Monthly Archives: March 2020

  • How gardening boosts our mental and physical health

     

    Our gardens will be playing an important wellbeing role in our lives during the coming months, as we do all we can to keep mentally and physically healthy throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

     

    Physical Health

    With many people in self-isolation - possibly for months - the garden provides us with a space to take in some much-needed fresh air and exercise. Luckily, gardening is great for both our mental and physical wellbeing.

    When it comes to physical health, gardening is an excellent workout of moderate to strenuous exercise - especially if you can do 30 minutes a day, three, four or five days a week.

    Gardening works on most areas of our body: muscles, bones and joints; heart, lungs, and, because it’s a calory-buster, it helps us to maintain a healthy weight.

    The arms, legs, shoulders, back, glutes, neck, stomach and core all benefit from gardening exercise, while all those bending, twisting and stretching movements increase flexibility. Lifting, meanwhile, is a resistance exercise that strengthens the bones and joints.

    A gardening workout will get your heart and lungs pumping and improve your stamina - and doing the exercise in the fresh air is also good for the lungs.

     

    Mental Wellbeing

    Gardening is equally beneficial for our mental health, with scientific research pinpointing several reasons why it reduces stress. The first key reason is simply being outdoors. Fresh air, being in nature and soaking up Vitamin D are all mood enhancers.

    Secondly, the exercise involved in gardening isn’t just good for our physical health, it is also recognised for boosting our mood.

    Thirdly, if we are focusing closely on what we are doing in the garden, we are taking our minds off those things that are causing us worry. This also has an element of mindfulness, of being in the moment.

    And finally, the act of caring and nurturing for something - and seeing it flourish - makes us feel better.

    Let’s hope we enjoy plenty of fine weather this year so we can get out into the garden as much as possible!

     


  • Three simple ways to create your own wildflower area

     

    Did you know that Shakespeare mentions over 100 native wildflowers in his complete works?

    Sadly, however, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in the past century, with a knock-on effect to many species of birds and insects. It’s estimated that meadows and other species-rich grasslands now cover less than 1% of the UK.

    The good news is that it’s dead easy for us to do our bit by creating an area for wildflowers in our own gardens, whether it’s in a border, on a bare patch of ground or in a corner of the lawn.

    When you sow your wildflowers depends on the soil you have, but March and autumn are usually good times. Don’t worry if you have poor quality soil because perennial meadows actually do better on soils that are low in nutrients. Annual meadows prefer rich soils so are better suited to borders.

    There are several ways to get your wildflower meadow started - whichever way you choose, there are three important tips to follow: don’t use weed-killers or fertiliser; always ensure you sow only native varieties of wildflowers, and plant wildflowers only on your own land.

     

    It’s as easy as 1,2,3 …

     

    1. You could keep it really simple by laying wildflower turf.

    Specialist suppliers will be able to help, with rolls of turf comprising half grass and half native wildflowers.

     

    2. Another easy way to kick-start your wildflower area is to simply scatter a seed mix over soil you have just forked and raked.

    If using seed mixes, choose traditional hay meadow mixes with 100% native grasses and wildflowers; pictorial seed mixes that are 100% wildflowers are likely to contain some non-native seeds.

    Follow the quantity instructions on the packet. After scattering the seeds, gently firm the soil with the back of the rake. Keep well-watered during the germination process. Alternatively, you can make a shallow drill in the soil and place seeds in. You might want to place markers in the ground, so you know where and what the seedlings are when they start to emerge.

     

    3. If you are converting a corner of your lawn, then keep the grass low in this area before sowing.

    An effective way is to plant small plug plants. If you don’t get around to creating your wildflower area in a section of your lawn in March, then wait until the Autumn, which is a good time of the year if you decide to go for the plugging option.

     

    It might take a bit of time before all that wonderful colour emerges, but you’ll soon see the benefits to butterflies, bees and birds!

    The Eden Project National Wildflower Centre  and RHS have more wildflower meadow tips on their websites.

     

    We would love to see your wildflower garden meadows - add your photos and comments on our social media channels.

     

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  • Spring Deals

    March is finally here and with Spring just around the corner, now is the time to start getting the garden prepped for the year ahead.

    From readying your soil for plants and sowing seeds, to pruning rose bushes and dead leaves through to tackling that first cut of the year for your lawn, Mountfield is on hand to help! With a wide range of lawnmowers and garden tools offering quality, reliability and performance, we have everything you need to get your garden ‘summer ready’!

    If your lawnmower is looking a little tired from its winter hibernation or your garden tools need an up-grade, NOW is the time to invest in your garden with Mountfield’s exciting Spring Sale!

    Check out all our latest deals on our website https://www.mountfieldlawnmowers.co.uk/sale

    And as if that wasn’t enough, Mountfield is also offering free delivery on all sale items with an exclusive discount code available from Deals Daddy UK 

    Let Mountfield take the hard work out of gardening. Our extensive range of Mountfield products have all gardens and lifestyles covered – so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your garden and ‘your lawn, your way’!

     

     


  • Gardening Calendar - March 2020

     

     

    Now is a great time if you want to transplant any shrubs or herbaceous perennials or plant new ones. Remember to incorporate a slow-release fertilizer to get the plants started.

    Provide plant supports for early spring growth.

     

    Roses – you may have partially pruned some roses in early winter to prevent ‘wind rock’ and tidy up the garden. Now is the time to make that final pruning, removing dead or diseased wood, opening up the centre of the bush to improve air circulation and pruning diagonally above outward facing buds.

     

     

    Lay black polythene down on cultivated soil to absorb the suns rays and warm up the surface for early seed sowing. Recycle the polythene for further use.

     

    Time to think about the first cut on the lawn.

    Make sure you have had the mower serviced and the blades sharpened. Set the blades at their highest adjustment for those first mowings of the season.

     

    The greenhouse is a busy place in March, with regular sowings of bedding plants such as Begonias, Geraniums, Cosmos, Antirrhinums and early vegetables such as tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

    Remember too that you can purchase small ‘plug plants’ of many of these items from the seed merchants if you are daunted at growing from seed.

     

     


  • What’s new in the world of gardening?

    March is such an exciting time in the garden, with the days lengthening and the light levels improving. You can almost feel the plants priming themselves to burst into growth!

     

     

    Perhaps you are intending to start a new lawn or refresh an old one?

    If the area is not too big you may be thinking of laying turf, or with a larger space, or where cost is a big issue, then growing from seed is the likely option. You could also look at ‘over sowing’ your old lawn to improve the thickness of the ‘sward.’

    Look for the newer ‘fine-leaved’ ryegrass’s in the mixture you choose. These are very hard wearing, but unlike old ryegrass varieties with their broad leaves, have a very fine ornamental appearance.

     

     

    It’s time to think about your Runner Bean crop this summer!

    Originally these were grown as an ornamental plant for the beauty of their flowers. Nowadays everyone has their favourite eating varieties, but are more prepared to try new ones.

    The big development for 2020 is Runner/French bean crosses. Why?, well Runner beans need bees to pollinate their flowers. Thus early or late in the season, or during bad weather, the bees may not be active, so no pollination and no beans!

    French beans though self-pollinate and so they will still crop without the bees being present. So crossing the two in plant breeding gives the best of both worlds; high yields but with the taste and pod size of runners. Look for ‘Firestorm’ (red flowers), Snowstorm (white flowers), or Tenderstar (red/white bicoloured flowers).

     

     


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