Understanding Gardening Tool Sharpening Instruments

The best way to ensure that your gardening efforts are safe and efficient is to be sure to keep your gardening tools sharp. Tools that are well looked after, help to prevent injury and wasted effort. If you are unfamiliar with the options for sharpening instruments, here is a bit of information that could help you make the right choice in this investment.

Sharpening Tools

• Whetstones- are blocks of fine-grained stone. There are two types as some require oil and others, water for lubrication to help the blade slide over the stone. These are suitable for knives and secateurs and should be used on a sturdy surface, like a table.

• Diamond coated sharpening tools- come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The diamond-coated blocks and portable, pocket-sized types are perfect for sharpening secateurs and knives on the go. The diamond-coated files are more suitable for spades or hoes.

• Sharpening steels- are usually used for kitchen knives, however there are a few versions that are designed for maintaining garden blades, such as loppers.

• Files- are excellent for sharpening cultivation tools like spades and hoes, just ensure to get one that is suitable for metal work.

Preparing Your Greenhouse for Winter

Fall is just around the corner and it will soon be time to start prepping your greenhouse for winter. It is important to conduct proper up-keep of a greenhouse to prevent disease and mould. Here are a few steps to consider.

Clean your greenhouse out by:

• Removing seasonal plants
• Sweeping it out
• Disinfecting surfaces and floors with soapy water
• Clean the roof cover with a mild detergent
• Wash the entire structure and all gardening tools and accessories in the greenhouse
• Take inventory of tools and possibly reorganise them
• Clean off any shading paint to allow more sun and heat to enter during winter
• Ensure that after the clean, the greenhouse is thoroughly ventilated and dries out

Inspect the greenhouse by:

• Ensure the roof cover is not cracked
• Examine the insulation
• Possibly add additional insulation on the north facing wall
• Inspect heating system (if present)
• Inspect the ventilation system
• Replace any cracked panes

The Best Plants to Entice Bees and Butterflies

As humanity consistently expands, we need to ensure we still make room for nature. Bees are an important part of our ecosystem so we need to help look after them, and who doesn’t love butterflies? Try planting these 10 plants to entice bees and butterflies to your garden.

1. Alliums and Chives-all members of the allium family (chives, onions etc) are a firm favourite of the bees and not too fussy on soil conditions.
2. Sedum-these are a butterfly magnet and easy to grow in containers.
3. Cranesbill or Geranium-these are excellent for bees, especially the blue or purple varieties and are quite low maintenance.
4. Cerinthe Major-difficult to find but another bee magnet! It is an annual plant, grown from seed.
5. Buddleia or Butterfly Bush-is very fragrant, has a variety of sizes (some quite large) and very attractive to bees and butterflies.
6. Perovskia/Russian Sage-loves dry, sunny conditions and a large container.
7. Monarda or Bee Balm-not ideal for growing in a container and enjoys a sunny, well-drained spot.
8. Cotoneaster-is a shrub of various sizes and types. Ensure to get a less invasive variety, should it try to take over.
9. Herb Oregano-a very hardy herb, typically used in a border and highly attractive to butterflies and pollinators.
10. Lavender-very fragrant, likes sunny/well-drained spot and good for container growing.

These plants are all easy to grow and could also be put into pots or windowsills if you are short on garden space. They will help you create a wildlife friendly habitat and give you the enjoyment of watching the bees and butterflies appreciate your efforts.

Vegetables you can grow indoors

There is no disputing that organic homegrown vegetables just taste superior, fresher, and more satisfying, so there is no surprise that more and more Britons have taken to growing vegetables. Many people are fortunate enough that they have the outdoor space to grow vegetables but if you don’t and are wanting to grow indoors, we have put together a list of vegetables that are easy to grow inside.

1. Scallions – scallions are an easy plant to grow suitable indoors as they do not need as much sunlight to grow. They are also easy to care for so a great option for beginners.

2. Radishes – these are another option that doesn’t require maximum sunlight. They will require a deep large container.

3. Lettuce – Lettuce is another easy to grow indoor plant. Try not to over water, the aim is to keep the soil damp, using a spray bottle would be a wise choice.

How to grow tomatoes

There is no disputing that tomatoes are a wonderful and versatile food that is healthy, full of nutrients, and delicious. More and more people are opting to grow their own fruit and vegetables more now than ever before, you simply cannot beat fresh homegrown produce.

If you would like to start growing your own tomatoes, first you must consider which variety you want. If you are looking for salad tomatoes then Sungold is a great option or if you are wanting to make passata or ketchup then Roma is a great choice for you.

Once you have chosen your variety follow these steps.

1. Sow the seeds indoors in March.

2. Keep your seedlings moist and in a sunny spot.

3. Plant out, two feet apart, in a sunny location after the risk of frost has passed.

4. Feed when fruits start appearing

5. Harvest from July as they turn red

Things to consider before setting up a vegetable patch

So, you have decided that its time to start growing vegetables in your garden. Vegetables provide valuable nutrients to your diet and it can’t be disputed that fresh home-grown vegetables taste amazing! Before you set up there are a couple of things you will need to consider.

You will need to pick the best location for your new veggie patch and will need to consider how big or little you want it to be.

You can easily grow vegetables even if you only have a small amount of space. You can grow them in containers or in a raised bed if you are really limited in space and of course you can have your vegetable patch as big as you like.

For the location you must pick a light airy spot which has limited shade. Most of the grow at home vegetables really love sun and need it to thrive.

Once you have figured out the location and size you can get to work buying the materials you will need to set up and of course your chosen vegetable choice.

How to reduce weeds

Keeping weeds under control in your garden can be a time-consuming task but is essential to keep your garden in perfect shape. Although the initial stage of pulling pesky weeds can be somewhat satisfying it soon becomes a chore. Simply following a few basic steps can reduce weeds and keep your garden looking great.

– Avoid soil disturbance – disturbing your soil can lead to a break out of fresh weeds, if you need to disturb your soil make sure you fill with plants or mulch.

– Cut the source – use a sharp knife with a narrow blade to slice through the roots rather than digging them out.

– Pull when wet – weeds are far easier to remove after a big downpour. If you can’t pull them, or cut the source – remove the heads to buy some time

– Consider your space – closely placed plants will give shade which will reduce weeds

– Draught – only water the plants you need in hot conditions, avoid watering any weeds.

Benefits of potted plants in your garden

Potted plants can make the world of difference in your garden, especially if you have a relatively low maintenance space or possibly a tiny concreted area to work with. With potted plants, even the smallest of gardens and balconies can enjoy a touch of nature, and there are so many different flowers and plants you can choose from, including those that blossom in spring, winter, autumn and summer.


With potted plants, you can keep the space nice and tidy too, whilst they’re so easy to grow and nurture, and if the weather gets a bit too severe, you can always bring them inside to ensure they survive. These are just two of the reasons why potted plants are so popular in the UK, but a third and final reason is that they’re very affordable too. You can buy already developed plants in pots from gardening stores and you only need to have a little peak in the sale section to discover a complete collection of plants at very low prices.


Decorating your garden trees

With Christmas not too far away now, we’d like to focus on a festive theme today; decorating the trees in your garden. Whether you have a tall oak tree, a selection of hedges and shrubs or a fabulous conifer tree that’s perfect for Christmas, you should always try to add a few decorations. There are many Christmas tree ornaments that are suitable for outdoors such as those made of wood and metal, but it’s the lights that are going to have the biggest impact. With outdoor trees, you want a good selection of twinkle lights to weave in between the branches, and we’d recommend you go for solar powered because it’s easier and it will, of course, save you a considerable sum on electricity. You can light up your house like the house in “Home Alone” and really get into the festive spirit. Get some lights and decorations on the trees in your garden today.

Love your garden all year round

As garden lovers, we want to spend as much time outdoors as possible, but sometimes the British weather can make this difficult all year round. Don’t let the rain stop you from relaxing in your garden, all you need to do is add a summer shed to sit back in.

Ironically a summer shed isn’t just for the summer, but of course, it is a little more pleasant during the warmer months. Adding a summer house to your back garden will create an area of shelter that you can personalise and make your own.

There is no need to worry about getting cold either, as all you need to do is add a small heating system to take the nip out of the air. You could add electric to your summer house to add a heater or alternatively use a gas heater instead.

Style your summer house however you like, adding seating, shelves and a table. Sit back and relax as you look out to your garden from a different view.