- Now is the perfect time to get the lawnmower out and cut your grass for the first time this year. Cut grass with the lawn mower blades set high for the first few times, then use a good lawn feed and weed killer to help your lawn look its best. Also re-seed and re-turf any bald patches.
- Thin out herbaceous plants, prune spring flowering shrubs once flowering has finished and trim evergreen hedges and shrubs.
- In early April sow garden vegetables like potatoes, peas, broad beans, leeks, cauliflower, summer cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, spinach, turnips, parsnips and lettuce outdoors or, if you leave it too late, young vegetable plants can be bought from garden centres. Other vegetables like cucumbers, courgettes and outdoor tomatoes can be sown under glass and runner beans can be started individually in 3 inch pots ready for planting in May.
- It’s also a good time to sow seeds of hardy annuals like nasturtium, calendula, lavatera and cornflowers.
- Sprinkle rose fertiliser around roses and begin to spray them to control pests and diseases.
- Feed all other plants in the garden using a slow-release fertiliser to improve plant flowering and growth.
- It’s also an ideal time to plant strawberry plants in your garden.
As the weather begins to get warmer, April is always a busy month in a gardeners calendar, with seeds to sow, lawns to mow, shrubs to trim and vegetable gardens to tend to.
Garden tips for March
The new season starts in earnest this month. Nature stirs into growth as the weather improves and the soil warms. Drifts of bright yellow Daffodils proclaim that spring is really here. Follow the expert tips below to get your garden into shape for the months ahead.
It’s a new year, a new you, and if one of your resolutions was to cleanse your lifestyle, your home is a big part of that. Here are ten ways to help organise your home and breathe a new lease of life into it, without having to do any major alterations.
Lick of paint
From a welcoming new look for the front door, to the skirting boards, to the kitchen cabinets, a lick of paint can take something which is starting to look a bit dated and give it a refresh.
Explore Pinterest and see some of the cool home items you can create from old furniture – you could turn a bedframe into a bench for the garden or an old cot into a desk for the kids. Before you chuck it, see if it could serve another handy purpose.
Sort the garden
With Spring on the way, it’s time to start tidying up your garden. Whether it’s putting in a vegetable patch or creating a decking area for the summer BBQs, make sure it’s all ready for when the weather turns!
Give the spare room some purpose
Is your spare room turning into a dump for all of your odds and ends? You could make it into a home gym, a games room or an office.
Have a clear out
It’s time to clear out the drawers and paperwork of things you ‘definitely’ needed to keep for the last ten years! Get them into the recycling pile and out of the home, so you can start collecting 2017’s odd bits and bobs.
Rearrange the furniture
Feeling restless with your home’s current layout? Have a shuffle around and move art and accessories into different rooms – and give your room a fresh and new feeling.
Change the colour scheme of a room
Whether it’s just buying a new duvet cover and cushions, or a complete overhaul, treat yourself to some hygge this 2017.
Add a rug, some candles, a plant or a new photo frame of memories from 2016 to spruce up your space and make you feel cosy, comfortable and at home.
Do a deep clean of your home. Clean out the kitchen cupboards and put them back in a better order, re-organise your wardrobe or set up a recycling area to help you start 2017 more organised.
Create a new space
Get the creativity flowing by creating a new window seat, working area, snug space or some area around the home which is your designated spot. A new space and energy will stimulate you with your work this 2017.
Start 2017 with an uncluttered and refreshed home with any of our pointers above, and tick off that resolution!
January brings us the shortest and coldest days of the year, but even now some plants are growing and flowering as if it were high summer. It is an ideal time to catch up on reading gardening advice and get on with the other jobs that the busy months do not give us time to do. Here are our top 10 tips to get ahead this January:
1. Plant your pot grown Christmas tree - remember to plant as soon as possible in January to enjoy next Christmas. Select a spot that has well drained soil, sun and enough space for your tree to sit comfortably. Then all you need to do is keep it watered and protected.
2. Buy seeds early - spend an hour browsing our seeds in-store. Buy anything that takes your fancy before the spring rush.
3. Look out for plug plants - these small bedding plants offer great value for money, and are available early in the year. Pot them up and grow them on before planting outside after the risk of frost.
4. Decide on a colour theme - give your garden a designer look in 2016 by colour theming your containers and accessories. Plan ahead so you can keep your eyes peeled for things that fit in with your scheme.
5. Clean and service tools - get your tools up to scratch so they're in tip-top shape when the gardening season gets in full swing or browse our range in-store. Petrol mowers will benefit from a professional service.
6. Move plants - if you are planning on moving any plants in your garden it's best to do it now when they're fairly dormant, before they put on lots of spring growth.
7. Design new borders - get creative and plan new borders. Use the traditional method, and take pencil to paper to work out perfect plant combinations for the New Year.
8. Tidy your borders - cut back and clear dead foliage and the last of any fallen leaves. Take care not to damage emerging roots.
9. Chit first early potatoes – chit seeded potatoes for 3 - 4 weeks then plant to enjoy tender new potatoes in early summer - Look out for Duke of York, Epicure and Rocket varieties in-store.
10. Force rhubarb - enjoy an early harvest by covering the crowns with a bucket or rhubarb forcer - you'll have tasty young stems in no time.
Check and firm in all newly planted shrubs and trees
Check Dahlia tubers, Gladioli and Begonia corms that are being stored and remove any that are rotting
Spot water containers, pots, tubs and window boxes if necessary
Remove snow from evergreen trees and shrubs
Check and firm in all newly planted shrubs and trees
Plant new fruit bushes when the ground is not too wet or frozen
Check and loosen tree ties, replace any that are broken
Check stakes on fruit trees for being loose or broken
Dig over vacant plots and leave rough for frost to break down
Check stored vegetables and throw out any that are rotting
Towards the end of the month consider putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil and give early salad crops a good start.
Keep off in frosty weather
Have the lawn mower serviced and the blades sharpened
If puddles stay on the lawn, spike with a garden fork or aerator to aid drainage
Start to heat Greenhouses, which have Peaches and Vines in them
Prune Vines now before sap rises
Check heating is still running efficiently
Ventilate cold houses on mild days
Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e., moulds and fungus
Keep an area of the pond free of ice to help fish to breathe
Store seed potatoes in a dark place
Clean and oil all garden tools
As autumn draws in on the garden, October brings the last great burst of colour to the beds and borders. As the first frosts etch the garden with a silvery sheen, there are still many things to be done.
A key time for harvesting and preparing for next year, milder September temperatures can be great for gardeners. Let us share our top tips for getting the most out of your garden during this time.
Transition your garden from summer into autumn with ease by following our insider tips and key themes for August. From growing fruit and veg to cleaning up your garden pond, there's plenty of options to keep your garden in shape.
Summer is nearly upon us!
Follow these expert gardening tips to help your garden bloom in the summer months.
Does your home have storage heaters? Well stay warm and save money by making sure that know exactly how they work, to get the most out of them and maximise your storage heaters' efficiency.
Things you didn’t know about being a #landlord
Paperwork is your best friend
The problem with paperwork is that we never really look at it until it’s needed, and then it’s too late... If you have to go to court to gain possession of a property, you will need to make sure that you have everything in place before you start proceedings, and if you haven’t, you have a problem, so start as you mean to go on, ensure you know all the paperwork you need and have a routine or checklist to make sure you have it all, right from the start.Your letting file, should include, the tenancy agreement, the prescribed information, the inventory, gas certificate, any other safety check reports, deposit registration certificate, and from October first, proof of the tenant receiving a gas certificate, EPC, proof of smoke alarms being tested on the first day of the tenancy and that the DCLGs “how to tenant guide” has been given to the tenant too.
Shopping around for quotes can cost you money
In the midst of winter, you receive a call from your tenant that the boiler has broke and your first reaction is to get a few quotes.... this is the main reason tenants move out, due to slow reaction to maintenance, consider how much the cost of a void period, and re-letting fees will be in comparison to how much you might save by shopping around for boiler repairs, you will be surprised.
There is more than one type of tenancy agreement
Most landlords assume there is only one type of tenancy, the Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, in fact there are many types.
Ignorance can cost you dearly
With a buy to let property, you are classed as acting in the course of business, and therefore you are expected to carry out many functions and to know the law, ignorance will not be a defence in court, so you really need to know what your responsibilities are, or else it can cost you dearly.
BWJ Property & Services