Animals, Blog Series, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gary, Wildlife

Garden Weeds

September is the time of the year where things start to cool down, the wind picks up and the days get shorter. This is the month to get started on your preparation for spring whilst enjoying your garden as much as you can before the frosts come in. 

General 

 

  • Net ponds – protect your pond before leaves begin to fall 
  • Clean out water butts – keep your irrigation in the best condition in preparation for autumn rains 
  • Clean ponds and water features of weeds – Remove duckweed, pondweed and algae from water features and ponds
  • Collect and bin brown apples and pears – reduce the spread of this fungi and protect your good crops 
  • Order bare-root fruit trees – to plant later in autumn or winter

Plants 

  • Divide herbaceous perennialsensure healthy, vigorous plants in the spring
  • Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs –  daffodils, crocus and hyacinths are a priority for the end of the month 
  • Sow hardy annuals –  cerinthes, ammi, scabiosa and cornflowers should be planted now  for flowers early next summer
  • Deadhead container plants –  encourage more blooms and keep your patio displays longer into the Autumn 

Wildlife 

  • Wash and disinfect bird feeders and tables – maintain good hygiene on your tables and you will see birds throughout the winter
  • Plant nectar-rich bulbs –  crocus, snake’s head fritillary, alliums and grape hyacinths can be planted now to feed next year’s hungry emerging bees
  • Start putting out fat balls – help those birds staying for the winter
  • Leave garden borders intact – don’t cut these back in autumn. Try to leave at least one border intact where seedheads can provide food for birds and fallen stems can create shelter for amphibians, insects and small mammals

 

Gardening, Gardening Year, Gardens, Plants, Wildlife

August is usually the hottest month of the year, so your main focus should be keeping your garden watered and your pond and water features topped up. There is also some prep work to do for the arrival of .autumn, and you should continue some of your maintenance from last month.

General 

Top up birdbaths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Keep the garden watered – your garden is going to dry out quickly in the heat this month, keep everything evenly watered to stop your garden going yellow and wilting.

Keep on top of Algae growth –  strong sunlight creates the perfect environment for algae growth in ponds or water features. Remove it as you see it in ponds, and add wildlife-friendly weed control into water features.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants

  • Tidy up fallen leaves and flowers to discourage disease.
  • Mow wildflower meadows to help scatter the seeds.
  •  Cut back faded perennials to keep borders tidy.
  • Keep on top of weeds 
  • Prune all summer flowering shrubs 
  •  Prune climbing roses and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering 

Wildlife 

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.

Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Plants, Wildlife

July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.

General Gardening Jobs

garden lawn

Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.

Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.

Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer –  this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.

Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond.  Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond

Think about which plants you would like for next springit might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.

Plants 

creating a sumemr garden

Support climbing plants –  continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.

Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.  

Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.

Prune wisteria –  remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.

Wildlife Care 

hedgehog in the garden

Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.

Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the  sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.

Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.

 

Garden Design, Gardening, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardens, How To, Scott, Wildlife

A garden pond is one of the best things you can create to encourage all sorts of animals into the garden. It will act as both habitat and water source to a variety of wildlife such as dragonflies, frogs and all sorts of birds. This guide will equip you with the knowledge to make a wildlife-friendly pond in your garden with minimal materials. 

Be sure to share how you go on with building your own pond over on the Primrose Instagram.

garden pond with water lillies

Tools & Materials:

  • Pond liner
  • String and pegs or stakes
  • Sharp knife
  • A long plank of wood
  • Spirit level
  • Garden spade
  • Bags of sand
  • Some large rocks

Method:

Locate Your Pond

  1. Identify the best spot for your pond. The ideal would be a spot that gets plenty of sun during the day and a little shade in the evening. If you can, avoid any overhanging trees as falling leaves can pollute the pond water.
  2. Mark out the edge of your pond with the string and pegs. Play around with different shapes and sizes until you’re happy. 

Dig Your Pond

  1. Start digging. If you dig from the middle and work out you can adjust the shape as it develops. Things can look very different in perspective once a piece of lawn suddenly become a large hole. You don’t have to dig very deep; a shallow pond will still be very beneficial for wildlife. 
  2. Pile soil to one side of your pond to create a gradual slope. This will allow wildlife to access the water easily and get out of the water should anything accidentally fall in. 
  3. Once you’re happy with the size and shape, rest your plank of wood across the pond and use your spirit level to check both sides are even. Repeat several times at different angles. This step is very important. Having a pond that is higher on a certain edge could lead to water flooding out of the pond in heavy rain. Spend time making sure this part is as perfect as you can get it.
  4. Remove any sharp objects or stones from the bottom of the hole to avoid ripping the lining before covering the bottom of your pond with sand. A small layer of a few cm’s will do to offer a layer of protection for the liner.
  5. Dig a small trench around the edge of the pond for the excess liner to be tucked into. This will help give everything a clean finish.

Line Your Pond

  1. Place the liner into the hole ensuring it covers the entire surface. Take time to remove as many creases as you possible can pushing the liner into the surface of the soil so it fits the shape of the hole as close as possible. 
  2. Tuck the edge of the liner into your trench and weigh it down with rocks, removing any excess liner with a sharp knife.
  3. Use any remaining sand to create a small layer of sand in the base of your pond.

Fill Your Pond

  1. Fill your pond with water! Try to use collected rainwater if possible as this will be packed full of nutrients that are perfect for kickstarting wildlife. To stop the water from disturbing the sand you can empty it onto a surface like a plastic bag so that the force is spread out a little more.
  2. Once filled you can add your choice of aquatic plants; wildlife will soon flock to your new pond!

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.