!
Prepare your beds and sow seeds the easy way
When Spring comes round, it starts to become warm enough to start planting new bits and bobs in our gardens. But how do you prep your beds? Do you spend days digging over your veg patches or ornamental beds ready to plant them out?
Well, dig no more. All you need is wool, soil and seeds. Three simple steps to abundant beds.
To create a new bed, simply lay our Garden Felt onto your bed (or on an area of grass or weeds if you are wanting to start a new bed) and put a good thick layer of compost over the felt and start planting. It really is as easy as that. We love using our cocopeat compost and mixing it with our organic sheep wool pellets for the ultimate compost – then start planting.
To make it really faff free, instead of going to the garden centre, buying ‘ready grown’ plants and digging them in, why not just sprinkle over some seeds? As they grow, the roots of the plants you sow will push through the felt, down into the soil. The wool and jute combination will smother any weeds sufficiently giving the seeds a greater chance of germinating. It is much cheaper using seeds too!
Slug proof with wool!
Slugs. A gardener’s second arch nemesis. They come in when your plants are looking strong and healthy to feast, ruining all your hard work. Heart-breaking.
The key to success when it comes to slugs is prevention rather than a cure. And by that, we don’t mean a load of pesticides or slug pellets that can be dangerous to other garden wildlife. There are simple, natural and still chemical free gardening methods that can stop those pesky buggers from getting to your plants.
The main way is using wool. Slugs and snails HATE the texture as the coarse fibres are very uncomfortable for them to slither over. Using something ‘woolly’ in texture, such as our biodegradable felt shillies or our wool pellets. Both of these can be piled around delicate plants, in need of extra protection, or spread across the soil of flower or veg beds. The added bonus of using wool is that as it is full of naturally occurring nitrogen, potassium and phosphate will help with strong, healthy plant growth as it composts down.
As an extra slug-proofing measure (they are beasts!) we use this simple recipe for a slug repelling garlic water concoction which is easy to make and chemical free:
- Firstly, crush and then boil two bulbs of garlic to a pulp, in two pints of water.
- Sieve the mixture and then top it back up to two pints, using cold water.
- Leave the mixture to cool and store in a container (e.g plastic milk container).
- When ready to use, dilute two tablespoons of the mixture per gallon of water and then pour it over your felt shillies
Wool combined with garlic water is bound to keep them away simply, naturally and sustainably!
Happy Spring gardening!