Six on Saturday in Lockdown

Being on lockdown is giving me a great chance to try out all the exciting products from last month’s Garden Press Event. For those of us lucky enough to have a garden, at this moment in time it is an absolute blessing to be able to spend time it.

1.iTip Handles – I loved this product at the Garden Press Event! They are ergonomic handles designed to fit onto your wheelbarrow, although they can also be fitted to sack barrows and wheelchairs. The handles are designed to rotate easily when you get to that bit of mid-tipping a full wheelbarrow load, lessening the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. No longer will you need to throw a laden wheelbarrow in the air and quickly catch it again when tipping: these handles allow you to tip the load without changing hand position. iTip Handles are made in the UK, come in 12 colours and retail for £25. I cannot wait to try out my new pink handles which I’ve just fitted onto my pink wheelbarrow and as I’ve got lots of soil and plant pots to move around, these will be an absolute godsend!

2. Plantsurge – Another impressive new product on display at the Garden Press Event was Plantsurge, a device that you attach to your regular garden hose to mimic the effects of thunderstorm rainwater. Why would you want to do that? You probably didn’t know that thundershowers are more beneficial to plants than an equivalent amount of water from the regular hose because electric currents create a magnetising effect on rainwater from thunderclouds. This Plantsurge device uses magnetic technology to energise your garden tap water and plant trials have showed that plants watered using Plantsurge produce more foliage, more abundant flowers and stronger, healthier looking plants. At just £29.95, this is well worth a try and I cannot wait to attach mine to my garden hose to see what difference it makes!

3. Dalefoot Lakeland Gold Compost – Made from sustainably harvested bracken and being organic and vegan-friendly, this compost promises to be a clay-busting, soil conditioning mulch which is packed with slow-release nutrients.

I was so excited to try this out on my heavy clay soil! The compost is very light and airy and was so easy to spread on the borders as a mulch, I only wish I had ordered more but the company tell me that they are still accepting and delivering online orders during this lockdown period!

At £10.99 a bag, it may not be the cheapest compost on the market but  Dalefoot Composts as a company, work tirelessly to restore damaged peat bog and to date, have restored over 32,700 hectares of peatland in Dartmoor, the Lake District and the Cairngorms so they are a company well worth supporting. Dalefoot Compost also produce a range of wool based composts for all your peat-free compost needs.

4.Empathy – I am excited to try out these products from Empathy: a Lawn Feed & Improver, some Rose Food, After Plant Food, Tomato Starters and a Mini Meadow complete seed pack. Empathy strive to bring the best of nature’s beneficial biology in support of all forms of ‘growing’.

I have already identified an area for a mini wildflower meadow and the pack from Empathy contains wild flower seeds, a soil conditioner and rootgrow™ mycorrhizal fungi. The flower seeds contained in mini meadow are all listed by the RHS as perfect for pollinators.

My lawn could sure do with some improving after lockdown as the kids are out on it every day at the moment so it really will be all systems go with these great products from Empathy.

5. Root Pouch – these nifty fabric planting containers are made from recycled plastic water bottles and natural fibres. The claim is that they produce improved, healthy root systems by not binding the roots of the plant in a plastic pot. They come in a range of sizes and colours and I’m going to trial one I think on a shrub which I dug up and do not yet know where I’m going to put. When I do decide where the shrub’s final home will be, I’ll be able to look at the root run once I remove it from the Root Pouch container. As a company Root Pouch use on average 400 metric tons of recycled, plastic water bottles a year to generate their fabric planting containers and keeping that number of bottles out of landfill and out of our oceans sits very well with me!

6. My final six on Saturday activity which will keep me busy during lockdown is my Potting Shed otherwise known as my She Shed! This isn’t a brand new shed but it is new to me. We rescued it from being thrown into landfill and with a few new boards and some new roofing, it is like a dream-come-true to me! I’ve painted it inside and now that it has been shelved, I have organised and reorganised it all day yesterday and I’ll probably keep rearranging it until I know exactly how I want it to operate. Originally I thought it would simply be somewhere for me to sow seeds, pot things on and store my tools but it’s so nice and clean that I’m actually thinking of moving into it for some total, peaceful self-isolation!

I do hope you are able to spend time in your garden during these difficult times as it will really help your mental well-being to be out in the fresh air and to sow some hope for the future.

Do feel free to me leave a comment on these six, I’d love to hear what you are up to during your lockdown life!

You can enjoy reading other #SixonSaturday blogs for information and inspiration. #SixonSaturday is hosted by The Propagator, a gardening blog you should most certainly check out. You’ll find lots of links on Twitter on the #SixonSaturday hashtag and you can find The Pink Wheelbarrow on Twitter at @PinkWheelbarrow.

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