Preparing Your Garden for the Winter Months

Plant-in-Hand-2With the autumn season drawing to a close, time is running out to prepare your garden for the cold, winter nights that lie ahead. If prepared properly, you can make your life that little easier when you come to grow your plants, fruits or vegetables next spring. Below are some tips on what to do for preparing your garden for winter and how they can help for the following months:

  • Preparing Your Soil for Spring

Autumn is the perfect time to get ahead with preparing your soil for the spring. Digging in soil amendments like manure, compost, bone meal and kelp at this time of year means that the nutrients have more time to break down, enrich the soil and become biologically active. By amending the soil early, you will not only save yourself a job for the busy season, but it can also help with drainage for when the extreme weather hits. 

  • Harvest and Regenerate Your Compost 

Using the rich, composted material left over from the summer to top up garden beds or fertilise lawns can help nourish your soil and kickstart growth come springtime. It is also recommended that to keep microbes working that little bit longer, you should build your autumn compost heap with plenty of leaves, straw or sawdust layered with food waste. 

  • Removing Weeds 

Removing weeds is an aspect of gardening that everyone is aware of, but its importance and usefulness should not go understated. A failure to dispose of garden weeds properly in autumn can cause havoc on your crops in springtime, to avoid this happening simply dig them up and place them in the bin or burn them on autumn’s burn piles. Resist the temptation of moving them to another part of your garden as they do remain viable and they will grow back unless they are completely destroyed.

Aquarius Manufacturing manufactures the Soaker Hose, an innovative root level irrigation product that is used worldwide. The Soaker Hose has the capability of releasing water droplets through the porous pipe wall even at low pressure. By effectively sweating along its entire length, the Soaker Hose provides an even distribution of water to the root system. The hose can be laid on most permeable garden surfaces and cut to the lengths required, providing great practicality and ease of use.

Aquarius also offers a low pressure soaker hose as a cheaper alternative to the high-pressure version. This 13mm hose has all the same attributes as the regular soaker hose, leaking at 2-4 litres per hour, yet its pipe wall is thinner which enables it to be cheaper. All of these can be purchased in bespoke lengths through the online store. For assistance, call the Soaker Hose team on 01254 887 511.Winter-Frost-2 

 

Soaker Hose Summer Blog

Keeping Your Garden Healthy in Summer

Britain is set to be bathed in sun over the coming months, which can be both a blessing and a curse to your garden. After one of the coldest winters on record, your plants will need lots of care and attention in the run up to Summer to ensure that they stay healthy and hydrated until Autumn.

Watering is fundamental to keeping a good garden as the weather warms up. Watering your garden heavily once or twice a week is preferable to multiple smaller waters as it encourages your plants to stretch their roots deeper into the soil, allowing them to absorb more nutrients.

Our top tip for summer gardening is to water in the morning or evening and not in the heat of day. Watering when it is cooler reduces water evaporation and allows your plants to make the most of the water you provide them. You should always water at the base of the plant and not from the top as keeping your plant’s leaves dry helps to prevent common garden diseases such as blight, leaf spot and powdery mildew, among other ailments. To make sure you hydrate the soil enough you should water at the base, let that water sink in and then water again so that it gets deep down into the roots. To water hedges, trees and large shrubs you should leave a hose trickling around the base for an hour.

Moisture meters are a great way to gauge the moisture content of your soil and can be calibrated to the ideal moisture level for your specific soil. If you’re more of a low-tech gardener, a finger can work just as well.

Soaker hoses or ‘drip irrigation’ are great pieces of kit for the modern garden and if correctly automated, can eliminate the need to manually water your plants whilst providing an even, deep penetration. To automate your garden, a timer can be added to water your plants at a specific time of day. It is important, however, to ensure that you are not over or underwatering your plants, so it’s a good idea on to check your plants daily at the height of summer to prevent any damage.

Our final tip is to mulch mulch mulch! Mulch reduces the amount of water that gets evaporated in the heat and can add some additional nutrients, depending on the type of mulch. Shredded leaves, good quality wood chips and straw are all good organic mulching methods, but specialised plastics can also be used.

Aquarius manufactures The Soaker Hose, the market leading product within the root irrigation market in the UK and internationally. Soaker Hose is a flexible porous rubber pipe which sweats when placed in or on top of the soil, where it acts as a wick. The capillary action of the soil draws water from the pipe, which replaces water used by trees, plants, crops etc. This action delivers water, oxygen and nutrients uniformly through the soil directly to the roots and is perfect for larger, harder to water plants.

The hose comes in a variety of diameters offering varying watering rates to suit your garden layout. The budget Soaker Hose offers a watering rate of 2.4 litres per hour per metre and comes in varying lengths from 7.5m to 100m. Aquarius also offer a wider Soaker Hose called the Pro Bore, a great addition to any garden, but mainly used by industrial growers for watering across long distances. All our hoses are manufactured to high-quality, giving peace of mind to all users from home gardeners to professional landscapers.

Spring is just around the corner

Soaker-Hose

Despite the past and future snows plaguing the classic British March, gardeners around the country will be getting ready for the upcoming planting season – but how can you make the most of the approaching good spring weather?

Plan, Plan, Plan for Spring

Before you start planting, you should start planning. We’ve all had the experience of starting to plant then remembering you forgot to get one thing from the garden centre, which somehow results in three trips to the garden centre after you realise that one thing was five crucial items. You must first decide what you want to plant, where you want to plant it and how much of your garden you want to fill. Do you want a bigger flower bed? Or maybe you want to grow more vegetables or herbs this season? Write it all down in a detailed plan so you don’t forget!

Out with the Old

Clipping back or entirely removing overgrown areas of your garden is essential to allow room for new growth. In our haste to create a full looking garden for summer we often overplant, leaving lots of cramped, dense patches around the garden. A full clear-out of any old and unhealthy plants is essential to get this year’s grow off to a good start.

In with the New

An important thing to consider when sowing new plants is style. Whether you want to carry forward your existing garden style or start afresh, its useful to have a theme in mind when purchasing new plants. Some options could be traditional, contemporary, woodland or natural, and you should select suitable plants that give off that look. Looking at various colour swatches is a good place to start when deciding which direction to take your garden in.

Water don’t wither

We usually get a couple of hot, dry snaps in Spring and Summer, so it is very important to keep your plants hydrated. One of the best ways to hydrate your garden is with a soaker hose, also known as a porous pipe or seep hose. Soaker hoses are a great way to automate your garden and take much of the repetitive work out of gardening. Because they are under or slightly above the soil, they have the added benefit of keeping foliage dry, which reduces rot, and they also reduce the amount of water used when watering.

Installation of soaker hoses is simple and fast. Simply lay the hose underneath or laying on the soil, connect the hose to an outdoor tap, and turn it on. A timer can be added to the tap to fully automate the system and the hose can be laid out in a variety of different patterns, allowing for odd shaped gardens.

Aquarius Manufacturing Ltd manufactures Soaker Hoses. Aquarius is a market leader in the recycled plastics and rubber market. With 30 years in the manufacturing industry, Aquarius manufactures extrusion plastics, including High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and bespoke products, such as rubber edge protectors, wheel covers and the Soaker Hose root level irrigation system.

Aquarius’ Soaker Hose is made from a breathable recycled rubber irrigation pipe which allows water to penetrate the soil slowly over a period of time. Aquarius develops these products with the environment in mind and also strives to save money for their customers.

Aquarius’ Soaker Hoses are available in bespoke lengths. Through their website, they sell different hose types and the accessories and fittings needed to install a comprehensive Soaker Hose system. Aquarius Soaker Hoses are manufactured in 4 different specifications: Regular, Economy (16mm wide), Micro bore (8mm wide) and Pro Bore (20mm wide). Soaker Hose will be happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements before ordering in time for Spring planting.

How to Grow a Christmas Tree

As we enter the holiday season, millions of real and artificial Christmas trees will be displayed and decorated in homes around the UK. The Christmas tree tradition originated in Germany in the 16th century, but trees weren’t introduced into UK and US homes until the 1830s when they became a staple of Christmas tradition. The largest tree recorded was erected in Woodinville, Washington and measured 122ft in height. With 77 million Christmas trees planted each year across 1,000,000 acres of land, we investigate the growing conditions needed to produce a healthy, picture-perfect Christmas tree and how you can keep your tree healthy in your home.

In the UK, most real Christmas trees belong to the Norway spruce species; the tree was a natural species in the British Isles until the last Ice Age, the species was reintroduced into the UK in the 1500s. Norway spruces are part of the Pinaceae family and the evergreen trees can grow up to 40m in height. They grow tall and straight with a triangular shape; their bark is typically a grey-brown colour when the trees are young, this changes to a dark purple-brown when the trees mature at approximately 80 years old. The trees produce needle-like leaves which are square-shaped and pointed; their leaves have a rich, sweet smell. The trees were first adopted as Christmas trees in the UK in 1841 as Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert introduced his German traditions into the royal Christmas celebrations.

Norway Spruces grow throughout the UK; they were particularly planted in woodlands and forestry in the lowlands during the early 19th century. In addition to areas of the UK, the Norway spruce can also be found throughout Europe including in the Pyrenees and the Alps, however, the tree originates from Scandinavia. The trees grow relatively fast, in the right conditions they are expected to grow 2 feet a year but the trees can live for over 1000 years. When the Norway spruces have been planted, they can survive in areas with competing shrubs and weeds, outcompeting them for water and minerals needed for healthy growth. As the tree is a conifer, it is capable of surviving in drought areas with low water due to poor irrigation. Surviving and growing in acidic, moist, loamy, sandy and clay soils, while still thriving in areas of shade and low sunlight, the Norway spruce is capable of growing in harsh environmental and weather conditions.

When you have purchased your Christmas tree to decorate your home, it is important to continue to treat the tree  to keep it healthy throughout the festive season. When the tree is cut down, pitch seals the pores of the tree which blocks the tree from absorbing water, sawing the base of the tree will expose pores to water which will be absorbed through the trunk. Watering the tree will help keep the leaves from shedding, a freshly cut tree can still consume over a gallon of water in 24 hours so make sure the tree stand is always filled with water. It is important to get the tree in water as soon as you take the tree home, most trees can only survive 6-8 hours without water. Cut trees survive best in colder temperatures, so it is important to keep trees away from heat sources like radiators when indoors. With these tips, your healthy tree can now be decorated with tinsel, light and baubles to help bring Christmas cheer to your home.

Aquarius Manufacturing Ltd is part of the Euro Extrusions Group and manufactures the Soaker Hose, the latest innovation in irrigation used throughout the UK and worldwide. This market leading irrigation system uses a flexible rubber pipe which can be placed either in or on top of the soil to release water through its porous membrane gradually. The Soaker Hose supports plant growth through replacing lost water in soil through a capillary action.

Available to purchase through the Soaker Hose online store, the Soaker Hose is manufactured in a range of diameters and length to suit your gardening needs. The standard pipe comes in varying lengths from 7.5m to 100m and has a watering rate of 2.4 litres per hour per metre. The Soaker Hose is produced at the same diameter as most standard garden hose fittings, meaning an easy set-up process. The Pro Bore Soaker Hose is also available, this wider pipe is suitable for industrial growers and long-distance irrigation systems. All Soaker Hose products are manufactured from Aquarius’ Lancashire factory, a Great British product for a Great British gardener.

Growing in Autumn – What to Plant

With daylight hours decreasing and temperatures around the UK steadily declining, it is becoming ever more apparent that the summer season is coming to a close. However, the autumn season shouldn’t keep you out of your garden, the change in growing conditions can support the growth of a range of seasonal vegetables. Those keen gardeners who were well prepared will have already planted some winter vegetables such as kale, winter cabbage and Brussel sprouts in late spring to be harvested through autumn. Don’t worry if you feel underprepared, we have put together a handy guide on what vegetables you should plant over the winter season.

• Garlic – If you an avid cook, you will probably use garlic in lots of dishes in the kitchen. Garlic has a long growing season meaning that garlic planted in autumn won’t be ready to harvest until next summer. Garlic requires even soil moisture when growing, using an irrigation system will help increase your garlic yield.
• Spinach – The beauty of planting spinach in the autumn is that the young leaves can be harvested throughout winterand the plant will flourish all the way through to summer. However, it is important to remove the flowers to prevent the spinach from running to seed. Spinach needs at least 6weeks of cool weather for successful growth.
• Broad Beans – Often regarded as the best autumn sowing, the broad bean is particularly successful through autumn due to its short establish time. When broad beans have been planted in autumn, they can typically be harvested in spring. Broad beans grow well in free-draining soil which can be supported with root level irrigation systems.
• Onions – If you are looking for an easy growing option over autumn, onions are your best option. With a long growing period, they won’t be ready to harvest until next summerbut they will almost look after themselves over winter. It is vital to keep the soil moist until the seedlings come up or plants take hold.
• Asparagus – Ideal for those with a large garden space, asparagus can continue cropping for up to 25 years. Although, growers will have to be patient as it can take 2years before spears can be properly harvested, but gardeners can expect around 25 spears per year.

Whether you are a gardening novice or want to stretch those green fingers, there are a number of vegetable options to plant over autumn. Using a variety of gardening tools like root level irrigation systems can ensure the optimum growing conditions. Despite the poor weather, autumn shouldn’t be a time to neglect your garden and we hope this guide will inspire you to plant a number of vegetables in the coming months.

The team at Aquarius manufactures the Soaker Hose, a market leading root irrigation product that has revolutionised the UK and international gardening market. Using a porous, flexible rubber pipe, the Soaker Hose can be placed in or on top of soilto gradually release water through its membrane. Water is released in a capillary action and replaces water lost from the soil to support plant growth.

Available through the Soaker Hose online store, the product comes in a range of diameters to suit your water delivery requirements. The standard pipe comes in varying lengths from 7.5m to 100m and has a watering rate of 2.4 litres per hour per metre. The pipe is the same diameter as standard garden hose, so fits in easily with existing fittings and set ups. Aquarius Manufacturing also produces a wider bore pipe called Pro Bore Soaker Hose. This is perfect for industrial growers that use irrigation pipe over longer distances. All Soaker Hoses are manufactured to the highest quality in our Lancashire factory. A Great British product for a Great British gardener.

Hose Drops

How Irrigation Can Save Your Garden This Summer

Despite the UK suffering from varying weather patterns, it is important to ensure that your garden plants receive the right amount of water for successful growth. This is especially important in summer, already in 2017 some parts of thecountry have already experienced temperatures reaching upwards of 30°C. Lack of water during these hot periods can stunt growth, plants use water during the process of photosynthesis which converts energy from sunlight into energy that plants can use for growth. Water travels from the stem of plants to the leaves where photosynthesis occurs, it then evaporates to form carbon dioxide, a key raw material needed for the photosynthesis process. But it’s not as simple as just watering your plants and lawn from time to time;Soaker Hose has some top tips for ensuring the best irrigation this summer:

• Check Your System – ideally, this should be done before summer so that irregularities can be identified before the sun-filled days. Running irrigation systems will help access flow and any leaks can be identified and repaired. This will help prevent your garden from being both under-watered and over-watered.
• Change Your Flow – moving from the early summer months to the late summer months, your plants and water will need a different amount of water. Abnormal weather should also be taken into account if temperatures reach higher than normal or there is an unusual amount of rainfall. It is recommended to check and adjust irrigation settings in both June and August.
• Battling Drought – although not a major issue in the UK, some international reader may have to battle with long-term drought conditions. It is important to ensure irrigation systems are working efficiently; this is particularly important for countries instigating water restrictions. Using efficient irrigation systems can earn exemption from these restrictions or earn users other incentives.
• Spotting Problems Early – irrigation problems are often undetected until the issue is irreversible, the only way to combat this is to watch your plants. Looking for areas of poor growing plants or areas where plants are dyingcould be the result of blocked irrigation systems.
• Use Water Sensors – for advanced irrigation systems, soil-moisture sensors can be used to detect the amount of water reaching plants. These sensors will automatically adjust irrigation systems to ensure plants receive the optimum amount of water needed for growth.

• Add A Water Buffer – top irrigation experts detail the benefits of over-watering plants slightly, especially during high climates. Creating a water buffer will allow plants to survive the heat and will keep lawns looking green throughout summer!

 

Aquarius manufactures The Soaker Hose, the market leading product within the root irrigation market in the UK and internationally. Soaker Hose is a porous flexible rubber pipe which sweats when placed in or on top of the soil, where it acts as a wick. The capillary action of the soil draws water from the pipe, which replaces water used by trees, plants, crops etc. This action delivers water, oxygen and nutrients uniformly through the soil directly to the roots.

The hose comes in a variety of diameters offering varying watering rates to suit your garden landscape. The budget Soaker Hose offers a watering rate of 2.4 litres per hour per metre; the hose comes in varying lengths from 7.5m to 100m. Aquarius also offer a wider Soaker Hose called the Pro Bore, a great addition to your garden, but mainly used by industrial growers for watering long distances. All our hoses are manufactured to high-quality, giving peace of mind to all users from home gardeners to professional landscapers.

Soaker Hose in Action …

Here is a short film of a leaking Soaker Hose. This is a Soaker Hose leaking under pressure from a domestic tap at 0.5 bar pressure. The standard hose pipe delivering the water is approximately 5 metres from the yellow hose connector. Recommended maximum working length of Regular High Pressure Soaker Hose is 50 metres. The water is forced through the permeable porous pipe wall under pressure by placing a barbed plastic plug into the end of the recycled rubber pipe. More Soaker Hoses can be added forming a grid by using  fittings such as Elbows, Cross Connectors, Tee Connectors and Straight Connectors. The whole irrigation network can be pinned down with our Hose Stakes. Our Economy Budget Soaker Hose has a slightly thinner wall and leaks by gravitational pressure from water tanks or rain butts. The maximum working length for this pipe is approximately 20 – 25 metres.

The Advantages of Root Level Irrigation Systems

Shoots in Soil

For greener for longer always use Soaker Hose in your garden!

Whether you have green fingers personally or not, we spend a lot of time and money beautifying our gardens and planting trees, flowers and plants. It is therefore very important to keep those trees and plants looking as bright and green as they can be. You would think that here in good old rainy Britain we wouldn’t need to worry about watering our gardens and irrigation systems, but in actual fact if we don’t water our gardens and plants they risk wilting and dying and this is true in both winter and summer.

Using an irrigation system in your garden will save you time as well as actually doing a better job and more efficiently than you could do hand watering. Root level irrigation systems will avoid loss through evaporation, saving you water as well as saving you money. A root level irrigation system such as a soaker hose is constructed from recycled rubber from tyres, which is nice to know that it is environmentally friendly and not just garden friendly! This type of root level irrigation system pipe has a rough surface which hides many tiny pores. The tiny pores allow water to seep slowly into the soil, which is the best way to water your garden. Which is also why it is sometimes called a weeper hose.

The way in which a root level irrigation system works means the soil is wet evenly and slowly, minimising evaporation. Just like the name suggests, root level irrigation systems ensure that the water is delivered directly to the roots, keeping the soil moist, but not waterlogged and the foliage remains dry. Root level irrigation means plants are kept much healthier than being hand watered or compared to other irrigation systems, plants should not suffer from root rot and other water-related diseases. Root level irrigation systems encourage the growth of strong deep roots.

Soaker hoses once installed, remain stationary, eliminating the need to drag a heavy and clumsy hose across he garden each time you need to water and also reduces collateral damage to out of sight plants that often get squashed by the moving hose.

Top Tips for Root Level Irrigation Systems

•  Provide just enough water for the soil to look moist as well as feeling wet below the surface. As root level irrigation systems water slowly, you will probably need about an hour to reach an optimum amount of water. Probe the soil to see if its moist enough. If not, leave it running, if yes turn off the water. Each garden watering time will vary according to your water pressure and the length of hose laid.

•  The best times to water the garden is early morning to late afternoon, when it is cooler to avoid expariation. HOWEVER if it is particularly hot, you should additionally water your garden in the middle of the day to give the plants some relief. Water stress can lead to disease and pest attack.

•  Adjust your watering plan according to the weather. The soil should be allowed to dry between watering, but not for too long as water stress will occur.

•  Give extra water during blooming and active growing times.

•  Give extra water during droughts and windy weather.

The Soaker Hose from Aquarius has become the market leader in root level irrigation in the UK and beyond. Offering soaker hoses in 2 different diameters providing different watering rates. The watering rate for Aquarius’s Budget soaker hose is 2.4 litres per metre per hour. The wider hose is called the Pro Bore Soaker Hose, delivering a higher water rate. The hoses come in various lengths from 7.5 meters to 100 meters and are used by novice home gardeners to professional landscapers, suiting all needs.

For more information and to buy the Soaker Hose porous irrigation pipe, visit www.soakerhose.info.

Hose Drops

Spring Garden Preparation: Consider installing an Irrigation System

We are into February and despite the current chill, spring is nearly upon us. The spring flowers, crocus, blue bells and daffodils are starting to bloom, it’s time to start thinking of getting your garden ready for the spring.

Why does our garden need Water?

Well we all know that trees, plants and flowers all need water to grow.  Gardeners really understand the importance of watering the garden before drought sets in. It is important to keep the soil moist: when the soil becomes dry, soil moisture deficits can build up. Once drought has set in it is useless to try giving the garden a light water, as this will encourage the roots to grow on the surface, as opposed to nice deep roots that we want. Plants with shallow roots are more susceptible to drought.

The best time to water plants in the evening when it’s cooler or early in the morning, so water is not evaporated during daylight hours.

How Can I Keep my Garden Watered?

One of the best ways to water a garden is to use a soaker hose, sometimes called a seep hose or porous pipe. Soaker Hose has a porous wall which allows water to pass through to the soil whilst under pressure, accurately delivering water to a single plant or multiple plants in a row. Soaker hoses need not be an eye sore; they can be hidden slightly beneath the soil, or even better covered with bark chippings, which has the additional benefit of avoiding water loss by evaporation. A soaker hose saves water versus traditional watering methods as it reduces overspray as well as water loss by evaporation. Soaker hoses are particularly good on heavy soil where water spreads further sideways as it sinks. A soaker hose keeps foliage dry, which minimises the risk of the plants contracting fungal diseases.

Soaker hoses can be used in an automated irrigation system. Automated irrigation systems save time and labour. Keeping a consistent and measured watering system means your plants are always receiving the amount of water that they need to look and grow at their best. Water slowly seeps directly into the root zone of the plants, making it the most economical and effective way to water plants.

The two major advantages of using a soaker hose is to save water and time, which we know are both very precious: water costs money, and so does our time!

Installing a soaker hose in your garden is very quick and easy. The soaker hose pipe fits easily to the garden tap and then the hose pipe lays through your planted areas and simply capped off at the end, or can be run with a tee in a complete circle. A timer can then be added as an option at the garden tap, to regulate when water is allowed to flow through.

Aquarius Manufacturing Ltd manufactures Soaker Hoses. Aquarius is a market leader in the recycled plastics and rubber market. Bringing together their 30 years in the manufacturing industry, they manufacture extrusion plastics and bespoke products such as wheel covers, rubber edge protectors and the Soaker Hose root level irrigation system.

Aquarius’ Soaker Hose is made from a breathable recycled rubber irrigation pipe which allows water to penetrate the soil slowly over a period of time. Aquarius develops these products with the environment in mind and also strives to save money for their customers.

Aquarius’ Soaker Hoses are available in bespoke lengths. Through their website, they sell different hose types and the accessories and fittings needed to install a Soaker Hose. Aquarius Soaker Hoses are manufactured in 4 different specifications: Regular, Economy which are 16mm wide, Micro bore, which is 8mm wide and the fourth is called Pro Bore, which is 20mm wide. Soaker Hose will be happy to discuss your specific needs and requirements before ordering.

Visit http://soakerhose.info/ for more information.

Water Your Plants, Vegetables, Lawns & Hedges

Wet Orange flowerSoaker Hose is the ideal solution to the direct watering of plants in your garden. From irrigating a small window box to a large hedge, we have the hoses and fittings to do the job. Delivers water directly to the roots. Call Aquarius on 01254 887511 to discuss products and installation.