Shake and rake gardening

Shake and rake gardening has become extremely popular recently due to the low cost, minimum required garden tools and the limited time it takes up to do. So if you have a full time job and want to use up as little as your spare time gardening or you have health problems or elderly then shake and rake gardening is the simplest and easiest way to make you garden look summery and colourful.

One of the advantages of shake and rake is the diverse range of flowers each box promises to give in return you can get up to 35 different varieties in one box. So you can save time shopping around for flower combinations as they have been selected for you. You will also help the pollination of flowers and encourage butterflies and bees to come out and reproduce. You may not know that butterflies and bees in the UK are in danger of becoming extinct due to illness, lack of habitat and finding a mate. You can help wildlife in your own back garden for as little as £1.19 for a box of seeds that can cover 50m².

What is shake and rake and how does it work?

This is a good product aimed for people of all ages and all types of gardens; whether you have a large garden a small garden or a little plot of land at the front of the house that needs some colour. For shake and rake all you need to do is prep the soil by removing weeds, stones and anything else that might interfere with flower growth. Then rake the area to a depth of at least 2.5 cm and shake the box so the seeds can scatter out evenly. The box says to shake the box over the area for at least 30 seconds but if you do this then you will have no seeds left for the rest of the garden (if you have a large area to cover). If you have only a small area to cover then you can afford to be generous and shake as much as you want. When you have covered the area you want flowers to grow with the seeds you just simply rake the seeds in and water. Always keep the soil moist to ensure that the flowering process is viable.

Where can I buy shake and rake seeds?

They can be found in most garden centres but I have found that they are much cheaper online and you can also get many different varieties that are not yet available in the shops. You can also find them in the most unlikely shops so always be on the lookout. The cheapest I found was £1.19 a box and the most expensive was £10 but they were both the same just different varieties of seeds and brand name.

 

How to prepare garden for winter?

When winter starts to approach, the last thing anyone is thinking of is doing any gardening. As soon as the clocks go back at the end of October, we all get lazy and prepare to stay in the house for longer periods of time. Everyone who has a garden should take up this opportunity to tidy up the garden and prepare it for winter and even better, plan so you don’t have to do gardening until spring. If you’re clever and good at organising you could go for more than 7 months with none or little gardening effort.

Below are some tips to make tidying up your garden for winter easier:

  • Firstly check to see what trees, plants and flowers can be pruned. Some of them can only be pruned at certain times of the year so the sooner you do it, the healthier they will be.
  • Use weed killer to kill any weeds growing in between flowers or in flowerbeds
  • Cut grass as short as you can to prevent it from overgrowing; during winter the lack of sun and rain reduces growth time for grass. If you get frost and snow, this will also slow down the re-growth period.
  • Put away garden furniture or cover to make it last longer and prevent rust.
  • If you have herbs growing in the garden, take a small cutting and transfer all of them into a large pot. You can then store it on the kitchen windowsill and use when needed.
  • In October most bulbs and seeds can be planted to enable germination by spring; so benefit from summer sales by stocking up on loads of different coloured tulips and spring bulbs.
  • Wash and scrub down patio before it starts to get cold; it should stay nice and clean until March/April.

By doing all this in the months leading up to winter, you can save yourself the hassle of having to do it when it gets too cold. Remember that when the clocks go back in October the days are shorter. You may not be able to get as many things done as you would during the longer days of sunshine; this is good to know for people who work weekdays. By doing the maximum amount possible, you can save your weekends for family time and catching up with friends.

Save yourself unnecessary lost time by preparing ahead and preserving flowers and trees in the garden. Some councils also stop or reduce garden waste collection in the winter so do it now before you’re left with 6 months worth of garden waste to get rid of.