Get ready for spring gardening!

With Spring on our doorstep, now is the time to sell more gardening tools. Gardena answers some of the questions you might encounter from consumers.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how important home becomes in times of crisis. Restrictions on our freedom of movement heighten our perception of our home as a place of sanctuary, where we feel safe and secure. This has created the desire to use open spaces and get creative with the outside garden space.

Gardening provides a constant source of new projects for plant-lovers to get excited about – whether they’re newcomers or old hands. Every step of the process, from dreaming up new ideas to planning them and making them a reality, is filled with moments of insight and joy.

It is essential to maintain the garden to look clean and fresh, especially during spring and summer, and these tips and ideas can aid every gardener, no matter the size of the project.

Vegetable gardens for beginners

Vegetable patches are suitable for new gardeners of all ages. Fresh shoots quickly lead to a sense of achievement – and to edible results. Among other things, they teach children to find their way around the garden, care for living things and appreciate the wide range of different types of vegetables.

Sunny spots are ideal for vegetable patches. Larger plants that take up a lot of space are easy to reach even when planted toward the back of the garden bed, smaller vegetables are best positioned towards the front.

Soil preparation is extremely important and using the correct tools makes this task easy and effortless. The Gardena combisystem range of tools offers a solution to all types of activities towards preparing the soil – from tilling soil, removing weeds, raking and cultivating. The combisystem works on the principle of one handle that can be interchangeable with a wide range of different tool heads.

Gardena combisystem Garden Hoe offers two functions in one: the hoe is used to loosen the soil and weeds without stepping on the vegetable patch, and the rake is used to remove the weeds.

Composting at home

In addition to care and water, plants need to be provided with nutrients before they can bear fruit or show off their colours. Experienced gardeners can make their own compost instead of relying on pre-processed commercial fertilisers. Home-made compost is cheap, good for improving the soil, and can be made in a compost bin.

The compost bin should be positioned in a sheltered and partially shaded area in order to ensure that its contents don’t dry out or get washed away by the rain. When setting up the bin, it’s important to make sure that insects and worms can access it. They help transform kitchen and garden waste into valuable plant food. Using a mouse-proof mesh prevents rats and larger vermin from getting into the bin.

Making the perfect fertiliser – layer by layer

There are a few things to consider when starting a compost heap. The bottom layer should be composed of cut-up branches and leaves, allowing air and crucial animal helpers to enter. This is

followed by a layer of garden soil, which provides the compost with microorganisms. Only then is it time to add the kitchen waste: eggshells, fruit peels, tea leaves and coffee grounds, as well as small amounts of paper, make delicious snacks for the animal compost workers. Round off their meal with lightly dried grass clippings and mulched leaves. Garden centres sell compost accelerators (also called compost starters or activators) and rock dust to give the compost a loose consistency. These aid in decomposition and prevent waterlogging and bad smells, as well as promoting a fine, crumbly texture.

A few weeks after the compost heap has been constructed, when it has sunken by about a third, it can be sifted or turned. Both these tasks serve to aerate and mix the compost. With the ergonomic Gardena Ergoline range of large tools, the D-handle on the tools allows the soil to be worked easily and effectively. A perfect tool for turning the compost is the Ergoline Fork.

The compost will be ready for use as a fertiliser after an estimated time period of eight months. Specially designed tool gloves offer a reliable helping hand when composting. The padded palms provide extra grip during the construction of the heap when cutting up branches and turning the soil, as well as helping to absorb impacts when using garden tools. To ensure a secure grip on the tools, the palms of the gloves are coated with silicone. Gardena garden gloves are also certified to Oeko-Tex standards. The new range of gloves has an added feature of a Mobile touch function on the thumb and index finger – no need to remove your gloves to handle your mobile phone.

Lawncare

Preparing the lawn in spring will ensure that the greenery lasts well into summer and will foster a healthy lawn. Raking is the first thing you need to do when getting your lawn ready for new growth. If your grass has a layer of dead turfgrass tissue lying between the green vegetation of the grass above and the root system and soil below, that could be bad for the health of your lawn in which case deep raking is then required.

If your lawn gets heavy traffic, such as lots of running and playing in the same spot, this can cause soil compaction. In this case, it’s usually compacted soil that needs aeration. A lawn aerator creates openings in lawn turf that allows water and air to penetrate the soil and reach the grassroots.

Lawns can be fertilised organically by topdressing with compost or using a mulching mower to chop lawn clippings into a nourishing source of nitrogen. But, for those who prefer the fast-acting effects of chemical fertiliser, Gardena has a range of hand pressure pumps for the application of liquid fertilisers or fertiliser spreaders for a granular application for all types of garden sizes.

Garden Roses

When planning to plant roses, ensures that the area chosen in the garden has enough room to flourish. Soak the roots in water for a few hours before planting them in the new bed. Dig a generously-sized hole and add some bone meal and compost to help the roses get started. Roses don’t like being crowded, so be sure to leave enough space between the plants. Lavender is a classic companion plant, with minimal nutrient requirements that support the growth of the neighbouring roses. Once the roses have rooted deeply and are able to draw water and nutrients from deeper soil layers, herbs can be added to the bed as well. Combining the queen of flowers with ground-covering herbs such as thyme and oregano makes for a particularly enticing fragrant experience.

Rose gloves are indispensable for the planting and maintenance of roses. Puncture-resistant Kevlar material on the palms and fingers of the gloves, as well as long cuffs, protect hands and lower forearms when working with thorny plants.

Watering

During the gardening season, the watering of plants needs to happen fairly regularly. It, therefore, makes perfect sense that the hose is instantly ready to use and can be safely stored away just as quickly afterwards, free from tangles and well protected against dirt and damage. The Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Box has already proved itself amongst passionate gardeners. The integrated hose guide ensures that the hose is always rolled up evenly and is ready for use at any time. Gardening enthusiasts will appreciate just how important that is. The Gardena range of hose boxes has expanded to include a new garden hose box that can be fixed into the ground using a metal ground spike. This compact hose box offers even more flexibility by rotating 360°.

Using the Garden hose boxes requires minimal effort and exertion. Simply pull the hose out to the desired length in short-interval stops. To roll up automatically, a short tug of the hose activates the Roll Control function which safely and steadily guides the hose back into the hose box.

Scheduled Irrigation

During the hot months, regular watering is necessary to keep plants healthy. This can become bothersome if irrigating manually. Water controls make it very easy to manage. More importantly, the best time to water plants is either early morning or late evening. This is the ideal time as evaporation levels are at their lowest. Gardena Water Control takes care of watering automatically and the wide range of controls ensures that there is a suitable model for every watering requirement. Water Controls connect directly onto the tap and controls irrigation to mobile sprinklers and drip-system irrigation.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za