Tag Archive for: Gardening

Powering Success for Whitby Town FC and JC Gardening

Powering Success for Whitby Town FC and JC Gardening: In the coastal town of Whitby, Joe Cook wears many hats. Not only is he the Head Groundsman for Whitby Town FC, overseeing the maintenance of their pitch, but he also runs his own gardening business, JC Gardening. In both of his roles, one tool stands out as indispensable: the Avant compact loader.

“Whitby is a very close community, and the football club is at the heart of the town,” says Joe. However, maintaining the pitch hasn’t always been easy. “Over the years it has been fair to say that no real renovations have been carried out, and no programme set in place. I’m starting to change that now.”

Powering Success for Whitby Town FC and JC Gardening

Powering Success for Whitby Town FC and JC Gardening

Enter the Avant compact loader, a versatile workhorse that has become Joe’s go-to solution for pitch renovations and maintenance tasks. “For the renovations, we put the bucket on to fill the contractor’s trailer up when they are spreading the sand. It is very useful,” he remarks.

Additionally, the Avant aids in accessing hard-to-reach areas of the football ground. “At the football ground, I use it to carry people up to the floodlights where they can receive maintenance or be readjusted where needed.” The Avant’s versatility shines through as it also occasionally transitions to cutting the pitch with the mower attachment.

Joe relies on loaders from the Avant 500 series, sourced through APSV, the main dealers for Avant compact loaders in North Yorkshire, Co. Durham, and Northumberland. “The relationship with APSV is brilliant,” Joe praises. “They are always on the other end of the phone if I need them and will always accommodate the best they can.”

The Avant 500 series, known for its power and manoeuvrability, has become a reliable partner for Joe’s diverse needs. With over 200 attachments available, the Avant offers a solution for every task, from plowing and sanding to lawn care and brush clearance. “I use it a lot for my own business too, particularly for clearing brush land with the flail mower attachment,” Joe adds. “It excels on a brush land area which is a couple of acres, all of different levels. It cuts through the brush in no time at all.”

Describing the Avant as a “Swiss army knife,” Joe highlights its versatility and adaptability. “Whether you want a snow blower or a rake for clearing out stalls on farms, it can do anything. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Avant – I have already passed on APSV’s number to lots of other people who the machine would benefit.”

As Joe continues to juggle his responsibilities at Whitby Town FC and JC Gardening, the Avant compact loader remains an essential machine which enables him to tackle any challenge with ease and efficiency.

For more information, please visit www.avanttecno.com/uk

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RHS disease ranking highlights top 10 gardening problems

RHS disease ranking highlights top 10 gardening problems: The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has published its annual disease ranking, revealing the top ten problems for gardeners in 2023.

Damp conditions in spring and summer were the driving influence in the prevalence of certain diseases, with the following four new entrants to the top ten list: blossom wilt of fruit trees, pocket plum, tulip fire and slime flux. Fruit trees continued to be under threat from disease, with apples, pears, and Prunus among the top five hosts and collectively resulting in over 1,000 enquiries to the RHS advisory service, a 50% increase on the previous year.

RHS disease ranking highlights top 10 gardening problems

RHS disease ranking highlights top 10 gardening problems

The top diseases for 2023 are:

1. Honey fungus
2. Apple and pear scab
3. Rose black spot
4. Pear rust
5. = Blossom wilt of fruit trees
= Bacterial leaf spot and canker of Prunus
7. Phytophthora root rots
8. Pocket plum – Taphrina pruni
9. Tulip fire
10. Slime flux

Wet weather last spring provided perfect conditions for tulip fire – which produces brown spots and twisted, withered leaves – to take hold, seeing the disease make a return to the top 10 for the first time in several years. The damp spring conditions are also likely to blame for high cases of pocket plum, which causes elongated, hollow fruits with no stone on plums and damsons, as well as some ornamental Prunus, rendering the fruit inedible.

Slime flux, which affects a wide range of trees and shrubs, was another new entrant to the list. It is thought that the bacteria colonises trees via their roots, so the increase in cases may be a result of the wet winter in 2022/ 2023 and associated waterlogged soils. In addition, there was a rise in reports of rose black spot and pear rust, which can both likely be attributed to the warm and wet weather conditions during the summer.

Honey fungus topped the list for the 28th year running, having held the top spot since the list was first published in 1995. The fungus has a large host range of more than 140 garden plants, with the most common hosts in 2023 being privet, rose and viburnum, and results in dramatic symptoms, including death, cracked and bleeding bark and failure to flower.

To minimise plant disease this year gardeners are advised to apply mulch to improve drainage, while ground that has been laid sodden should be lightly pricked with a fork and spread with an organic mulch such as well-rotted manure, so plants grow with improved health and disease is less likely. Now is also a good time to prune out any diseased and damaged material before it can spread spores when the temperature is warmer.

Liz Beal, RHS Plant Pathologist, said: “Unusually wet weather in 2023 had a significant effect on plant health across the UK, with the prevalence of tulip fire and pocket plum demonstrating the impact of prolonged damp conditions. Following the extreme drought of the previous year, many gardeners are left wondering how to prepare for unpredictable weather patterns. Understanding the conditions of your garden is key in deciding which plants will thrive where; the right plant in the right place will always have a better chance of fighting off infection. Additionally, gardeners can help combat many of the most common diseases in our ranking by practising good hygiene, keeping tools clean and removing – and safely disposing of – diseased plant material from their gardens.”

The RHS Plant Health team uses the disease ranking to inform their research and advice. Current research at RHS Wisley’s Hilltop: Home of Gardening Science includes investigating the effective management of Phytophthora in gardens, examination of different methods for managing rose black spot and characterising the dispersal mechanisms and variation of honey fungus populations.

RHS members get free access to the charity’s Gardening Advice Service, available by phone or email. Find out more about becoming a member at: www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS advice pages are available for everyone, for further information, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/advice

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More gardening power with Makita

More gardening power with Makita: Leading power tool manufacturer Makita has expanded its impressive gardening and landscaping portfolio, with the launch of two new cordless pruning saws – the DUC101 and UC100D.

DUC101 18V Pruning Saw Brushless LXT

Designed with a 100mm bar and chain and equipped with a powerful brushless 320W motor, the new DUC101 pruning saw offers chain speeds of up to 8m/s to make garden and orchard pruning tasks a breeze. With a lightweight and compact construction, users can easily manoeuvre the tool to make quick work of pruning tree branches and thick bushes.

More gardening power with Makita

More gardening power with Makita

One of the standout features is its tool-less chain change and tension adjustment mechanism which negates the need for any additional tools. Plus, with the automatic chain lubrication and chain oil view window, users can easily keep track of the saw’s oil levels and ensure smooth and precise cutting performance.

The DUC101 features a lock-off lever accessible from both sides, a rear hand guard, and a moveable guard that gradually opens wider as the saw chain cuts deeper into the branch.

UC100D 12Vmax Pruning Saw Brushless CXT

Makita has also added the 12Vmax UC100D CXT pruning saw with 100mm chainsaw bar and chain to its outdoor line-up. With a lightweight, compact design and a soft-grip handle this tool is ideal for smaller cutting jobs. Like the DUC101, it features automatic chain lubrication and a chain oil view window, so users can ensure that the chain is always properly oiled for maximum performance.

The UC100D includes a number of safety features such as a lock-off lever accessible from both sides, a rear hand guard, a moveable guard, and an electric brake to help prevent accidents.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita UK commented: “Our cordless gardening products help our customers handle their projects with more ease, control and freedom on site. The latest pruning saws are a great addition to any tool collection thanks to their excellent design and powerful brushless motor.”

The pruning saws are part of Makita’s wider spring collection of product launches which also includes the 350mm 18V LXT DUC357 Brushless Chainsaw, which joins the 300mm DUC307 Chainsaw that was launched earlier this year.

To find out more about Makita’s latest products, visit www.makitauk.com.

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Anti-allergy gardening

Anti-allergy gardening: With data showing hay fever affects 49% of people in the UK, experts urge sufferers to create an anti-allergy garden ahead of summer.

Experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk provide top tips for combatting those pesky symptoms in the garden this summer.

Anti-allergy gardening

Anti-allergy gardening

Summer begins on June 21, bringing BBQs, sunbathing and time spent gardening. For many, this means months of suffering the symptoms of hay fever.

Tips including planting sneeze-free blooms, avoiding caffeine, getting rid of weeds and staying out of the garden in the morning are said to help those with the worst symptoms.

A spokesman for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “There is nothing better than spending time in the great outdoors in the summer months, with many of us running to our gardens when we get a little bit of sunshine!

“But the warmer weather can bring dread to those who suffer badly with hay fever symptoms, which can develop at any age and cause very annoying symptoms. We are urging those who love their gardens to consider anti-allergy gardening ahead of the peak summer months.”

GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk’s top tips are below:

Mowing the grass

Although this task may seem like a hay fever sufferer’s worst nightmare, keeping your grass mowed will help prevent grasses from flowering. This will help curb one of the biggest allergy triggers and helpless pollen to be released into the air. Whilst mowing, pop on a face covering or mask.

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine is naturally high in histamines, a chemical released by our immune systems when our body perceives something as being harmful, which can worsen hay fever symptoms.

Prevent weeds

Weeds such as creeping thistle, dandelions and ragwort have a bad reputation for causing hay fever symptoms. Because of this, it is best to stay on top of weeding and remove the sulpits before they can flower.

Avoid the garden

Keep an eye on the pollen count and avoid your garden on days where it is exceptionally high. If the temptation of the sunshine is too much to bear, even on high pollen count days, ensure any time outside is spent wearing gloves and change your clothes as soon as you enter your house to limit the spread of pollen.

Low allergy planting

Sneeze-free blooms such as conifer, petunias, magnolias and hardy fuschias can all add beauty and colour to your gardens without causing lots of pollen in the air. When choosing plants for your garden, stick to insect-pollinated flowers where possible, as their pollen is heavy and falls to the ground, whereas wind-pollinated flowers cause much more pollen to float around in the air.

Sprinkle your garden 

Some plants stop shedding pollen in wet conditions, so sprinkling your garden with a hose or sprinkler can help lay some of the pollen ahead of an afternoon of gardening or sunbathing.

Timing is everything

Pollen count tends to be at its lowest in the afternoon, so ensure you are only venturing out for more extended periods. Longer gardening days should also be limited to more relaxed, cloudier days.

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Barrus adds to gardening portfolio

Barrus adds to gardening portfolio: VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® Garden Ties are a simple and easy way to stake, train and nurture plants, stems and vines in the garden. Simply cut-to-length and wrap the VELCRO Brand Garden Tie onto itself for a secure hold around the plant and post, stake, tomato cage or trellis.

“Garden Ties are essential to ensuring the health, vitality and longevity of plants and are indispensable for gardeners,” said Roberto Travella, Chief Commercial Officer – EMEA/APAC, Velcro Companies. “Our VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Garden Ties offer the strength and reliability to plant in the spring and the versatility to be quickly adjusted and repositioned as the garden grows and flourishes as well as reused year after year.”

Barrus adds to gardening portfolio

Barrus adds to gardening portfolio

Because VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Garden Ties wrap onto themselves for a secure hold, they can quickly and easily be repositioned with no cutting. At the end of the garden season, VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Garden Ties can be wrapped onto themselves and quickly and safely stored for reuse next season.

More importantly, they are made from 65% post-consumer recycled plastic. Milk bottles that may have been otherwise thrown into landfills are now recycled to make VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Garden Ties.

Mark Hewett, Divisional Sales Manager, Garden Tools & Accessories at Barrus said: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with the VELCRO® Brand as we continue to support our retailers with exciting new revenue opportunities. The addition of VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Garden Ties and VELCRO® Brand HANGables® Removable Wall Fasteners expand the variety of gardening products available through Barrus.”

The addition of the VELCRO Brand range adds to the extensive range of leading gardening and household brands, including WOLF-Garten, Wilkinson Sword, Town & Country and Energizer, all available from Barrus.

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Wilkinson Extend Gardening Campaign

Wilkinson Extend Gardening Campaign: Wilkinson Sword Garden Tools has extended a campaign designed to get school children gardening, by joining forces with Town & Country and increasing its reach to the whole country.

Wilkinson Sword is passionate about getting children into gardening and in 2016 it launched its school gardening campaign encouraging primary schools in Oxfordshire to get gardening. 2018 sees this campaign being extended throughout the whole country, and Wilkinson Sword has this year teamed up with Town & Country, which has a range of children’s gloves and wellington boots.

Wilkinson Extend Gardening Campaign

As part of the campaign, the winning school can win a £150 voucher to spend on tools from Wilkinson Sword and a £150 voucher from Town & Country to spend on gloves and wellies! On the day that the prize is awarded, the winning school will be visited by the sponsors alongside, 11 year old, Kelsi Rose. Kelsi is part of a gardening club that previously won the competition, and was, this year, nominated for the RHS young Gardener of the Year award. For six years Kelsi has contributed to the vibrant growing areas within her school community and further afield into the village community. She is passionate about gardening and is a real inspiration for getting children into the activity.

In order to take part, pupils are simply asked to design a fruit and vegetable garden for their school, which can either be done as a group exercise, or individually.

Mark Hewett, Garden Division General Manager for Wilkinson Sword and Town & Country, commented: “We are really excited about this project. We are passionate about getting children in the garden, and are confident that this will get them inspired and motivated about getting their hands dirty, and their tummies full of home grown food! We are really looking forward to seeing the designs.”

Wilkinson Sword and Town & Country have enlisted the help of gardening expert, Martin Fish, to provide top tips and to be on the judging panel. Martin writes for several gardening publications including Garden News and Kitchen Garden, as well as being a RHS Garden Advisor, and a judge of show gardens and nursery displays at RHS shows.

Entry forms and Martin’s top tips to help schools get started have been sent out to primary schools across the country. If you would like to request an entry pack please email fayclarkson@paskett.co.uk or tweet @WSGardenTools.

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