Bulbs, Composting, Gardening, How To, Planting, Victoria Giang

The cold winter weather is fast approaching. For gardening enthusiasts, this means that it will soon be time to put your hoses and tools away until the growing season returns next spring. However, your gardening tasks aren’t quite done for the year yet, as you still need to ensure that your beds and plants are prepared to handle the freezing temperatures. Preparing your garden in the autumn also helps to ensure healthy, more vigorous growth next year. With this in mind, we’ll now take a look at four simple steps to ensure your garden is ready for winter.

pruning shears

1. Shield Perennials and Bulbs from the Cold

Annual plants can simply be pulled up and tossed in the compost pile when they die. However, any perennials and bulb plants may need a bit of extra protection to keep them alive through the winter.

Before the first frost arrives, it is best to start cutting back on how much you water any perennials to help harden them up and better prepare them for winter. Once the plants have finished for the year, it is also a good idea to trim back the stems so that they’re only about 6 to 8 inches high. Doing so will help to shield the plants from the cold and also allow them to grow more vigorously when the warm weather arrives.

Any bulb plants that flower in the early spring can usually be left in the ground throughout the winter. However, any bulbs that flower in the summer should be dug up and stored inside to prevent them from being damaged by the cold. This includes freesias, elephant’s ears, cannas, calla lilies and other later-blooming flowers.

After gently digging the bulbs up, shake off any excess dirt and then allow the bulbs to dry in the sun for approximately a week. Finally, store them in a cardboard box surrounded by plenty of peat, sawdust or newspaper so that none of the bulbs are touching.

bulbs

2. Consider Some Last-Minute Planting

Autumn is the ideal time to plant any early-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodil, iris, etc. In fact, the only way to ensure that your bulb flowers will bloom in the spring is to plant them in the early autumn before the ground freezes. Most early-flowering bulbs need to freeze during the winter in order to grow in the autumn. This means they need to either be in the ground or stored in a freezer.

Many varieties of perennials also work well when planted in the winter due to the drier ground and lower temperatures. If you’re growing a vegetable garden, planting onions and garlic during the autumn allows them to be harvested several months earlier the following year.

adding compost

3. Compost Garden and Flower Beds

Adding compost during the autumn helps to provide additional nutrients to your plants the next spring. Composting during the autumn allows the nutrients more time to break down and infiltrate deeper into the soil, which in turn provides better growing conditions the following season. Generally speaking, you should spread a thin layer of compost over the top of the soil, and then work the compost deeper into the ground sometime around or just after the first freeze.

mulch

4. Use Mulch to Protect Your Top Soil

Another good idea is to spread a layer of mulch or dead leaves before the first freeze. Adding a layer of mulch on top of your beds helps to protect any plants left in the ground from the freezing temperatures. In addition, the mulch will also help to prevent rain, snow and ice from washing away your top soil or leeching out its nutrients. However, the layer of mulch shouldn’t be much more than three to four inches thick as otherwise it could choke out your plants and make it harder for them to bloom in the spring.

If you are lucky enough to live in a fairly warm climate with milder winters, you probably won’t have to do much to prepare your garden. However, if you live in a place where it frequently freezes or where there is a lot of winter precipitation, it is essential that you take the proper steps to your garden. Winter can wreak havoc on your garden if you’re not careful, so it’s important that you do what you can to protect it.

Victoria GiangVictoria is a home working mom and the author of How Daily, a blog that shares her taste and experience on food, recipes, home & garden projects. These are ranging widely from quick cleaning of household appliance to planting and caring for garden favorites.

Christmas

Every year, people up and down the country rock out their Christmas jumpers in aid of Christmas Jumper Day. It’s a time for everyone to unite, wear festive knits and take several snaps for social media to show off their silly sweaters.

But more importantly, it’s an opportunity to raise money for Save the Children UK – a great charity which promotes children’s rights,  provides relief and supports children in developing countries.

Primrose have done our bit for Save the Children so let’s see your sweaters!!

  • Email photos@primrose.co.uk
  • Tweet us @PrimroseUK
  • Facebook us @ facebook.com/Primrose.co.uk


Have a great Christmas from everyone at Primrose !

Image result for santa emoji

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.

 

 

Christmas, How To, Zoe

how to care for your Christmas Tree

A real Christmas tree can be a beautiful centre piece during the festive season, and is certainly the object of admiration from family and friends who come to visit. But problems can arise when your tree starts to wilt in the heat, drop needles and lose its colour.

Did you know that when natural trees are stressed they begin to shed their needles in an effort to save themselves from dehydration?

In order to keep your tree in tip top condition, and avoid an abundance of needles across your floor, follow our easy steps to keep your tree looking fantastic through to New Year!


Top Tips

  • After you’ve picked your favourite tree you need to cut about half an inch off the bottom of the trunk. Someone may do this for you at the retailer, but if not you can do it yourself easily at home. This will let your tree absorb more water and remain fresher for longer.
  • Within eight hours of cutting the bottom of the tree you need to get it in water, and your tree will be very thirsty! Your tree may need up to 3 litres on the first day, and regular watering every day after this.
  • Do not remove any bark from the tree in an attempt to squeeze it into a container. Most of the water absorption comes from just under the bark, so your tree will dehydrate much quicker if you do this.
  • Some people suggest putting an aspirin in the water to help the tree, or perhaps fizzy drinks such as lemonade that will help your tree absorb some water and help it look extra lovely. BE CAREFUL putting aspirin in your water if you think a curious cat may want to have a sip from it however.
  • Allow your tree to rest for a while before you decorate it, the longer you can leave it the better, preferably twenty four hours.
  • If the foliage on your tree is quite dense, try snipping a few of the branches back to the trunk. This will create a tidier image, but will also save your tree from wasting water on more branches.
  • Place your tree in a cool place. Having your tree next to a fireplace or radiator will dry out your plant.
  • Try to use low voltage fairy lights when you decorate your tree. Larger lights will warm up the branches surrounding it and cause water loss.
  • Keep on top of collecting the fallen pine needles. These can be hazardous for infants or pets if swallowed or stuck in the skin!
  • Lastly, you might find using a Christmas tree spray may help to retain moisture in the branches. You could also try spraying hairspray on the underside of the tree, HOWEVER this will make the tree much more flammable so only do this with great  care.

Christmas Tree Decoration

 

If you follow these steps your tree should remain healthy for up to four weeks and be the envy of all your family and friends!

Haven’t bought your Christmas tree yet? Check out our expert advice on how to spot the perfect Christmas tree.

Zoe at PrimroseZoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.

After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!

She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!

See all of Zoë’s posts.

Amie, Heated Clothing, Primrose.co.uk

The winter is nearing, and the nights are darkening. The temperatures are plummeting and  the snow will soon be falling. Whether you’re tucked up in bed, or out for a scenic walk, we’ve all been there where our feet feel as though they’re close to dropping off. So we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to keep your feet warm.

winter-boots

  1. Place heated inner soles into your shoes
    Great for when you’re heading outdoors, heated insoles add an extra layer of warmth for inside your shoe. Many heated insoles provide a heating element running down the entire length of the insole meaning your whole foot will be kept toasty, even those pinkies prone to the cold.

    What’s better is heated insoles will often fit into any shoe as they are easily trimmed down to size.

  2. Layer up with socks
    Whether you’re tucked up in front of the TV, or you’ve ventured out for an explore, choosing the right socks can benefit the warmth of your feet greatly. There are socks on the market with external heating elements (battery heated/ heat packs) which provide a gradual warmth to your legs and feet. These are a great option if you’re skiing, hiking or walking as they provide extra warmth in colder conditions.

    Alternatively, cosy thermal socks are great for lounging around the house and help maintain core body temperature also. They’re also perfect for long-term use, with very little maintenance or hassle.

    It’s important here that you don’t wear socks that are either too tight, or that don’t fit comfortably if you’re wearing shoes as this can cut off circulation to your toes.

  3. Put your slippers in the microwave
    You heard right. Cozy Body slippers are microwavable, and in only two minutes, you can benefit from instant warmth and relaxation. A short term solution, they are ideal for those cold mornings when making a brew or late evenings after a bath.

    With Christmas around the corner, they make a great gift too! (I will admit I did buy my Nan a pair and she loves them).

  4. Massage your feet
    Who’d have guessed that a soothing foot massage would improve circulation to your feet? Aiding blood flow, a massage helps to circulate the blood to even the nippy toes.

    Next time you have cold feet, nudge your boyfriend or girlfriend, and blame the cold!

  5. Top up with soups and stews
    With winter around the corner, forget the salads and ice cream and turn your attention to warm, heart foods. Stews, soups, vegetables, potatoes etc will help to keep your whole body warm.

    Also, avoid the caffeine! I know a morning brew is a staple part of most people’s routine, but caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which means it limits blood flow around the body.

    socks1small
    Hopefully you’re now covered  in knowing 5 ways to keep your feet warm!

    For more tips and advice on how to keep warm this winter, we’ve a host of blog posts to read over.

    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.

 

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