If you like to grow your own fruit and veg over the summer then it's time to decide where to plant them and get your soil ready. You have two options for planting, the traditional way is to break up the soil surface with a fork and fill it with the compost. However, there is also a “No-Till” trend sweeping social media, farming and gardening which may be a better option. The aim of no-till is to maintain the structure of the soil and keep it as natural as possible – with better quality soil you can grow better veg and plants. This method is also said to help reduce the number of weeds and places for plant-eating bugs to hide, without being destructive to the environment. We recommend researching to see which method is better suited to you. Tip 1: Do not forget the flowers! Marigolds planted among vegetables will help ward off pests and attract beneficial insects, while nasturtiums flowers will make your plants look attractive and you can eat the flowers in salads.
Research your fruit and veg, we recommend looking at the conditions that help them to thrive and how much care they need. Aiming for a mix of hard to grow and easier plants ensure you will be successful. Think about the time of year you will be harvesting; tomatoes and lettuce can grow for months and when they have finished how about a home-grown pumpkin for Halloween! Feeding your plants can help them to thrive, and we have some sustainable tips for you here too. #Facts: A single young tree absorbs 13lbs of CO2 each year.
Start a worm bin and produce your own natural fertiliser. Have you heard of worm leachate? This is the liquid that collects when worms munch through food scraps, cardboard, leaves, natural garden waste and even coffee grounds – it is known as liquid gold to organic farmers. With millions of micro-organisms, it is exactly what you need to keep your plants and soil happy. All you need is a small worm bin, some worms, and a way to drain the liquid from the bottom.
Hanging out in the garden with your family, with the BBQ going I think we can all agree is one of the highlights of summer. Some ways in which you can transform your outdoor space is by setting up a garden pergola, you can also train climbers and drape festoon lights across the top. And voila – your patio is now a miniature outdoor living room! Do not forget to add a bird feeder and nest boxes in the hidden corners.
We are typically incorporating the following ecological enhancements into most of our new Dandara developments: Installation of Swallow & Sparrow nest boxes, Bat Boxes, and hedgehog highways to plot fencing comprising of holes to allow small mammal movement across sites. Along with the creation of log piles following tree works to promote habitat for insects, beetles etc and hibernacula shelters used by amphibians and reptiles in the winter to protect themselves from the cold. We also make financial contributions towards biodiversity schemes.
Bees are essential for plant and human survival. Though we would love you all to have the space for a beehive in your garden, it is not just the honeybee that needs a place to thrive. We have installed bee bricks into our homes, these are for the solitary bees who like to burrow and create their homes in small holes. Bee bricks need a little TLC each year and we recommend looking up tips for maintaining your bee brick. If they are not maintained for bees, they are often used by other garden creatures, making the most of their new home.
Consider your lawn space, we do not recommend using fake grass as this is not good for biodiversity in your garden. A lawn is better than fake grass, and if you can leave areas for wildflowers this is even better. “No Mow May” is a campaign encouraging homeowners nationwide to leave their lawns to grow for the month while the daisies and dandelions provide essential nourishment for early bees and insects, as the rest of your garden catches up and springs to life. Here are some perfect garden DIY ideas to liven up your outdoor area: Build a stone fire pit or even a garden arch with vines and leaves that wrap all the way around, or even a DIY self-watering planter!
The healthiest garden is a living garden, so the more flowers, veg, birds and bugs the better! We would love to see your beautiful Dandara gardens, share your images with us on social or drop us a message on @dandarahomes on Instagram to let us know how you are getting on.