If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, now is a great time to make the most of it so you can get some fresh air and safely spend time outside.
National Gardening Week starts April 27 but garden centres all over the UK have been forced to shut their doors to slow the spread of coronavirus. If lockdown conditions are making you feel a little stir crazy, there’s still plenty of ways you can improve your outdoor space.
Here are five things you can do in your garden while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place:
Give your garden a fighting chance of thriving by getting rid of unwanted guests. Slugs and snails will damage plants, strip bark from trees and stop seedlings from growing. Spending time tackling these destructive garden pests will be a wise investment of your time. If you’re not squeamish, one simple way of cutting down on the number of slugs and snails in your garden is to pop on a pair of gloves and head outside at dusk with a torch and a bucket and simply collect as many as you can find. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, you could crush some egg shells and scatter them on your soil. Slugs and snails hate the sharp edges of the shells so they will keep them away from your precious plants. If you have any leftover dregs of beer in cans or bottles, you could make a trap by digging a hole and putting an empty container into the ground. Make sure the rim of the container is at ground level and then add about an inch of stale flat beer to the bottom. The smell will lure slugs and snails into the trap so you can then remove the container and get rid of them. Another good trick is to put scooped out grapefruit halves near any plants you want to protect and leave them overnight. Return to them in the morning and remove any slimy visitors that have been attracted.
Under the government’s social distancing rules, supermarkets are one of the few retailers remaining open so people can buy the food and medicine they need during the lockdown. Although supermarkets cannot compete with garden centres, many of the larger stores will stock some items for your garden as well as a small selection of seeds, bulbs or even bedding plants. While you shouldn’t make a special trip to the supermarket for your garden, you can add items to your trolley while visiting to stock up on food.
To get a really great looking lawn, you need to do a little bit more than simply mow it every once in a while. Cut it into a clearly defined shape like a square, oval or circle with clear, neat edges. Use string to mark out the shape you want and use a spade to dig away any excess grass.
Look around your home for furniture or accessories you can use to give your garden the wow factor. Adding vases, lanterns, cushions, rugs and decorative items to your decking can create a stylish space to relax in and you can always take them back inside in bad weather. If your existing pots are looking tired and you want something a bit different for your plants, using pots and pans as planters creates a quirky and contemporary look. Just remember to punch a couple of holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain out so your plants don’t become waterlogged. You can also create containers by cutting the top off clear plastic drinks bottles. Add some gravel to the bottom for drainage before filling with soil.
Renting some self storage space can give you more options when it comes to your garden. If you have a shed full of things you’re not using, you could move them into storage instead and transform your shed into a summer house or a cosy den to relax in. Self storage units are also ideal for storing garden furniture, barbecues and outdoor toys over the winter to extend their life and prevent them from becoming weather-damaged when not in use. Andrew Porter Ltd offers flexible and affordable self storage with units in all shapes and sizes. Our storage facilities in Cumbria and Lancashire remain open during the current crisis but our staff will be practicing social distancing measures for everyone’s safety.