garden

outside

Cleaning up leaves in Autumn

October and November are truly stunning as the leaves turn rust red and orange. This is the time for hot drinks and walks in the garden kicking up the leaves with the kids and the dog!

But eventually, these leaves will turn a sludgy brown and will be trampled into the house unless they are cleaned up. Not the best job in the world.

This blog is for the lazy people who hate raking up leaves. My advice is: don't. Use your lawnmower as a garden vacuum cleaner.

I use mine with the catcher bucket on, then mow or "vacuum" all over the lawn and the garden path to pick up leaves that have fallen. This has two advantages. The first is most of the leaves will be removed this way so raking will become a thing of the past. Secondly, the lawn mower will chop the leaves into fine pieces so you will fit much more into the garden waste bin. Or alternatively, just deposit the mulch evenly over the garden beds to protect the plants from Winter frosts.

The leaf mulch will also break down and absorb back into the soil. Given the leaves are now cut into tiny pieces they will be less likely to be blown by the wind back onto the lawn or onto the path. 

No you can enjoy the Autumn without spending hours with the rake. 
 

garden

How to get rid of rust

Gardening tools if not looked after will start to develop rust. Like most people after a big day in the garden the last thing you will want to do it clean up all the tools, so most of the time if you are anything like me they will just get put away in the shed dirt and all. Yes, guilty as charged. 

Next time you go out you may find that the tools are a little rusty which is a bit disappointing to say the least. I have discovered a lovely method that will remove the rust without having to rub vigorously with a metal brush or wire wool. All you need is some time.

Recipe

  • Bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Bicarb Soda
  • Oil 
  • Water
  • Time

Get the rusty tools and spray the rust with neat vinegar then cover with a paper towel. Spray again so the towel is soaked with the vinegar and leave in a bucket for 2 hours. Check a few times to ensure the paper towel is still soaked. 

Remove the paper towel and brush gently with a toothbrush to remove the last of the rust and rinse with water if super rusty (iron wool will work too). Dry the tools and place them back into the bucket and cover with bicarb soda and then pour hot water over the tools for a final clean. Remove once the reaction has completed and dry completely. Then wipe oil over the exposed metal. This will protect the metal from further rust. 

Freshly cleaned tools will last longer and are much lovelier to work with!

Weeding the garden the easy way

If your garden seems a little overgrown and all you want to do is get rid of the weeds with as little effort as possible: you can, but don't reach for the normal weedkiller. All you need is neat vinegar, a spray bottle and a good sunny day. 

Head out and spray the weeds until soaked with neat vinegar in the morning and then just leave them for half a day. They should shrivel up in the sunshine. While you are waiting for the vinegar to work its magic you can plonk yourself in a deck chair with a good book and a glass of something delicious. 

Note: this is a great method to clear driveways and paths of winter weeds. if you are going to do the in flowerbeds, take care not to get the vinegar onto plants you want to keep. And remember the bees will thank you for not using harsh chemicals. #weedwithfood