One of the most popular annual celebrations of gardening is back for more and will take place from Monday 26 April to Sunday 2 May 2021.
National Gardening Week 2021 will be commencing soon and our blog is going to be packed with garden activities for all the family to be involved in, as well as offering some gardening tips (common gardening mistakes and how to fix them), and pioneering through the benefits and solace found in the garden.
There are lots of ways you can mark National Gardening Week 2021 by doing a little good in your garden, and we’ve been thinking up a few of our faves. National Gardening Week is a great opportunity to do something different in the garden or an excellent excuse to spend the week outside – but no matter how much or how little time you have this week, there’s plenty to be doing!
Garden Activities to Do This Week
Build Your Own Bee Hotel
Let’s start with our insect friends. It’s not often that we stop and think about our garden as their home, so it’s a great idea to channel your energy into making things easier for them this National Gardening Week 2021. It’s important to remember that bugs are natural pest controllers in our gardens, so why not make a home for solitary bees from tubes and tunnels in boxes?
Your bee house can be a simple as popping straws into a tin can – but we have an easy guide for you and a great way to get the kids involved. Once you’ve made your bee home, hang it at chest height in a south-facing position and they should come and enjoy it during spring.
- Step 1: Start by using a clean tin can or another cylinder, opened at both ends, and thread through a length of thick garden string so that you can hang up your bee hotel.
- Step 2: Next up you need to fill your frame. You can either use hollow plant stems or bamboo canes, but if you do not have either of those you can use paper or card.
- Step 3: Either use a piece of thin card or a few sheets of paper and wrap around a pencil and secure with a bit of tape. Make sure your paper rolls are smaller than the length of your can to give protection from the rain.
- Step 4: Add some twigs sticks or straw to offer a home for other insects too!
- Step 5: If you want to get creative you can decorate the tin can or cylinder with some bright colours to attract bees to their new home.
- Step 6: Finally, choose a location for your hotel, an open sunny spot is best, and secure so it doesn’t move around in the wind. A really great way to teach children about the importance of bees!
Create A Compost Café
Creating a compost heap is a great way to attract wildlife to your garden. The humble compost heap not only reduces landfills and enriches the soil, but it also creates a whole community of insects who will help speed up the decaying process for you. Because compost heaps create warmth, they can also be resting places for hedgehogs and other small creatures.
So, you’ve picked a spot in your garden, you’ve got your compost bin, so all that’s left to do is start picking out which waste to compost. Pretty much any organic material can be composted, including fruit and veg peelings, tea bags, weeds, shredded paper and even coffee grounds.
Help Out the Birds
And then there are the birds. Providing bird food and a birdbath will help to attract all kinds of bird species to your outdoor space, and you can hang a variety of bird feeders to appeal to different birds. Hanging feeders will welcome sparrows, tits and finches to your garden, and bird tables tend to appeal to robins, doves and pigeons (to name a few).
If you opt for a bird table, be sure to place it about a metre clear of cover or high vegetation to ensure that your birds aren’t vulnerable to cats while they’re feeding. Bird baths are important sources of fresh drinking water for birds, so always make sure yours is topped up.
Build A Terracotta Bird Bath
I don’t think there is a much easier bird bath to create than this one, and we’ve got a step-by-step guide to show you how to do it this National Gardening Week 2021. Freshwater for your garden birds is vital for their survival. In the warm months, it keeps them cool and hydrated in the summer heat. Bird baths are also an attractive feature to any kind of garden or outdoor space and you can build your own without burning a hole in your wallet.
- Step 1: You will need a tall terracotta pot and a short terracotta dish which are suitable for outdoor use. You will also need super glue and freshwater.
- Step 2: Turn your terracotta pot upside down and glue around the base.
- Step 3: Place your sealed dish on top in the centre of the base and wait for the glue to set and dry.
- Step 4: Water. Remember to keep changing the water for bird hygiene.
And enjoy. The final result should look something like this!
Common Garden Mistakes & How to Fix Them
If your plants are thriving as well as you thought they might, or your veg crops are producing bumper crops and tasting great, then there might be a few tweaks you can change in your gardening routine to transform what you grow.
Test Your Soil
If you don’t test your soil, you can’t be sure of the nutrients that are in your soil and the ones which are not. Soil requirements can change every year so it’s worth testing at the beginning of each year, and if you haven’t, do one this week!
Wrong Watering Technique
Watering at the heat of the day will score the leaves and mostly evaporate the moisture. Water in the cool morning air instead or last thing at night!
Not Enough Flowers for Pollinators
Plants need pollinating and although some are self-pollinating, but if you plant a few plants for bees and butterflies they will give your garden flowers and veg the extra boost they need! Shop our plants for bees and butterflies today!
Give Your Plants Some Space
It sometimes a little automatic to plant plenty of plants all in one small space, especially where space is restricted. But this actually doesn’t give each plant enough space to grow, so make sure you let them stretch their roots!
Cutting Your Lawn Too Short
Cutting your lawn too short is also known as ‘scalping’ it. This is a trendy look in some gardens, but if the weather turns dry, your grass will die out and it’ll be more hard work to get it back to a healthier condition. If you cut your grass a little longer, it might need more frequent trims to keep up the look, but it will hold its moisture and stay healthy. REMEMBER: Like plants, if you water your lawn in the heat it will scorch the blades.
Benefits & Solace in Gardening
We’re passionate about embracing gardening all year round. It’s not only great fun, but it’s also great for our mental and physical wellbeing too…so here are just some of the ways in which gardening is fab for us.
Gardening keeps you active
Firstly, gardening keeps us active. You may not feel as though you’ve done the same amount of work as you would in a work out during a session outside with your plants and flowers, but it can burn off just as many of the old calories. If you think about it, activities such as potting, raking and weeding all keep us moving, and if you’re getting out into the fresh air and working in your garden regularly then the chances are you’re keeping yourself in better shape than if you were staying inside.
Gardening reduces stress
We all know that keeping active and our emotional wellbeing go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that regular gardeners often experience lower stress levels.
It’s great to do something we enjoy and that takes our minds off the stresses and strains of daily life. Stepping out of the office or the house into a natural environment is a way of switching off, connecting with nature and enjoying a little quiet time. There’s something grounding about being outside with the flowers that we love too, and what better way to put things into perspective after a long week at work?
The social side of gardening
Whether you have an allotment, or you garden as a hobby and share your experiences with others, there’s a social side to garden that’s always been important. Gardening can be a great way to decrease loneliness if you live alone, as there’s often a wider community of gardeners in the local area that you can tap into and share your hobby with online.
Keep an eye out for gardening events in your area when they start up, and don’t be afraid to connect with neighbours who also share your passion for all things green, as it’s a great way to make friends with a shared interest.
You’ll find forums and gardening communities online too, so if you fancy swapping hints and tips or you need advice for your own garden, there are plenty of people out there who’d love to chat.
Gardening promotes healthy eating
If you’re a fan of growing your own, then you’ll already know that gardening’s a great way to promote a healthier diet.
There’s something satisfying about cooking up fruit and veg you’ve grown yourself right on your doorstep, and you’ll be more likely to think of yummy homemade recipes throughout the year if you have the added fun of enjoying your own handiwork. It’s never been easier to grow your own fruit and veg, and that means plenty of opportunity to branch out and try something different now and then too.
Gardening boosts self-esteem
Speaking of the satisfaction associated with gardening and growing your own, spending time on your outdoor space is also a lovely way to boost your self-esteem. No matter which area of life you struggle with your confidence in, gardening is a great way to grow it at your own pace and in your own way.
Whether it’s the achievement of growing your first crop, or maintaining beautiful borders for a summer, the powerful thing about gardening is that you can enjoy the fruits of all your hard work for years to come, and there’s no pressure.
We hope you enjoy National Gardening Week 2021 this year and find plenty to stay busy with in the garden. Join the Suttons community today and take us with you on your gardening journey – #MySuttonsJourney
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