The top 10 gifts for gardeners

As you know, we’re utterly potty about pottering in the gardening here at MOOWY (awful, compound pun intended). So we’ve put together a list of gifts for gardeners that we’d love to receive (heavy hint intended 🙂 ).

We love nothing better than being out in the open air and getting our hands dirty. And because we have such enthusiasm for gardening, we’ve tried literally every gardening gadget that’s ever been invented.

Which is handy, because this blog is all about our favourite gardening gadgets. So, if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration for that extra special gift, look no further.

We’re going to explore a range of affordable gift ideas that any gardening fanatic will love and use (rather than bung it in the bottom of the drawer).

Ready? Let’s go

1. A Mushroom Knife

A mushroom knife

You might be astonished to learn that fungi can actually be beneficial for your lawn. Letting fungi grow and live on in your garden is an excellent idea because mother nature uses these complex organisms to help decompose organic matter.

And decomposed organic matter makes excellent compost. Fungi is the only type of microbe that can decompose wood, so sticks and branches from fallen trees rely on our mushroomy friends to feed the soil.

However, you’re not alone if you’d rather have a mushroom-free lawn.

If you’re looking to eradicate the fungi from your lawn, you need a mushroom knife. This type of tool is ideal for both edible and inedible fungi, with a crafted blade that cuts the mushroom clean from the stalk and a brush for cleaning soil from the mushroom itself.

Of course, you have to know what you’re doing if you’re looking for edible mushrooms. Never eat a mushroom unless you are 100% sure you know it’s edible. Always forage for mushrooms with an expert – otherwise, you could be in for an odd, psychedelic experience or worse.

2. Engraved garden tools

Personalised Garden Gift Set

Personalised gifts are memorable and will remind the individual of your thoughtfulness each time they use their tools in the garden!

There are some tools that no avid gardener can do without:

  • Gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns
  • Measuring trowels for transplanting and digging small sections of soil
  • Plant mister for keeping plant leaves moist when the temperature is hot, and the air is dry
  • Decent soap for cleaning all the muck off your hands after a full-on gardening session

Luckily, all of these items are packaged together in a beautiful hessian sack with this kit – each item is personalised with a beautiful engraving of your choice.

So, if you’re looking for a great set of personalised gardening tools, look no further.

How cool are these?

3. A Robust Garden apron

Khaki and brown gardening apron

As we all know, gardening can be a dirty business. Whether you’re digging, re-potting, planting seeds, or just maintaining your plants, there’s plenty of opportunities to ruin your clothes.

Therefore, a garden apron is an essential accessory for anyone who loves nothing more than getting down and dirty in the garden.

This beautiful khaki garden apron is crafted from waterproof canvas, with a large central compartmentalised pocket to hold your trowels and seed packets and, of course, your phone.

Functionality aside, we love this stylish unisex garden apron at MOOWY – in muted autumnal colours; this would make a lovely, thoughtful gift.

4. Personalised garden gloves

Personalised Gardening Gloves

Every gardener needs a robust pair of gardening gloves. It’s not so much about keeping your hands clean (although they do help, of course), but it’s more about protecting your hands while you prune and chop. And, come late autumn/early winter, summer bush growth will start dying back.

So, if you want optimal growth next year, it’s essential to prune your bushes and shrubs.
But it’s scratchy work.

These excellent personalised garden gloves are durable but breathable, with strong leather palms for maximum protection. The backs of the gloves are flexible nylon that helps your skin breathe – no more sweaty hands!

What a thoughtful gift!

5. A Golden watering can

Watering Can,Gold

Everyone loves a bit of bling!

Watering cans come in a range of sizes. Your large, multi-litre watering can is great for irrigating large areas, but the water flow from the rose spout can damage small plants and seedlings.

So, a houseplant watering can is perfect for greenhouse watering (and, of course, houseplant watering!). The spout is long and thin – perfect for reaching the soil rather than spraying the leaves.

The thin spout flow makes it easy to gauge how much water you’re providing for your plant – you can’t always tell when you water the leaves.

This funky gold-coloured watering can holds 1 litre of water and makes for a super-stylish gift for a green-fingered friend. They’ll be the envy of the neighbours in no time!

6. Garden inspiration book

There has always been this idea that giving books as a present is a bit dull. At MOOWY we think giving a book makes a fantastic gift! Especially when this book is full of garden inspiration.

7. A Funky Firebasket

Funky fire basket with palm-leaf detail

Those of us lucky enough to have outdoor space have certainly made the most of it through the intermittent lockdowns of 2020/2021.

Homes with gardens are like hot cakes on the housing market these days, providing an escape from the isolation of the home. Indeed, the garden becomes another room of the house.

Of course, the optimal time for lounging in the garden is during the day when the sun is high in the sky. However, the garden makes an excellent venue for nighttime parties, even if the temperature drops.

This funky palm leaf cast iron fire basket would make a brilliant gift for garden lovers, allowing you to sit around a dancing, warming flame into the wee small hours.

Just make sure you don’t place this little firepit directly onto your lawn – put it on a raised platform to protect your grass!

8. Soil and Light tester

Soil acidity meter

All gardeners know that you need the correct type of soil or compost for plants to thrive. So, these affordable soil and light tester kits would make a great gift for a keen gardener.

These devices help control the soil’s pH level, testing for acidity or alkalinity to help the gardener create the most hospitable home for their plants.

Acidity is often localised – one part of the garden could have high acidity levels, making it great for acid-loving plants such as magnolias and Japanese anemones. Other areas might have more alkaline soil, making it perfect for geraniums, lavender, and dianthus.

Soil acidity can be affected by other plants. For example, pine needles that drop from pine trees make the soil acidic below the tree. You can add Lawn Lime to acid soil to neutralise it.

So, a soil and light tester gift helps your friend or family member identify where to plant their veg and bedding plants for the best chance of success.

9. Aerator sandals

Lawn Aerator sandals

Aerating your lawn is one of those essential garden tasks that lots of gardeners dread. If they have a large lawn, aerating can take forever. However, failure to regularly aerate the soil causes the earth to become compacted, making it difficult for deep grassroots to spread.

And strong roots make for healthier lawns.

These lawn aerator sandals might look a bit out of place on your average Paris catwalk, but they fit in nicely as part of your gardening arsenal. And any keen gardener will appreciate these in their Christmas stocking.

Lawn aerator sandals strap onto your shoes – the spikes on the bottom aerate the soil as you walk around your lawn.

They might look like torture weapons, but grass loves them!

10. A Bee hotel

Ceramic Bee Hotel

Our bees are facing an enormous crisis. Much of their natural habitat has been lost to urban buildings over the last 60 years, so our most essential pollinators are under serious threat.

Compounded by harsh pesticides, bees really are experiencing their nadir.

All gardeners love bees. They pollinate our crops and flowers and help the ecosystem of our gardens to flourish. So, this fabulous bee hotel would make a brilliant gift for your gardening chums – and, of course, the bees.

OK – it might not have a pool and room service, but bees just need a safe place to live and thrive. Because a healthy bee population keeps the human population intact, after all.

Get in touch

Hopefully, our list of fantastic garden gift ideas will make future birthdays and Christmases that little more straightforward. But if you know of a brilliant item that we’ve missed, please let us know, and we’ll include it in our list.

Get in touch with questions and suggestions at hello@moowy.co.uk. We love hearing from you!

Thanks for reading.

 

This is how to keep your lawn in shape this summer

Ahh, the British summer – that most unpredictable of nature’s gifts. T-shirt tans, knotted hankies, and beautiful, seemingly endless days of scorching heat; followed by monsoon-like downpours that flood our lawns and ruin summer get-togethers.

It’s true to say that your lawn sees a lot of weather during a typical British summer, so how DO you keep it looking green and luscious throughout this most tricksy of seasons?

Grass grows faster in the summer and needs some special attention. So, in this article, we’re going to explore how to keep your lawn in perfect shape with expert summer tips that result in fantastic results every time.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

Summertime watering – what time is best?

Probably the most significant challenge during hot spells is the lack of rain. When your lawn needs water, it lets you know by turning an unattractive shade of yellowish-brown. Grass needs around 2.5cm of water each week during the summer so, if the skies aren’t providing, we need to get the hosepipe out and give the lawn a good drenching.

The best time of the day to water is the morning; well before the sun hits its hottest around 3 pm. This gives any water laying on the leaves time to evaporate to prevent scorching and plenty of time for the surface water to penetrate down into the roots.

Avoid watering in the evening because your lawn is likely to remain wet overnight, promoting fungi and disease.

Summertime watering – how often?

A sprinkler spraying water over a lawn

Never overwater your lawn because it makes the roots lazy and the plant less drought-resistant.

Decent intervals between watering forces the grass’s roots to burrow deeper into the soil to seek out water – this is good for the plant’s longevity.

Deeper roots strengthen the plant and will help keep the grass green even during periods of minor drought.

Water twice a week to a total of 2.5cm, including rainfall. We realise it’s difficult to know how much water that actually is in real terms – I mean, do you stand there with the hosepipe for ten minutes or an hour?

How to calculate 2.5cm of water

The easiest way to gauge the amount of water you need is to use a sprinkler. Leave a rain gauge (or a cup will do) on the lawn while you sprinkle and measure how long it takes to fill the gauge to a depth of 2.5cm. For the most accurate reading, use three cups placed at varying distances from the sprinkler, and measure the average.

If it takes half an hour to reach 2.5cm of water, then run your sprinkler twice a week for fifteen minutes each time.

What about totally scorchio days?

After sweltering days – where the mercury hits the 30s – provide a light sprinkling in the late afternoon (once the sun has started dropping) to help cool the lawn down. (but only if the grass is looking a little limp and tired).

Remember:

Watering a little every day makes your lawn’s roots lazy. Leave intervals between watering to encourage root depth and drought-resistance.

Mow the grass regularly but not too short!

Lawn mower and tools

Regular mowing is the key to a beautiful lawn because it forces the plant to produce more blades of grass from each crown (aka “tiller”). Mowing at least once each week in the summer ensures a thicker lawn as it grows back.

However:

Mowing Tip #1:

NEVER mow more than ⅓ of the leaf – this causes the plant to lose essential moisture and stored sugars. Cutting your grass too short results in yellow/brown patches and a generally unattractive lawn.

Most grasses don’t tolerate being cut too short. If you want that quintessential manicured lawn, like a golf putting green or the immaculate grounds of Downtown Abbey, you’ll need to choose the right type of grass seed, such as MOOWY’s Premium Lawn grass seed.

Mowing Tip #2:

Make sure your lawnmower blades are sharp.

Blunt blades tear the leaf, leaving a large wound on the grass blade. And hot weather causes that wound to dehydrate the grass blade quickly.

Keep your cutting blades sharp!

Mowing Tip #3:

Never mow during the hottest part of the day (3-4 pm). Mow in the morning or late afternoon.

Mowing Tip #4:

This isn’t really a mowing tip, but it is a tip on maintaining the moisture in your soil:

Keep your grass longer; that means leaving the cutting blade higher during the summer.

Longer grass:

  1. Slows the evaporation of soil moisture
  2. Keeps the earth cooler
  3. Absorbs more morning dew

Fertilising grass in the summer

Your summer lawn probably sees the most action: garden parties, sunbathing, ball games, mowing, heat, drought. In short, a summer lawn needs resilience.

All plants need feeding for optimal growth, appearance, and longevity, and your lawn is no different. Use a summer fertiliser, such as MOOWY’s Easy Mow fertiliser, to give your grass the nourishment it needs to see the summer through.

Our Easy Mow fertiliser contains 60% organic and slow-acting nitrogen, which helps maintain a deep, rich green colour while boosting the grass plant’s natural ability to photosynthesise for food.

But:

Be careful to avoid over-fertilising your grass because it stresses the lawn. Always read the instructions on the packet.

A few summertime fertiliser tips:

  • Never spread the fertiliser when it is warmer than 25 degrees – this can cause scorching.
  • Fertilise in the evening on warm days, but never during a heatwave.
  • Use a slow-release, slow-acting fertiliser, preventing leaf scorch. Slow-release fertilisers mean that you only need to fertilise every 4-6 weeks.
  • Mow the lawn before you fertilise so that the feed reaches the base of the plant more easily
  • Fertilise only when the lawn is dry. Otherwise, the fertiliser will stick to the leaf, causing it to burn.
  • Water your lawn immediately after fertilising
  • Respect the recommended amount to use. More fertiliser is not a greener lawn!
  • Fertilising only works on actively growing grass. If the grass is dormant (due to drought stress, for example), it won’t absorb the nutrients.

Strimming and trimming lawn edges

Person using a lawn edging tool

It’s all very well having a beautiful lush lawn (and if you follow our tips, that’s precisely what you’ll have!), but most grass varieties are creeping plants that spread quickly.

If you’re not careful, your grass will spread into your flower beds, so cut the edges with a strimmer or edging tool. Not only does it prevent spread, but it makes the edges look much neater – win-win.

Trim the edges of your lawn every eight weeks for best results.

Remove weeds

If you take good care of your lawn, you’re less likely to see weeds growing within the texture of the grass. A healthy, well-fertilised, regularly mown lawn doesn’t give weeds a chance.

However, some weeds do creep in every now and then. If you’ve let the lawn go a bit, then you’ll probably need to scarify.

But, if you have just a few weeds, you can remove them by digging them out of the earth with a knife. Make sure you remove the whole root system; otherwise, they’ll just return.

Fill in the holes in your lawn with a little compost or garden soil, and cover with MOOWY Quick Repair grass seed.

Keep the new seed moist, and after a week, fresh grass will appear.

Explore Our Help & Advice Page

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our expert tips; use them to keep your lawn in shape during the summer.

We have plenty more tips and information about achieving and maintaining the perfect lawn on our Help & Advice page.

Thanks for reading.

Lawn care doesn’t have to be difficult

Fertilisation

Your lawn needs food, just like us.

Fertilising your lawn three times a year helps provide all the nutrients your grass plant needs – not just to survive, but to thrive.

You can fertilise a 500-square-metre lawn in half an hour. So, for just 90 minutes of work each year, you can enjoy a beautiful, robust, and hardy lawn that requires very little else.

Fertilising nourishes the roots of the plant and promotes a vibrant green colour. Offer the nutrients your grass needs, and enjoy a hardy, moss- and weed-free lawn all year round.

 

Overseeding

Golf courses and football fields are regularly overseeded, and that’s what gives them that flawless look. So, if you’re looking for pitch-perfect grass, you need to overseed. 

Overseeding is nothing more than just throwing grass seed over your existing lawn. This helps replenish bald spots and keeps the lawn lush and full. 

Old grass plants grow slowly, while newer plants grow steadily and evenly. New grass plants establish themselves each time you overseed which helps inhibit weed- and moss growth. It also increases your lawn’s reproduction capacity, giving you a stunning, thick lawn all year round. 

 

Renovate by scarifying

Scarifying? 

It sounds like something you might do at Hallowe’en, doesn’t it? 

But, this process will rejuvenate your lawn like no other. 

Fertilising and overseeding brings great results, but – eventually – your entire lawn will need renovating (removing old, dead grass and wild growth, and replacing it with robust, newer grass plants). 

Scarifying is one of the more challenging lawn-maintenance jobs – and it can be a little – well, scary. 

At first, it will look like you’ve totally wrecked your lawn. But give it a week or two, and your lawn springs to life: stronger and more vibrant than ever before. 

You could scarify a 500-square-metre patch in a morning, but you’ll need the right tools, fertilisers, and grass seeds

 

What can you do now?

First things first: assess your lawn. If there are bald patches and lots of moss or weeds, then you could consider scarifying. Otherwise, just fertilise three times a year, and overseed once a year. 

Scarification, fertilisation AND overseeding takes less than a day’s work (spread over a year). But it’s time well spent: just think of the fantastic lawn you’ll have in return.

 

Why mow your lawn?

It’s vital to mow your lawn correctly.

I see mowing as my favourite pastime: I’m a grass fanatic.

Mowing is my meditation: I don’t think about anything else for a while, and just live in the moment. I put on my favourite music and make the most beautiful, straight lines.

That really is my thing.

And the smell of freshly cut grass?! There’s nothing better.

Each time you mow, you encourage new growth. And over time, regular mowing fills out the lawn and makes it look neater.

Mowing promotes hardiness: each time you mow, you damage the grass, forcing the plant to repair itself. The cutting blade’s damage triggers a hormone within the grass plant that encourages growth and healing, creating a deeper green colour and more vigorous growth.

Mow with sharp blades, and only once a week; that’s more than enough. If you skip a week now and then, don’t mow shorter than you did before – that can be very stressful for the grass.

If growth has gone too far, do a little renovation: fertilise well and restart the regular mowing regime.