Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Diary - April 2011
It's an early taste of summer in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden as the 2011 version of April threatens to be a temperature record breaker! With no sign of rain on the horizon we've been dusting off sprinklers and testing new irrigation kits a full four weeks earlier than usual and there's a novel new adaption of the rain trap for you to find out about. Our update this month will be a real visual treat for you, with our company photographer and horticulturist Martin Fiddes taking a look at the garden through his camera lens. Let's see what he recorded and look back on another busy month in Stephanie's Kitchen Garden...
Water About That!
Capturing rainwater has always appealed to gardeners; there's an almost limitless supply, it's healthy for plants (especially blueberries) and of course it's completely free! We've been meaning to rig up a water butt and rain trap to our greenhouse for months but have only just got round to it - and it didn't prove as straightforward as anticipated. Like so many other greenhouses and sheds across the country, the downpipe isn't a standard guttering size and if you've often wondered how to divert water from a 55mm polypipe into a water butt via a raintrap, you'll be interested to hear we've managed it! A simple sleeve fitting to the bottom section of the downpipe and some rudimentary trimming to the inside of the raintrap body has resulted in a successful installation - I've tested it with a hosepipe - so now all we need is some rain! If you'd like to know more about how we adapted the trap to fit this dimension of pipe, e-mail me and I'l let you into this water diverting secret!
As you can literally see, the garden is in full swing and that's good news for the local garden pest population. Eager to get their jaws, mandibles and proboscises into the young seedlings and plants, this unwanted army will stop at practically nothing! That's where our latest version of the Little Book of Pests - now entitled the 'Little Book of Least Wanted Pests' - proves invaluable as each of the 24 pages is packed full of information about the major garden pests along with plenty of ideas of how to prevent and remove the threat to your plants each one poses. What's more, this must-have pest guide is completely free so all you have to do is decide if you want to download a copy (below) or request the book from us!
If 2011 is your debut gardening season - or even if you're an old hand who knows their leeks from their legumes - a great way to start is by requesting a copy of our brand new, 116-page Spring Edition 2011 catalogue, jam-packed with seasonal and brand new gardening ideas for the kitchen garden, patio and greenhouse - an inspirational addition to any potting shed or coffee table. Add in our new March newsletter which features tips, topical gardening debates, plenty of growing information and cash-saving special offers and it's crystal clear that we've also got the resources to look after you once you start growing.
And if the above isn't enough, you can also pick up loads of handy tips by following us on Twitter and Facebook; we've got a busy gardening blog on the go and we're always here to offer advice and support too! So if your seedlings aren't quite turning out as you planned and you could do with some advice, or if you're particularly taken by some of our products and would like to know more, please get in touch - we'd love to help!