Charlie, Garden Tips, Gardening, General Advice, Ponds

So, you’re the proud owner of a beautiful new pond, or perhaps you’ve just moved into some property with a pond already attached, in either case read on for some essential tips to keeping your pond looking its best.

It’s all about balance. What’s important about pond care is keeping the right balance in your pond. Too many plants and algae can choke the life out of a pond, and make it impossible for fish to live in it, too few plants and there won’t be enough oxygen for your pond to thrive.

You don't want your pond looking like this!
You don’t want your pond looking like this!

You can prevent this from happening by ensuring the correct balance is found between plant life and pond surface area. Algae thrive on sunlight, so if your pond catches too much it is possible your pond will suffer from a surge of algae growth. To prevent this, it is wise to cover the surface of your pond in floating plants, such as water lilies – ideally they should cover more than 50% of the surface area of your pond, particularly if your pond is in direct sunlight for most of the day. Another, complementary, solution is to use submerged oxygenating plants. These eat up the carbon dioxide and minerals that the algae need to live, so enough of these can prevent algae from growing in your pond. It also always helps to have a water feature of some kind in your pond, this helps to move the water around and oxygenate your pond.


Plant Care. Thankfully, aquatic plants usually don’t require too much maintenance, however it can be advisable to periodically dive them when they get too overgrown. This is best done in the spring or autumn.


Fish Care. The best thing you can do for your fish is to follow the helpful hints above to ensure that they have a sound environment to live in, as well as of course feeding them correctly. – a general rule is to only feed what your fish can eat in five minutes. There is no need to feed your fish when the water temperature gets too low, say about 4 degrees celsius, as your fish will naturally hibernate. Another big bonus when it comes to fish is that they will eat up many pests such as aphids that might otherwise  plague your pond.

Water Drainage. Another common problem with ponds is water drainage. Water can begin to drain from your pond for a variety of reasons, most of which occur at the building stage. The first thing to do is to check if your pond’s edges are level, as this can cause water to drain out. However if your pond is still losing water volume it is best to drain it and inspect the damage. Draining a pond can be time consuming, you’ll have to ensure fish and plants are kept safe in tanks while you drain the water and will need an electric pump for the job, this can be either bought or hired.

Don’t forget to check out our pond care in winter guide for the autumnal and winter months.

 

CharlieCharlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.

When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.

To see the rest of Charlie’s posts, click here.

 

Amie, Barbecues, Celebrations And Holidays, Events, Gardening, Primrose Gardens, Primrose.co.uk

The Best BBQ Food for a Brilliant Summer Party

The sun is out (let’s ignore the brief drizzle) and Euro 2016 is in full swing, which means plenty of BBQs and gatherings for people throughout the UK. There will be impending celebrations for when England win the competition (we can live in hope) so we’ve compiled a handful of the best BBQ food (and some extra party essentials) to get you started.

Ribs
With a vintage, smoky flavour, ribs make a great treat for any BBQ. Cover in sauce or keep dry; either way they make an excellent handheld treat.

Burgers
Perhap  the ultimate classic when it comes to a BBQ, burgers come in a host of varieties, accompanied with any possibility, inside a range of buns. Brioche or seedless buns work well, and beef burgers larger than the palm of your hand make for a textbook combination.

Kebabs
You should stick to kebabs on a skewer, as these are much more convenient at a BBQ. Mix up your kebab with chicken, lamb and vegetables. The possibilities are endless.

Sausages
Another classic addition to any BBQ, sausages in a hotdog bun make a perfect BBQ snack. A Bratwurst sausage can give your BBQ a German feel, but my personal favourite is a traditional pork sausage, dolloped with some ketchup.

Wings
To finish off the list, wings/ drumsticks make a great choice. Similar to ribs, when placed on a BBQ they produce a tantalising smoky flavour and can easily be held (although sometimes your fingers can get sticky).

So you have done the shopping, but you need some additional items to help you throw your superb summer party. Primrose have a great selection to choose from, and with next day delivery, these can be here in time for the game against Wales if you order before 2pm tomorrow!

  1. Shade sail
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/kookaburra-triangle-ivory-party-sail-shade-woven-water-resistant-p-63044.html

  2. BBQ
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/banquet-essential-charcoal-bbq-p-80302.html

  3. Patio heater
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/firefly-21kw-free-standing-adjustable-height-halogen-bulb-electric-infrared-patio-heater-p-22422.html

  4. Party tent
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/9ft-29ft-budget-party-tent-p-11328.html

  5. Furniture set
    https://www.primrose.co.uk/hectare-mallory-seater-superpolytex-garden-furniture-set-with-parasol-p-79695.html

All you need now are the guests and for the rain to hold out…

So what are you waiting for! With many an excuse to have a knees up, dust off the BBQ and serve up a summer treat.

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Callum, Garden Tips, Gardening, How To

Let’s not kid ourselves, we all want the greenest lawn in the neighbourhood such that we can hover on google maps to appreciate our delicious emerald lawns. I’m not the only one that does that right? Well, if you aren’t completely sure on how to get the perfect lawn then here is an expert guide to try and achieve it.

Mowing

The most common error in the mowing process is participants thinking that they have to cut their lawn as short as possible. NO! Of Course if you’re lazy and want to mow as infrequently as possible then go for it but we are here for the perfect lawn so we need to rid of the buzz cuts. Short cuts will put stress on the grass and limit deep root growth. What I recommend is positioning the blade 3 inches tall and to cut your grass whenever it reaches 4.5 inches. Keep grass in shady areas ½ an inch to 1 inch taller than in the sunny parts of your yard. This gives each grass blade a greater area to conduct photosynthesis, which is the process that fuels grass growth.

Lawnmower, Gardening, Lawn-Mower, Lawn-Mower Chassis

Fertiliser

Organic and synthetic fertiliser is what you will all need. This promotes lusciousness, strengthens the roots and prevents the dreaded weeds and pests. The granule and liquid form is the best type and this should be applied with a broadcast spreader. A spreader is necessary because large concentrations of fertiliser in a small area can kill the grass. Follow the instructions on the packet you choose to buy and remember on average, you need to give shaded lawn areas roughly one-half to two-thirds less nitrogen per year compared to sunny lawns.

Lawn Maintenance and Repair

Bare spots, dead patches and weed infested grass are the most common lawn problems. Bare spots are obviously the most noticeable, however they can be repaired with a little persistence and patience. Simply rough up the soil, pre-mix seed with a little compost and then throw down the mixture. Run the back of a rake over it to get the seed down into the soil and then your only job will be to keep it moist to minimise its growth time.

Dead patches can form due to lack of water, pet urine or fertiliser misuse. To repair these spots, remove all of the dead grass right down to the bare and then apply grass seed. Keep the area watered and if you think the cause was due to fertiliser then get rid of any fertiliser granules before planting the new grass seeds.

Weed Control

Dandelions are the most common type of lawn weed however whatever the weed is here are the simple steps to get rid of them. The most effective but longest way is to dig them out from its roots. Any bad patches that are produced as a result of this should be replaced with grass seed and kept watered as stated in the previous section. If you don’t have the willpower to do that however, then you can use lawn and garden sprayer which contains a herbicide to spray as they appear. It is however important to limit the use of these and you should always follow the instructions on the label.

Meadow, Dandelion, Garden, Plant, Yellow

So with your lawns all up and ready to go, remember to keep off them as much as possible and keep it hydrated whenever rain droughts occur. Follow all these steps and you should be in good stead to have the most luscious lawn in your neighbourhood.

George, News, Press Releases, Primrose.co.uk

Gardening website Primrose.co.uk has this week set their whole website to load via secure servers. The company had already previously been using HTTPS URLs for basket and payment pages, but has now set them as standard across every page.

Primrose HTTPS

Managing Director Ian Charles said, ‘We’re dedicated to offering our customers the most trustworthy and secure experience possible. Using secure servers across the site from the moment the customer lands to the point they complete their purchase is reassuring for internet shoppers.’

Google has been encouraging websites to adopt ‘HTTPS everywhere’ and now Primrose is joining the forerunners in secure browsing. Currently only 21% of the world’s top 100 websites employ HTTPS by default. ‘Like our innovative waterproof shade sails, we like to shelter our customers both online and in the garden,’ Ian Charles added. ‘Online security is such an important issue, we’re pleased to be adopting this across the site.’

Primrose has grown to become the UK’s biggest online gardening retailer since being established in 2003. It specialises in water features, awnings, planters and a whole range of outdoor lifestyle products.

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.