c March 2015 | Garden, Tea, Cakes, (Books) and Me

Creating a Lawn Border for my Strawberry Bed - Review of EcoBorder

We are now well into March and with the improved weather sees the start of tackling jobs in the garden. Having had a lot of success two years ago from creating new strawberry plants from all the runners off my existing plants, an additional bed was created. It was rather a rushed job and was not particularly tidy. Now normally I would get someone else to complete any hard landscaping, neither mine or my sister's skills are up to erecting a greenhouse, setting up raised beds etc. We know our limits! 

EcoBorder Review
The Strawberry bed before and after its make over

When I was offered a new product for bordering a lawn or garden bed I knew of just the area in the garden that would benefit - my strawberry bed. EcoBorder by The Plasticspeople is made from recycled tyres, and come in 4ft lengths and can bend up to 70 degrees. The details of the product appeared straight forward, aimed so that even a novice gardener/DIY'er can install them. They come in a choice of 4 colours - brown, grey, black and red. I selected brown as I thought it most suited the location.

Recycleable Lawn Edging ideas
EcoBorder - Recyclable Lawn Edging
Equipment needed: a mallet or household hammer and some gloves. The EcoBorder comes with connector rods to join each piece together and stakes to secure them into the ground, along with easy to follow instructions.

Preparation: prepare the ground and border area first. Ensure the area it will sit is flat and clear of stones.

fitting lawn edging
Simple installation of lawn edging
Fitting: The connecting rods easily push in by hand, place each piece together along the border. Then using your hammer, tap the stakes into place starting at those nearest the joints. 

There was a corner to my border, now this is where  a little help was needed. I did have to call on my father to lend his mitre block, to create the correct angle to join the corner pieces together. If you do end up needing to cut the border, the job of sawing was pretty easy given the state of the saw my sister was using.

creating a lawn border corner
Use a mitre block for the perfect corner 
So what do you think? I think the border looks tidier and more presentable. The edging on the border will allow for the lawnmower to get right to the edge of the lawn when mowing.

Vegetable Raised Beds for bad backs
Improving the look of my vegetable and fruit planting area
I love… 
that you can quickly transform a border and tidy an area up with minimum effort. The mower edge design means no more lawn edging for this border. I have also prevented some tyres going to landfill by reusing them as a recycled product.

Perfect for…
landscaping a walkway, flower border or vegetable border. I bet the red colour border would look great for a child's play area.

Any concerns

The pack of 6 borders were quite heavy, but once opened the individual pieces were easy to carry, manage and fit. I have only had the EcoBorder fitted for a few weeks, so I can not comment on the prolonged installation of them. Though I am expecting them to wear well being made from recycled tyres. I will keep you posted should they fade, though I understand this should not be an problem.  

The important stuff…
a 6 pack of 4ft lengths cost £59.98 plus postage and can be ordered from the PlasticPeople website. 

Disclosure: I was sent a 6 pack of EcoBorder for the purposes of this review, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Create your own Annual Garden Seed Sowing Planner

At the beginning of March each year I collect my seed tins from the garage in preparation for reviewing the contents and planning my seed sowing for the year ahead. This year however I am approaching this task a little differently. 

create annual garden seed planner
Why not Pin me to your Garden Pinterest board 
Normally I would write down on paper which seeds I plan to sow and when. Now sometimes you can mislay paper and find it a few weeks later but not at the crucial time you need it for seed sowing. It is at this point I then go rooting through the seed tin again. Oh no, this year things are going electronic and every year after (if it all works to plan!).

garden seed planner calendar reminder
Add an Event for a week, be sure to select
a yearly repeat and an alert
So with seed packets at hand and my laptop on with my calender open I proceeded to set up my Annual Seed Sowing Planner. I start with setting up weekly reminders as to which type of seeds I need to plant and any consecutive sowing's. This only took a little time and I was sure to set up an annual occurrence for each item, along with a reminder to prompt me. Each seed sowing task was set for a week, that way I can plan this depending on my free time and other appointments I have planned that week. 

seed planner for the garden
The seeds scheduled for the week are detailed for each day in that week
By setting the seed sowing appointment to reoccur annually my seed plan will automatically roll forward year after year. Obviously if I decide I do not want to grow certain seeds again or want to include new plants I can easily add and remove the reminder appointments. I can also add extra notes to each one as prompts eg, plant 3 seeds to a small pot or sow in greenhouse or directly in raised bed. I always have my mobile phone within reach, so my seed sowing list is always to hand.

Additional information and uses 
  • If you use up all the seeds of one variety or have been unable to save any following harvesting, I can also set myself a reminder of seeds to order for the following year. 
  • You could also choose to set up a separate calendar for all your annual gardening tasks. 
I have great hopes of this working well, but time will tell. Failing that I still have an addiction to list making and pen and paper - who does not love stationery!  I would love to know if you have any alternative methods. What works best for you?

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