More Garden tips for May

MORE GARDEN TIPS FOR MAY

HEDGING

Now is a good time to trim back your evergreen  hedging. The hedging trees and shrubs are throwing all their energy into producing new shoots. Trim them back and you will cause the plant to put its energy into renewing not extending growth. The shoots are far more tender now and less difficult to cut . As an added bonus there is less clearing up afterwards.  Especially if the hedge stands above grass -  your mower will suck up the cuttings for you.

This month at the TESCO stores we maintain you will see us busy doing  the pruning of the beds and the trimming back of all the hedges.

BUT REMEMBER WILDLIFE

Very carefully check the hedge to make sure there are no nesting birds.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/wildbirdslaw/birdsandlaw/wca/index.asp

AND HEALTH AND SAFETY

The domestic garden is as every bit a dangerous environment as the workplace. Often more so. A quick look at

www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/safety_prevent_accidents.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/safety_prevent_accidents.shtml

shows how many accidents there each year. Not only the ultimate tragedy of falling off a step ladder onto an open pair of shears but also simpler dangers – for example failure to lift properly or over exercise of muscles rarely used.

Although much criticised Health and Safety is a valuable exercise in modern life and keeps people out of casualty. A `Method Statement` can be quite simple. Just list what you need to do in the order you will do it in. Then prepare a `Risk Assessment`.

Eg

Method Statement

1

Put up step ladders

2

Start up electric hedge cutter.

Risk Assessment

1

Step ladders are not safe. Invest in proper platforms eg henchman

www.henchman.co.uk/product_selector.jsf

2

Has your electrician tested your machine. Have you got a circuit breaker on your mains electric.

If not do not use.

Remember – If you do not think it safe – do not risk it.

LAWNS

After a slow cold start lawns are now beginning to grow. Lack of rain has further slowed them down but once we get normal rainfall they will be  away.

You do not need to religiously reduce every area of grass to a velvet Wimbledon like cover. These days margins at the edges of lawns are often left to grow allowing natural wildflower plants to grow and flower to the benefit of wildlife.

Plants attract insects which birds are able to feed from. This is especially important for some species whose fledglings are dependant in the first weeks for a supply of insect food. Over excessive tidiness – frequent cutting of grass , incessant weeding of borders is partly responsible for the plunge in bird population.

BULBS IN GRASS

Locate picture

At the BBC in Bangor we have planted Narcissus obvallaris (Tenby Lilies / Welsh Daffodils ) and Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrops native to Wales) in the margins of the lawn. This means that as the natural plants in the margins grow the Daffodils and Snowdrops  are able to die back enabling the nutrients stored in the foliage to return to the bulbs. If you have time to dead head them so much the better as it prevents the plant expending energy into producing seed and concentrate instead of revitalising itself for a good show next year.

Whilst on the subject whenever planting bulbs find out which plants are native to your

area

www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/plants-fungi/postcode-plants/intro.html

discover the conditions in which they grow naturally and plant them there.

If your local garden centre cannot help try us.

Please avoid `Daffodil Bling`.

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/28/daffodil-planting-native-wildf...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/28/daffodil-planting-native-wildflowers-threat

WEEDS

The best definition of a weed is – a plant in the wrong place. Even indigenous wild flowers may qualify here !! Weeds settling into concrete cracks or spreading below tarmac and forcing their way through the tarmac will cause very expensive eradication and repair costs.

Of the herbicides available at your local garden center Round Up is by far the most effective but it does only kill weeds whose foliage you are able to treat. And beware of accidentally hitting plants you want to keep – always keep a pair of secateurs or a filled watering can with you when spraying – to cut off the accidentally treated foliage or wash off the chemical.

EXAMPLES OF BETTER WAYS OF WEED CONTROL

1

After eradicating as far as possible weed in borders (if by hand removing all root or after spraying with  Round Up) lay a thick covering of matured bark mulch which also helps keep soil moist and in itself provides nutrition to the soil besides giving the bed a rich background colour to better show off planting.

2

Beware of `Forest Chippings`. These are often freshly chipped prunings from trees which have not yet had time to compost and will leach nitrogen from the soil.

3

If you lay gravel – use good weed suppressant sheeting.

4

Make sure all paving is well grouted to prevent wild seed germinating between paving. Although there is a tradition of establishing eg chamomile and other plants between flagstones giving a pleasant perfume to foot tread. One of our clients

www.red-welly.co.uk

has used the same idea to establish grass seed between paving  which is occasionally checked with a strimmer.

5

Regularly clean surfaces – especially the edges – to prevent eg leaves breaking down into a medium into which seed is able to root.

Let the dust settle

There is always a first time for everything, but most of the time we can quote from our own history, David Cameron is the youngest prime minister since Robert Banks Johnson the second earl of Liverpool in 1812, he is 6 months younger than Tony Blair when he became prime minister in 1997.

So what does all this mean ? are we really going to witness the first coalition in 70 years making a difference to the poor state our our global finances and having a solution that will make us all stair in to our wage packets and thank the presiding Government for making us all better off than the last leaders holding the power ? do you know David Cameron can  trace his ancestry back to William IV, making him a distant relative of the Queen.

Do we remember this quote that was received at the begining of David Camerons rise to this status.

Conservative Central Office is reported to have received a telephone call on the morning of his interview in June 1988, from an unnamed male at Buckingham Palace, who said: "I understand you are to see David Cameron.

"I've tried everything I can to dissuade him from wasting his time on politics but I have failed. I am ringing to tell you that you are about to meet a truly remarkable young man."

Was this a subliminal message from the real power who started the whole system of taxes and penalties for those who dont toe the line and pay their dues !

Personally I dont think we are about to experiance any major changes that will enrich us all personally, we have a huge deficit that is a record high and created by a global economic downturn and we have to find the money to pay it all back somehow, and the only sure two things as the very old traditional saying goes "There are two sure things in life Taxes and death"

But on a lighter note  everything is cyclical and I hope the powers to be learn by their mistakes and we see a return to a thriving economic up turn because after all its the jobs and people lucky to have them that are going to pay for all this, " experiance is the greatest teacher" let's hope we have learned from it.

What to do in the garden now: May

Gardening expert and vegetable grower, Robert Denison Evans tells us what to plant and what else to do in the garden during April and May.

Planting Outside

Its a busy time of the year for planting outside. Plant peas,broad beans,all types of salad leaves. parsnips and potatoes. Your still dependant on the weather and depending on your location you may need to cover your new plants with cloches when you first plant them outside.

Evergreen hedging plants can be planted in April and May. This is because there is less chance of them getting damaged by cold winter winds. Also plant new alpines and hardy annuals that can now survive in the warmer temperatures.

Vegetables:

Other veg that can be sown outdoors includes asparagus  crowns and carrots. Make sure you protect your carrots from carrot fly.

Carry on with staggered  sowings of vegetables like lettuce, radish,beetroot, peas, broadbeans,onions and turnips. By doing this you are sure to have a continuous supply of produce. Winter brassicas can also be planted out in April and May, if they have been started off in the greenhouse previously.

Lawn Care:

Mow your lawn regulary: about once every week is best. Your lawn mower blades should be at the highest setting when you start cutting  so that you can lower them with each successive cut.

Repair and renovate established lawns: level off bumps remove weeds and rogue clumps of coarse grass. Feed established lawns, unless you did so last month. New lawns can be sown on prepared ground as with the warmer weather the grass seed will germinate quickly.

This is a good time to lay new lawns with turf, before the weather becomes to dry. Remember that the turfs need to be well watered for the first 6 weeks after they have been laid.

Maintenance Jobs:

Continue watering new evergreen shrubs and trees, spray roses to protect against black spot, divide perennials, stake tall ones, and protect them from slugs and snails.

Deadhead daffodils, and keep up with the weeding, cut down any dead growth left over from the winter on perennials, especially grasses.

Plant summer bulbs and apply synthetic fertilizers if an organic fertilizer was not applied earlier in the year.

Give boarders a tidy up, lightly fork over the soil, lightly prune any plants taking up to much space and put in plant supports.

Cut back lavendar to keep them bushy and compact, tie in climbing and rambling roses, also tie in the shoots of twinner plants, like clemantis.

Clean pots and containers  that are to be used in the summer and plant up alpine troughs.

Feed fruit bushes like blackcurrants and blackberries.

Prepare for:

Prepare trenches for runners beans, plant up hanging baskets but keep them under cover for a few more weeks until it really starts to get sunny and warm.

Wave goodbye to unreliable energy

Wave and tidal power could provide enough cheap energy for up to 15 million homes in Britain, the government has said.

According to energy minister Lord Hunt, the clean cheap energy generated by hydropower could help reduce emission levels and secure Britains future energy supplies.

It is estimated that up to 70 million tonns of carbon dioxide could be saved by 2050 if marine energy is fully exploited, while as many as 16,000 jobs could be created.

Speaking at Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland, Lord Hunt said: "Harnessing the power of our seas will help us reduce our carbon emissions, provide clean, green, secure and reliable energy, create jobs and provide export opportunities.

The government has unveiled its Marine Energy Action plan, which sets out its vision of marine energy projects around the UK.

Investors in People

Our continued emphasis on Investors in People has now been independantly reviewed, and I am happy to report a sucsessful review and some rather interesting positive feedback from all our staff, it seems that in the last 12 months of continued training in this economical downturn has preserved and exceeded expectations in company moral, and it has highlighed some very positive results in our business results.

I am a great beliver in you are only as good as your people on the ground and we have been continually monitering and appreciating the positive approach and willingness to learn new skills from all involved, We are building from strengh to strengh through one to one mentoring and imparting our knowledge and expertise in every area of business and recruiting some new young recruites and offering one to one long term  training, imparting the traditional apprenticeship skills in order to secure our long term work force and business in all sectors.

Easter is upon us

The easter bunny is almost upon us and we are gearing up for the spring cleaning Gardening activities that are necessary to keep your grounds managble and under control for the new seasons approaching. In the coming weeks we are moving to our new offices in Gaerwen Industrial Estate and are preparing and refurbishing them, carrying out all the installations of eletrical and cat 5 internet cables to enable a smooth transition, We have started to become very busy in the Holiday let market and preparing owners  properties to receive their first guests of the season, organising all the cleaners and laundry services that are a vital component for there   success.

Training has also been ongoing in our old traditional welsh dry stone walling and hedge laying, we are exceptionally  pleased with the courses provided and the  very knowledgeble trainers who took a personal craftmenship approach,these skills are a real plus to our companies vision and approach in maintaining these traditional skills for the long term future of these dying trades and future in our workforce being able to be  provided for our clients, and these traditional options in maintaining its rightfull heritage and place in our beautifull countryside.

Our investors in People review is also upon us and we are updating and reviewing all our proceedures in line with our current position,  I am extreemly happy with our results todate, and congratulate our management team for all their skills and observations that enable us to give all our employees ownership and input on how we develope our bussiness plan and future growth.

Training Certificates

Congratulations are in order for the following members of staff who have sucessfully completed and passed their NPTC  PA 6A Pesticides certification by LANTRA

  • Robert Dennison Evans
  • David Hartley
  • Gwyn Elwyn
  • Phillip Hilldred
  • Gavin Radcliffe
  • Oliver Evans
  • Harrison Hartley
  • Layton Evans

We strive to keep all members of the team upto date and competent in the area of operation and congratulate the above for their dedication and commitment in acheiving this accreditation.

North Wales Facilities Ltd has a new website!

North Wales Facilities Ltd. is pleased to announce the launch of our new website. We have not only improved our design, but have added many features and products to our site. We trust that you will find the improvements beneficial in your efforts to find the information you desire.

We will produce regular news letters and expert advice on any of the services that we provide so if you are interested in finding out any further information or indeed you are an expert and want to offer answers to questions or give advice, please get in touch with us we will be delighted to bring you on board.