Home-made Tomato Soup

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please feel free to leave your feedback below, especially if you had a go at making these. Subscribe to my mailing list to be alerted as soon as I release new posts.

April To-Do List

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Welcome to the fourth instalment of twelve monthly blogs, these blogs will cover some of the many key gardening tasks that will need to be undertaken throughout the year.

Job Checklist:

  1. Keep weeds under control
  2. Sow new lawns or repair bare patches
  3. Protect fruit blossom from late frosts
  4. Tie in climbing and rambling roses
  5. Sow hardy annuals, herbs and wild flower seed outdoors

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Non-Chemical Weed Control

It may come as a shock to some, but it is actually possible & really simple to control any weed without resorting to weedkillers. Believe it or not, killing & restricting weeds can be as simple as pulling them straight out of the ground! Other exciting methods include burning them to a crisp or using weed barriers.

Timing: When weeds become troublesome Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Suitable for-  All types of weed can be controlled without the use of weedkillers, but deep-rooted weeds can be harder to control. Annual weeds (which only live for one year) and Ephemeral weeds (which live for less than one year) are easy to manage, but often scatter seeds in large quantities and usually reappear, requiring further control. Deep-rooted weeds (which die down in winter and re-grow each spring) can re-grow from their roots even when the tops are removed or burned off. They can be challenging to dig up and can grow through weed barriers.

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When to control weeds

Weeds can be dealt with whenever they become unruly, this tends to be in the spring-summer months. It is best to place weed barriers down during late winter / early spring, this is because weed barriers work best as a preventative measure.

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Manual removal & Cutting back

  • Pruning: Running a hoe over your flower bed or between plot rows will kill most weed seedlings. Hoeing on a dry day will dry out the seedling on the surface, preventing them from re-rooting
  • Hand-pulling or weeding with a fork: Pull up annual weeds by hand before they set seed. You should dig out Perennial weeds with as much root (or bulb) as possible, using a hand or border fork. Hand weeding is easier on light soil and should only be attempted where it will not disturb the roots of other garden plants. Further pulling will be needed for persistent weeds like bindweed & couch grass because the small root sections left behind can re-grow back into a new plant
  • Weed knife and other tools: A weed knife has a hooked end and is designed to for those weeds that live between paving slabs & along path edges. Other hooked, narrow-bladed or spiralled tools are available for other specific weeding tasks such as digging out dandelions on lawns.
  • Repeated cutting: In large weedy areas, repeatedly cutting to ground level over several years will weaken and even kill some weeds. Strimming is the most comfortable and fastest way to accomplish these results.
  • Flame gun: Another way to control hard to reach weeds is by scorching them, This method of weed control is perfect between paving slabs and on driveways and saves you bending down or hurting your knees with a small sharp tool. It is preferable only to use this tool when the foliage is dry, be sure to allow sufficient burn-time for deep-rooted weeds, such as dandelions.
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Weed barriers

Mulching: Use a thick organic mulch such as bark or wood chip to smother weeds around plants. To be effective, you will need to keep them topped up to a minimum depth of 10-15cm (4-6in) to suppress established weeds. Be sure to keep woody stems from rotting by maintaining contact between shrub stems & mulch to a minimum.


Edging boards or strips: These are used to edge lawns & pathways to prevent unwanted grass growth into the border. This method of weed control is useful where invasive rooted grasses such as ‘couch grass’ are a problem.


Root barriers: These are inserted into the ground to stop the spread of perennial weeds like ground elder or horsetail into neighbouring gardens. They are also used to restrict invasive plants like bamboo, or suckering trees, shrubs or raspberries. A straight barrier can be made from paving slabs or corrugated sheets, but for a flexible solution, use a sturdy fabric like Rootbarrier

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Weed-suppressant fabrics

Placing landscaping fabric over recently cleared ground will hinder re-growth of old weeds and prevent new ones from being established. There are many types of weed suppressant fabrics available to purchase; each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Spun materials

There are many types of weed suppressant fabrics available to purchase; each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Lightweight, easy to cut.
  • Doesn’t fray on cut edges.
  • The porous material allows water to reach plant roots.

Disadvantages:

  • Cheaper versions do not last long.
  • More robust versions can be expensive.
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Woven materials

Woven plastic strands are used for temporary cover, or for the long-term on beds, borders or pathways. 

Advantages: Different grades in toughness, weight and durability are available & doesn’t need to be covered in mulch.

Disadvantages: Cut edges may fray and is much heavier than spun materials.

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Plastic Sheeting

Black plastic sheeting can be used to suppress weeds in parts of the garden where appearance isn’t a priority. 

Advantages: Cheap to purchase & easy to cut. 

Disadvantages: water-resistant material allows ground to dry out underneath, allowing rain to pool at ground level, Pierce holes in the surface so water can penetrate. However, this can create an area for weeds to grow through.

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Problems
This is not a one-off garden task & repeated control measures will be necessary. See our own weed profiles blog (Coming soon) for more detailed advice on the eradication of specific weeds. Some of the most persistent include; bamboo, bindweed, couch grass, ground elder, horsetail, oxalis and speedwell.


Lawn Maintenance

Lawn repair:
Patches in lawns can appear for many reasons, and when they do, it is always advisable to repair them. Re-seeding, or turfing bare spots will prevent weeds germinating in the patches, and of course, it looks much better.

Quick facts:
Repair lawns in spring or autumn by Re-seeding bare patches or using turf from another part of the garden. If the whole garden is patchy, it may be advisable to totally re-seed or re-lay the lawn

When to repair lawns – It’s best to repair lawns in spring or autumn, when the weather is damp and cold, as the grass is most likely to recover well in these conditions.

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How to use turf:
  • Cut out the damaged area of grass in a square, using a half-moon edging knife.
  • Lightly rake over the soil at the bottom of the removed square.
  • Cut out an identical patch of healthy turf from another area of the garden where it will not be missed, or use new grass if you have it.
  • Place the healthy grass over the damaged patch and brush a sandy lawn top-dressing into the crevices between the curves.
  • Flatten the edges of the turf with the back end of a rake.
  • Water in with the repaired path watering can fitted with a fine rose head.
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How to use seed:
  • Cut out damaged areas of turf in a square, using a half-moon edging knife.
  • Lightly rake over the soil at the bottom of the removed spot.
  • Sprinkle some crumbly topsoil over the base of the removed patch.
  • Scatter grass seed at a rate of 15-25g per sq m (½–¾oz per sq yard).
  • Lightly sprinkle topsoil or compost over the seed to hide it from birds.
  • Thoroughly water in with a watering can fitted with a fine rose head.

A better result may be achieved by pre-germinating the seed before it is sown. Add the grass seed to some moist soil in a bucket and cover it with clingfilm. Place a warm place – no higher than 15°C (60°F). After three days, check for signs of germination. If none is seen, check daily after that. Once you see small roots developing, sow the mixture as stated above.

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Repairing lawn edges:
  • Dig out any damaged areas with square cuts on three sides, use the same method as stated above to prepare the base.
  • Turn the damaged patch 180° and replace it, so the cut edge aligns with the edge of the lawns, and the damaged end is facing inwards.
  • Cutaway any damaged areas and re-turf or re-seed as above.

Minor Humps and Hollows:
  • Cut a H shaped slits through uneven patches then peel the turf back.
  • Rake over the base and either remove excess soil or add new topsoil to raise the level.
  • Firm down the patch to ensure the area is levelled before the turf is replaced.
  • Keep adjusting if necessary until the patch is level.
  • Use a sandy lawn top-dressing in the crevices between curves.
  • Use the back of a rake to compress turf edges.
  • Thoroughly water in with a watering can fitted with a fine rose head.

Problems – It is not uncommon for repaired patches lawn to look a different colour. Using turf patches from other areas in the garden (rather than new turf or seed) may avoid this problem.

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Protect fruit blossom from late frosts

Spring frosts can destroy new buds, shoots & flowers. Frost often affects plants in a random pattern & yet sometimes only the upper flowers are spared. Heavy russeting and cracking of skin can appear in apples and pears due to damage from cold temperatures. Cold damage can also cause fruits to become malformed.

When to protect from frost- When temperatures reach below 0°C (32°F) over a sustained period, this temperature is cold enough to freeze trees’ buds/blossoms, fruit, leaves, and even twigs. The measures that will need to be taken depend on the fruit you are trying to protect.

Browse the huge selection of “Thermometers & Meteorological Instruments” at Amazon.co.uk

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Frost protection will prevent:
  1. Damage to new buds, shoots or flowers
  2. Russeting and cracked skin on apples and pears
  3. Abnormally formed fruits, typically on pears
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How to protect fruit from frosts

Most fruit damage can be avoided by choosing an area where spring frosts are least likely, however, this isn’t always an option for gardeners. Planting in a sunny, sheltered spot such as a south-facing wall is preferable for early flowering crops such as apricots, nectarines & peaches.


If the above is not possible then try these following methods..

Soft fruit: use a fleece cover to protect the developing crops on the nights a frost is forecasted.

Strawberries: protect with a double layer of fleece, open in the day to allow pollinators access

Small fruit trees: cover with fleece overnight, remove during the day.

Keep grasses at the base of trees cut short during the flowering season, long grass will prevent the heat from escaping out of the soil.

Browse the huge selection of Frost Blankets here at Amazon.co.uk

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How to prune climbing roses


When to prune
Routinely prune climbers between December and February after the flowers have faded. Tying back or shortening long whippy shoots during autumn will prevent them from becoming damaged by strong winds. Pruning can happen at any time between late autumn to late winter. It is much easier to see what you are doing once the leaf has died back your Roses will respond better also and grow back more vigorously the following spring.

Pruning and formative training of young climbing roses

Climbing roses are not self-clinging and need the support of horizontal wires or a trellis to which the shoots can be tied to.

  • Lowest wires should be set to 45cm (18in) off the ground, and subsequent wires should be spaced 30cm (1ft) apart.
  • If training roses up Pergolas, Arches or Pillars, gently twist the main shoots around the upright supports, keeping them as horizontal as possible, to encourage the formation of low down flowering shoots.
  • To encourage side shoots on slow branching main stems, tip-prune them to the first healthy bud to promote side shoots, otherwise, leave them to fill the available space
  • Remove any diseased, damaged, dead or spindly growth, and deadhead flowers during the flowering season to encourage further flowering
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Routine pruning of climbing roses
  • First remove any diseased, dead or dying branches.
  • Then fill any gaps by tying in any new shoots. 
  • Flowered side shoots should be pruned back by a third of their length.
  • For heavily congested plants, Promote new growth by cutting out old branches from the base
Renovating overgrown climbing roses
  • Remove all dead, dying, weak and diseased shoots
  • Cut old woody branches to the ground but retain a maximum of six young shoots to secure to supports
  • Saw/Cutaway dead stumps at the base of the Rose, to prevent rot from pooling rain. 
  • Side shoots should be shortened on the remaining branches and tips should be pruned back by one third to one half, to promote branching.
  • Spread granular rose fertiliser to give pruned plants a boost in the following spring, then mulch with a 5cm (2in) layer of well-rotted manure or garden compost. 

Common rose problems include rose powdery mildew, rose black spot, replant disease, rose die-back, rose rust. Common rose pests include rose aphids, rose leaf rolling sawfly, rose large sawfly Blindness (lack of flowering) is also a common problem with roses.

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Sowing hardy annuals, herbs and wildflower seed outdoors.

Outdoor Seed Sowing:

Many seeds can be sown outdoors, including Vegetables, biennials, annuals, and herbaceous plants. Preparing a good seedbed with a crumbly soil & free of weeds is the secret to success.

Many seeds can be sown outdoors, including Vegetables, Biennials, Annuals, and Herbaceous plants. Preparing a good seedbed with crumbly soil texture, free of weeds is the secret to success. Sowing seed outdoors between Spring until Autumn is suitable for many plants, some examples include – Centaurea cyanus (cornflower), Digitalis (foxglove), Iberis umbellata (candytuft), Eschscholzia (Californian poppies), Helianthus annuus (sunflower), Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg flower) and Tropaeolum majus (nasturtiums). Vegetables such as carrots, beans, peas and onions can also be grown from seed outside. Outdoor sowing, directly into final growing places, is ideal for gardeners that do not have room indoors to raise seed in propagators or trays. You can freely scatter ornamental seed to achieve natural-looking growth, or sow cutting flowers and vegetables in clearly defined drills to make thinning and weeding easier to carry out.

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When to sow seeds

Seed germinates quickest when the soil conditions are warm and moist. This usually means (April-June) either mid-spring to early summer or (September) late summer. If protection can be provided in the form of cloches or fleece, for example, then sowing is started in early spring. Regular watering will also make it possible to many raise rows of seedlings during the height of summer. However, Always refer to seed packet instructions for best sowing times, as it does vary with each plant type.

How to sow seeds 

Sowing seed is actually very simple – even plants can scatter seeds, they grow where they land as soon as it gets moist and warm. However, this is how us humans should sow:

  • Beds should be dug in advance to a depth of one spade, doing this in advance allows time for the soil to settle. New beds can benefit from being double dug (two spades depth) but digging to a single spades depth is usually fine.
  • Freshly dug beds should be covered with a double layer of fleece or plastic sheeting to suppress any weeds, as well as in early spring to aid warming the soil. 
  • Uncover the bed when you are ready to sow the seed. Create a crumble like texture with a rake to with levelling out the site. Then simply pick up any remaining debris and weeds.
  • You can create a straight drill (shallow depression) in the soil by lightly pushing a cane into the ground; The required depth & spacing of which should be specified on the seed packets instructions. 
  • Watering the row before sowing is usually better than watering over sown seeds.
  • Lightly scatter seeds into the bottom of the drill. Don’t be over-enthusiastic, a fingers width apart often is right for small seed, but required spacings can also be found on seed packets. 
  • Gently fill the drills back in using a rake. 
  • Don’t forget! Place labels at the end of the row, so you know what and where you have planted.
  • Cover the area with a single layer of fleece.
  • Remember to water on dry days.
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Common Problems 

Under certain soil conditions, a cap of hard compacted earth can be formed during heavy rains, this then dries into a crust through which seeds may find impossible to emerge. Using a Peat free multipurpose compost to cover seeds can help prevent this issue.

Other problems include
  • Pigeons and other birds can be a pest where seeds are not covered with fleece
  • Occasionally, seedlings can fail to emerge, or keel over soon after emergence in wet weather. This is known as damping off
  • Likewise, slugs and snails eating young seedlings can be a problem
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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hop the above advice has helped you with your gardening for the month of April. Stay tuned for future monthly garden blogs by subscribing to my free email mailing list below

Traditional Raisin Bran Muffins

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please feel free to leave your feedback below, especially if you had a go at making these. Subscribe to my mailing list to be alerted as soon as I release new posts.

10 Amazon must haves for organising your home

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Keeping an organised home makes life so much easier! There are many great organising products out there, many of which carry a hefty price tag. Thankfully, I’ve created a list of the best budget home organising products from Amazon.

You don’t need to break the bank to declutter and organise your home, check out these budget organisation products and let me know your thoughts! 

Best Home Organising Products From Amazon

  1. This Adjustable Hanging Closet Rod by Honey-Can-Do.
Source Amazon

Double the hanging space of your closet in an instant with this adjustable hanging closet rod. No tools or permanent installation required, simply adjust the hanging height to your preference and hook it to your existing closet bar. Notches in the vertical bars make it simple to get a level hanging surface.

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  1. This 9-Shelf Hanging Wardrobe Organiser With Drawers by Zober.
Source Amazon

BONUS STORAGE – Additional mesh pockets stitched to the side of the organiser grants you bonus space to store headbands, rattles, shoelaces, and other accessories.

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  1. These Drawer and Wardrobe Organisers by Pulvillus.
Source Amazon

Ideal for organising lingerie, underwear, underpants, bra, socks, scarf, ties. Make it easy to find which one you want to wear without ransacking through all of your clothes.

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  1. These Folding Open Home Storage Bins by AMX
Source Amazon

These large capacity storage boxes are compatible with the depth of standard wardrobes, giving you a neat and beautiful look, these boxes also feature a transparent label pocket on the front for easy identification.

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  1. These Trouser Hangers by Skroad
Source Amazon

The great thing about these hangers is that they’re compatible with all kinds of clothes, including Jeans, Pants, Trousers, Ties and Scarfs. These simple yet strong hangers can easily double the size of any closet space.

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  1. These Airtight Food Storage Containers with 8 Labels, Spoon Set & Pen by Chef’s Path.
Source Amazon

Investing in a decent set of airtight food storage is great for keeping your cereals fresh & crispy. This one change won’t only prevent food waste but will also save time and money spent shopping for cereal.

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  1. This 10 Tier Adjustable Pot Rack with Non-Slip feet by X-cosrack.
Source Amazon

The perfect kitchen companion for keeping your pots and frying pans organised and within easy reach.

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  1. This Non-Slip DrawerStore Knife Organiser by Joseph Joseph.
Source Amazon

Storing sharp knives loosely can be dangerous and can damage expensive blades This 2-Tier knife organiser provides both safe storage and easy access for a range of kitchen knives. 

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  1. These Black Multipurpose Storage Bins by mDesign.

The storage bin makes it easy to organise all your DVD’s, video games and gaming accessories in one convenient place. The open top of the bin makes it easy to see what’s stowed away inside and grab what you need, right when you need it! 

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  1. This Cutlery Drawer Organiser by Joseph Joseph.
Source Amazon

This revolutionary design is such a simple idea, it leaves you wondering why it hasn’t been thought of sooner. By angling and layering each compartment on top of each other, it enables you to store a full cutlery set in less than half the space of a conventional cutlery tray. 

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For more Products, tips and advice on how to declutter and organise your home, including 5 of the most commonly made mistakes that make a home look cluttered! Check out my Decluttering Guide Blog below.

Source Lifestylehng
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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope the above products and ideas have helped make the adventure of organising your home that little more bearable. 

Traditional Jam-Roly Poly

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Decluttering Guide

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‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a phrase used often by those looking to declutter a space quickly. However, out of sight isn’t out of mind forever, and soon these people find themselves rummaging through cupboards and drawers in a stressed out, blind panic for items that slipped their mind because they chose to hide them away, instead of organising correctly.


5 common mistakes that make your home look cluttered:

#1 – Too many pictures

Having too many pictures on your walls can feel overwhelming for some people. If your eyes aren’t able to rest, it doesn’t make for a peaceful space. If your walls are cluttered, try taking down some things & see how you feel with less after a few days. This single tip may be the breath of fresh air your space needed.

#2 – Overfilled bookcases

Having a nicely styled bookcase looks great in any home. However, it’s easy for books to creep up & multiply and before you know it, you have double-stacked shelves with books wedged into every gap possible. Avoid the temptation to double-stack books into that little space above the books. Leave room on shelves to make book access easier. This tip will make creating more aesthetically pleasing book arrangements more possible too.

#3 – Electronics, cords, and cables

With the increased use of smartphones, tablets and other electronics also come the clutter. Utilising a docking station or drawer to store devices will help maintain the tranquillity and keep your most prized possessions from becoming lost or damaged. Keep chargers, and cables organised or hidden. Visible & tangled wires make your home look cluttered.

#4 – Items on the bathroom counters

Makeup and excessive toiletries can quickly make a bathroom seem cluttered. Try to Minimise what you leave out by Storing daily used items and build a habit of putting them away as soon as you’re done.

#5 – Things without a home

Items that look out of place and float around your home can cause your home to look cluttered, nobody likes losing things, so make sure that everything has a place to be put away.

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Top Products for Storage and Organisation

Below, I have listed 15 insanely clever product ideas from Amazon that’ll help make the adventure of decluttering & organising your home a little more bearable.

Top 5 Clever Bedroom Ideas:

#1 – Lazy stacking board; easily make clothes neat like a book. Simple & easy to use, fold shirts, T-shirts, pants/ Trousers and even Jumpers/ sweaters! With this board all kinds of garments can be evenly folded in just 3 seconds!

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#2 – Wardrobe space saver an excellent wardrobe organiser that effectively maximises the space of your closet.

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#3 – Laundry Organiser; Organising your clothes just got simpler – and infinitely tidier with these ingenious organisers. Simply flip through your beautifully folded tops without pulling apart all your hard work.

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#4 – Drawer Organiser ideal for organising lingerie, underwear, underpants, bra, socks, scarf, ties. Make it easy to find which one you want to wear without ransacking all of your clothes.

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#5 – Reading Nook Storage; These versatile bookcases are perfect for any room and any purpose, shoe storage, toy storage, bookshelf or window seat. 

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Your bedroom should be a relaxing space. However, having lots of items on your nightstand or dresser can soon make your room look cluttered. Try leaving fewer things on your bedside table and see how it feels. You may feel happier in your bedroom with less stuff sitting out.


Top 5 Products and Ideas for the Living room:

#1 – Cable Management Boxes; A perfect solution for that over-cluttered extension cord & messy cables. Take control of the chaos as well as protect pets and children from directly touching live power strips and plugs.

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#2 – DVD Storage Containers; Streamline dusting your lounge by putting all those individual, misaligned and busy cases into one, easy to manage container; Also suitable for Xbox & Playstation Games, Controllers and even cleaning products!

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#3 – Remote Control Organiser Box; Ideal for keeping all your favourite remotes close at hand and easily identifiable. Save time and stress with this space saving storage solution.

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#4 – The tree bookshelf; keep clutter out of your space with this Uniquely designed bookshelf can be well integrated into the style of any home and office. It is not only a place to store books, but also an ornament that can make your home unique.

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#5 – Mirrors; One Great way to maximise the size of any room is to use mirrors; this will make a room feel less cluttered and create an illusion of space.

Mirror Decoration Ideas For Your Home
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Create play zones It can be hard to contain the kid mess at times. But designating a home for their toys by sectioning it off from the rest of the living room can make the thrice a day tidy a lot easier.


5 Top Kitchen storage solutions:

#1 – Cereal boxes brought straight from the store and left on counter-tops can soon use up precious space, making your kitchen look messy & disorganised. Purchasing airtight storage containers or cereal dispensers will soon sort this problem & keep your cereals fresher for longer.

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#2 – Fridge Organisers and Storage Containers; Make your fridge the ultimate place for functionality by organising all those different ingredients, cans, pots & other chilled items with these deep organisers that allow you to place an array of things inside.

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#3 – Pan lids can often be awkward items to store but not with these simple solutions. Holders can be mounted inside cupboard doors, in deep drawers or on walls and neatly hold pan lids for easy access.

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#4 – Get organised with this Tatay Baobab Organiser Set – with their attractive anthracite design, these robust storage boxes are ideal for keeping kitchen drawers, dressing tables, desks and worktops neat, tidy and organised.

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#5 – A pot rack organiser is the perfect Kitchen Assistant for Keeping Pots & Pans Organised.

>> Check current price and customer reviews here <<

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Purge your cabinets! Check dates and put things where you use them. Get rid of boxes by storing dry goods in air-tight containers.


Thank you for reading this blog. Hopefully the above tips, product & ideas have inspired you to want to begin your sorting and organising journey, feel free to leave a comment below with your tips or if you feel there’s anything I’ve missed 🙂

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Chocolate Brownies

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. Here’s a warm welcome to the Lifestyle Home & Garden blog. Here you’ll find blog posts & inspiration on many subjects such as Interior Design | Travel | Gardening | Cooking & much more. Please feel free to subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email below.

Slugs and Snail Control

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Did you know that 95% of the slugs in your garden can be found underground? Slugs can cause a lot of damage throughout the year on a wide range of plants, but it’s the seedlings and new shoots of spring that are most at risk.

Control

Slugs are so overabundant in gardens that some damage will have to be tolerated. It’s impossible to completely eradicate these pests but controlling them is essential. Fortunately, some measures can be taken to help protect your most vulnerable plants and minimise the damage caused by these pests.

Non-chemical control 

Biological control options such as ‘Nemaslug’ are specific to slugs and snails and have no adverse effects on other animals. This product contains microscopic worms that work by entering a slug’s body and infecting it with a bacteria that causes disease and then death. All you need to apply this option is a watering can with a Course rose attachment.

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Other preventive measures include:
  • Encourage predators into your garden, these include -birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, slow-worms and ground beetles.
  • Place ‘Slug Traps’.
  • Place copper tape around pots, seed trays, garden furniture, even onto sturdy plants.
  • Regularly rake the soil and remove fallen leaves in winter to enable birds to eat the exposed slug eggs.
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Slug killers

Slug killers that are based on aluminium sulphate are not strictly organic. However, they are environmentally friendly. These versions of slug killers kill slugs and snails on contact with minimal risk to pets or other wildlife. Commercially available products using aluminium sulphate as an include Fertosan and Growing Success.

>>Check here to view the wide range of Slug Killers available at Amazon<<

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Protective barriers

Removing the caps from plastic bottles and cutting off the bottom end will make an excellent protective cloche for young plants. Be sure to check freshly transplanted plants to ensure no slugs have become trapped inside. 

SAS slug and snail repellent is made with natural yucca extract that when sprayed on the ground, forms a physical barrier that slugs and snails won’t cross. It will withstand light rain but will need to be resprayed after a torrential downpour.

Other materials such as forest bark, crushed eggshells, wood ash, human hair and even soot are said to make practical slug barriers when sprinkled around plants and on the ground. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of any obstacle that dries out the slime that slugs and snails move on is inevitably weather dependant, but maybe worth trying, especially if the affected area has protection from the elements; for best results, apply the material at a width of a few inches.

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Trapping

There are many trap types commercially available; many however can be easily made at home from empty plastic pots such as half-buried yogurt pots filled with milk, water or even beer. These are especially useful when protecting newly planted seedlings. However, these types of traps have also been known to trap giant, black ground beetles. These beetles are your friend as they eat slugs, so make sure to keep the lip of the trap at least 2 cm above ground to stop these beetles becoming trapped. 

>>Check here to view the different types of Slug traps available on Amazon<<

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Alternative feeding

A bed of lettuce in Spring is a real treat to slugs looking for a good meal. Try to sow some sacrificial crops of something you know slugs love; this may help reduce any damage to the crops you want to harvest for yourself. 

Avoid susceptible plants

Too often gardeners attempt to grow plants that are unsuitable for their site. Unfortunately, this is also true for plants that are very susceptible to slugs and snails; in this case, it isn’t worth the effort. If you find that slugs are continually eating away at your garden, then maybe have a go planting something else instead. Alternatively, you could try using terracotta pots or wooden planter for these plants to keep them out of reach of slugs. 

>>Check here to view Amazons wide range of Pots and Planters<<

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Baiting and handpicking

Slugs will inevitably collect in cold & damp spots. You can always use this fact to your advantage by using a piece of wet cardboard held down with a stone, lift it at regular intervals to pick and dispose of the slugs by dropping them into a pot of salty water. Alternatively, Tongs, Forceps or a pair of thick rubber gloves can be used if the idea of touching slugs repulses you. This method alone is unlikely to reduce any slug population in the long run but can be used to save individual plants.


Autumn and Winter digging.

Leaving the ground rough and lumpy while slugs are still active will allow the species that hibernate to move deep into the soil. Digging in Winter while the ground is cold and slugs are less active may also help kill slugs by exposing them to predators. Look out for slug eggs while digging. These appear like small clusters of colourless, eggs, almost like small frogspawn.

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Direct sown crops

Directly sown crops can be eaten off by slugs, especially in the early Spring when topsoil is cold and seedlings are slow to emerge. You can increase the rate of seedling growth by:

  • sowing later in the season, 
  • choosing the warm, dry parts of the garden for sowing early.
  • pre-germinated seeds
  • improve soil so not to hinder seed germination. Using Peat free multipurpose compost will prevent a crust of earth forming over seedling and will help seedlings emerge sooner.
  • If you have been using a thick organic mulch over Winter, remove it a few weeks before sowing, this will allow the soil to warm up. You are waiting until crops are established before mulching will also aid in reducing slug damage. Mulches harbour slugs, but also provides shelter for their predators, such as Giant Black beetles. 
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Transplanting 

If sowing directly always fails, the transplants may be a better alternative. They must again grow quick to survive slug attacks, so it is best to raise them in individual modules, so there is minimal damage to growth when they get planted out. It is worth growing plants a little longer before transplanting. A 3ft length of plastic guttering can be used to sow crops such as peas; these plants can then be slid into place once they are well grown. 


Potato slugs

The main attack on potato tubers happens in late summer and autumn, so lifting the crop by the end of August, at the latest, can help to reduce any damage. If harvesting early reduces the yield too much, consider choosing early varieties and decreasing the spacing between plants to about 12 inches each way. Doing this will reduce the size that each plant will reach, but will also produce crops earlier, with more plants in the given space, so overall yield should remain the same.

Slug Damaged Potato

>>Check here to view the wide range of potato tubers available at Amazon<<

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Easy Roasts Recipe

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Roast Potato Recipe Info-graphic
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. Here’s a warm welcome to the Lifestyle Home & Garden blog. Here you’ll find blog posts & inspiration on many subjects such as Interior Design | Travel | Gardening | Cooking & much more. Please feel free to subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email below.

Top 10 Best camping cookware sets for solo travellers, couples or families

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Nothing beats kicking back after a hard days hike like cooking some delicious food over a camp stove or open fire. However, your whole camping/hiking experience could soon turn sour if the cookware you’ve bought turns out to be unnecessarily bulky, clanky or challenging to use. Cookware is often regarded as one of the most essential pieces of kit in your pack, so taking some time to consider which type will best suit your needs will save a lot of hassle & future discomfort.
In this blog, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 best backpacking cookware sets to make your search a little easier.


#1 The Msr Flex 4 System Cookset

Features Include:

  1. Full-featured cook set for groups of four or more for camping, backpacking, tailgating or road trips
  2. Large 5.3 Liter, dual-handle, hard-anodized aluminium pot with a strainer lid for cooking big meals and boiling water
  3. The second pot is a 3.2 Liter non-stick aluminium saucepan with a strainer lid, and a removable, folding Talon handle
  4. Strainer lid enables campers to strain food without a colander; serve meals in the four deep-dish plates, and four polypropylene insulated mugs.
  5. Camping cook set components nest together to pack down to 12×6.25 inches; weighs 3 pounds 10 ounces

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

Height7 inches
Length13 inches
Weight2.22 Kilograms
Width10 inches
Material typeStainless Steel, Anodized Aluminum
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#2 The Jetcloud Camping Cookware Kit for 2-3 People

Features Include:

  1. Made of food-grade 304 stainless steel material, which is durable and safe, all utensils are non-toxic and healthy for your body.
  2. Nonstick cooking gear which is very easy to clean.
  3. Lightweight and portable with a coming carry pouch.
  4. Designed for two or three people, portable and lightweight, resistant to high temperature and corrosion, non-sticking at the bottom,
  5. Foldable handles on pot and frying pan, Easy to clean for next use, extremely portable for camping activities.
  6. It can meet satisfy all your needs for camping cooking, making it much more convenient for camping, hiking, backpacking, picnic and other outdoor activities.

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

The Jetcloud Camping Cookware Kit is both lightweight & portable, making it much more convenient for camping, hiking, backpacking, picnic and other outdoor activities.

PanTeapotCupFry Pan
Size/ Capacity166x89mm800ml175ml167x39mm
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#3 The Odoland Camping Cookware Kit for 1 to 3 People

Contents:

  • 1 x Mini Stove
  • 1 x Pot (small)
  • 1 x Pot (large)
  • 3 x Stainless Steel Tableware ( 1 x Spoon, 1 x Fork, 1 x Knife)
  • 1 x Tank Bracket
  • 1 x Stainless Steel Cup (16oz)
  • 1 x Cup Protector
  • 2 x Carry Bag

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

The Odoland Camping Cookware set is a handy piece of kit for anyone that loves outdoor activities. One Kit meets all your needs, whether you’re camping, hiking, climbing, hunting or just go for a picnic!

Odoland Camping Cookware Kit with Stove

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#4 The AUTOPkio Camping Cookware Set for 2-3 people

A time-saving Cooking Mess Kit: Durable pot and pan are not only high temperature tolerant, but also conducting heat quickly to fry and boil food. Smooth surface is easy to clean with a wet cloth or running water.

Contents:

  • 1 x Small teapot; 1 x Pot
  • 1 x Frying pan; 3 x Plastic bowl
  • 1 x Plastic spoon; 1 x Soupspoon
  • 1 x Fork; 1 x Wooden rice spoon
  • 1 x Cleaning brush; 1 x Carabiner
  • 1 x Wine opener; 1 x Cutlery storage bag

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

Great for Outdoor Kitchen: The camping cookware comes equipped with all of your kitchen essentials, offering an ideal solution for boiling water and cooking food outdoors. Perfect for camping, recreational use, emergency, backpacking trip, picnic and other outdoor activities.

PotFrying PanTeapotTeapot CapacityWeight
Size /Capacity173x90mm180x40mm130x70mm800ml900g
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#5 The Tentock Lightweight Outdoor Cookware Kit for 1-3 people

Healthy and eco-friendly: This cookware sets can heat quickly, you can make a meal in a short time. Comes with bowls, spoons made of food-grade PP plastic and an extra cleaning sponge.

Contents:

  • 1 x Small pot
  • 1 x Big pot
  • 1 x Frypan
  • 1 x Bowl
  • 2 x spoons
  • 1 x cleaning sponge
  • 1 x mesh storage pouch

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

Foldable and portable: All the objects in this cooking set can be stored together in a mesh bag for convenient carry. Foldable handles on pots, frying pan and soup spoon. They can be folded to save space.

Small potBig potFry Pan
Size/Capacity(D)148mm*(H)85mm(D)172mm*(H)98mm(D)180*(H)43mm
Source Amazon.co.uk

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#6 Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo, Ultralight Cookware

The lightest available cooking set, the Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo cook set is streamlined & efficient for the most rugged of outdoor adventures.

Contents:

  • 1 x Titanium Pot
  • 1 x Lid
  • 1 x Cup & Mesh Bag

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

Snow Peak’s Ti-Mini Solo is made of ultralight titanium and features a nesting cup and pot. The pot can store two 110-G fuel canisters for the ultimate back-country cook set.

Height6 inches
Length5 inches
Weight272 Grams
Width5 inches
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#7 The GSI Halulite Microdualist Kitchen Kit, 1-2 People

Hard-anodized Halulite alloy pot distributes heat evenly for fast and efficient cooking and is exceptionally lightweight and abrasion-resistant

Contents:

  • 1 x 1.4L pot
  • 1 x strainer lid
  • 2 x 14 fl. oz. bowls
  • 2 x 14 fl. oz. mugs with insulated sleeves & sip-it lids
  • 2 x folding spoons
  • 1 x welded storage sack/sink

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

Integrated nesting design has room for an ultralight stove and 110g fuel canister to store within the set (not included)

Size5.5 in x 5.6 in x 5.9
Weight680 Grams
Material typeCompound
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#8 The Sea to Summit X-SET 33 (2 Piece) X-Pot & Kettle, 2.8 Large/1.3 L, Pacific Blue

This versatile collapsible cooking pot & kettle set are both lightweight and durable.

Features:

  • X-Pot 2.8L & X Kettle 1.3L
  • Set nests completely together for ease of transport and storage
  • 2 Piece (2.8l X-pot, 1.3l X-kettle)
  • X Pots are built with BPA free, food-grade, heat resistant silicone

Also featured in our blog 35 must-have products for your next camping trip.

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

The fundamental appeal of this set is how compact and functional it is. Now, this set features hard-anodised aluminium bases that allow stove cooking. The beauty is in how they collapse and nest together, creating the most compact cooking sets on the market.

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#9 GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Cookware Set

This compact set is fully equipped for the Gourmet needs of any camper & is reconfigurable for every need from 2 a person backpacking trip to a 4 person car camping experience.

Contents:

  • 2 x L Pot
  • 2 x Strainer Lids
  • 9in Frypan
  • 4 x 14 fl. oz. insulated mugs
  • 4 x 14 fl. oz. bowls
  • 4 x 7.5in plates
  • 4 x Sip-It Tops
  • 1 x Folding Pot
  • 1 xGrippeWelded Sink

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

The rugged stuff sack holds the set & doubles as a sink or hand-wash basin.

Height9.25 inches
Length9 inches
Weight1.94 Kilograms
Width5.25 inches
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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#10 Bugaboo Base Camper, Nesting Cook Set for 2 People

FEAST IN THE FOREST: The Bugaboo Base Camper is perfect for family camping. Every set includes two pots, a frying pan, two nylon strainer lids, a cutting board, a folding pot handle, and a stuff sack/sink. The pot and lid combo are perfect for stovetop use.

Contents: 

  • 1 x 5 L Pot
  • 1 x 3 L Pot
  • 1 x 9 Frypan
  • 2 x Strainer Lids
  • 1 x Cutting Board
  • 1 x Folding Pot Gripper
  • 1 x Stuff Sack

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

COMPACT CAMPING: The set is ingeniously designed to nest into the stuff sack that doubles as a sink for washing. The small weighs 2lbs 7oz, medium 2lbs 10oz, and large 3lbs 4oz.

Product Dimensions20.8 x 13.7 x 20.8 cm ; 1.1 Kg
product Weight1.2 Kg
Source Amazon

Check out the current price and latest customer reviews here

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Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Here’s a warm welcome to the Lifestyle Home & Garden blog. Here you’ll find blog posts & inspiration on many subjects such as Interior Design | Travel | Gardening | Cooking & much more. Please feel free to subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email below.

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