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Your Eckards fertiliser quick guide

Plants grow right through the year and even though some may seem to be standing still their roots are always growing. It is important to feed all plants, even indigenous ones need to be fed to perform at their best. There are a few things to consider before buying your fertiliser and with so many on the market we decided to make it easier with this quick guide for summer.

Organic fertilisers bind with the soilOrganic fertilisers are by nature slow release.  Binding with the soil they do not leach out finding their way into underground water and rivers. Feeding with an organic fertiliser is an on-going process and regular applications give the best results. Organic fertilisers are all ideal as general fertiliser. Plants grow with stronger structure when fed organically instead of being forced with a chemical fertiliser which results in plants that are hardier to the elements such as cold or water extremes.

Modern chemical fertilisers are kinder to the environment and better suited to our soils than their traditional counterparts. Chemical fertilisers give quick results but at a price. The leaves are forced so one finds that they are not as strong making the plant more susceptible to insects and disease.

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Making a simple bird feeder

Make your own Pine Cone Feeder or get the kit instore at the Eckards Bird BarA kid-friendly project, this pine cone feeder idea will take about half an hour to make. One of the easiest and most effective ways of drawing wildlife into your garden is to build a birdfeeder. You will be amazed at the range of birds that you can attract to your garden using a few simple tricks. One of the most decorative, natural and tasty feeders can be created from a pinecone filled with nutritious seeds to create a perfect winter feast for many different birds and is lots of fun to make as a family.

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Colouring-in the winter garden

Grow some Bokbaaivygies from seed in full sunIt is time for an autumn cleanup and time to get winter colour going. Now is the best time to plant your winter colour. By the middle of the month temperatures start to drop even quicker and growth slows down. If you plant now, your young seedlings establish faster and you get more colour through the winter. Pansies are always a favourite in full sun for winter and Primulas in shade give waves of colour where the impatiens and begonias are coming out. Autumn is also nature’s time for sowing seeds so we can add to the colour by experimenting with all the indigenous seeds as well as my favourite, fragrant Virginian stocks and water wise Bokbaaivygies.

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Plant two classic favourites from seed

Sweet Pea seeds are easy to grow

There’s no doubting that the best time to sow seeds is in the autumn. This mimics Mother Nature’s timing as the seed from the spent annuals falls to the ground. Though most of the seeds for the vibrant winter selection are planted from late March into April now is the time to sow Sweet Peas and Primulas. Two of the most iconic spring flowers they are incredibly easy to grow from seed and besides being economical it also makes for a fun gardening project for kids.

The best way to get the best results from seed is to prepare the soil well first. Liberel compost, bone meal and along with organic fertilisers such as BioGanic or BioOcean is all one needs. Well dug through and raked evenly gets the spot sorted for awesome seasonal colour.

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