General, Home Improvement, Self-Care

7 Checks Every Gardener Should be Making to Prepare for Spring

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Over the winter time, our gardens become neglected because it’s simply too cold and wet to venture out and keep things at bay. If you’re not careful you could find yourself in a sticky mess when it comes to the springtime if you neglect everything in your garden.

(Related Post: Are you Prepared for Winter?)

While mowing the lawn isn’t a great idea, there are other things that you could be doing to make your life easier for when spring rolls around and we begin to plan our gardens for the enjoyment of summer time. Here are some garden checks you should be making ready for the spring.

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Tools

Now is as good a time as any to get you into your garden shed and check all your tools. While it might not have been that long since you’ve used some of them in your garden, it’s likely that you have some which haven’t been used since last spring. Things like your rake and trowel should be checked for any breakages or weakness, and if you’re able to fix any broken tools it might be an idea to do it now rather than later.

You might find that some of your tools are now rendered useless, and now is a great time to go and buy some because the winter is an off-peak season for gardeners; therefore they are likely to be cheaper in the shops than they would be during the summer months. If possible you should look into sharpening any blades for cutting hedges and grass so that your job will be as easy as possible when it comes to the first mowing of the spring.

You should also take the time to arrange your tools and have a clearout of any bits and bobs that have been sat in your shed for years with no purpose. Getting things neat and tidy will help you no end for when spring rolls around.

Pests

Pests are a problem all year round, and while it’s unlikely that in the colder weather you will encounter hornets or wasps, you’re very likely to encounter rats and mice looking for refuge somewhere warm and dry. Be sure to look out for any signs that you’ve got a pest around your garden. Signs will include:

Droppings that are too small to be from a cat.

Chewed bits of debris around your garden.

Holes in your shed.

Food being found in odd places around your garden.

The sounds of scurrying.

If you’re not sure if you’ve got a pest problem, or you’re not sure how to deal with it, then you should head to Natura pest control and speak with one of their qualified technicians. They will be able to come and assess the situation and remove any pests you have around your home and garden efficiently and effectively. Don’t attempt to get rid of rats or mice yourself as they are renowned for harboring diseases on their bodies, and could be harmful if contracted by humans.

Weeds

Weeds are a pain all year round, but during the winter they are still able to pop up out of nowhere and spoil the look of your garden. On a dry day, take the time to pick out all of the weeds in your garden and treat any concrete or stoned areas with weed killer to prevent them from making another appearance. Be sure to read the instructions on your brand of weed killer as they might kill shrubbery, grass, and even be harmful to pets in your garden.

Clear any debris

Over the autumn time and the beginning of winter, it’s unlikely that your garden won’t accrue some sort of debris. This is normally dust and soil that has been carried by the wind, and also leaves falling from the trees around and in your garden.

Take the time to rake in all of the debris and get rid of it so that when it comes to the springtime you’re not wasting too much valuable time clearing away debris. Plus, it will keep your garden looking as nice as possible during the winter months.

Prepare your soil

With the cold and wet weather, it’s likely that your soil isn’t in great condition and without some TLC it probably won’t be ready for the spring. Take your trowel and turn the soil as often as possible to give it a chance to dry out a little and not be as soggy as it would be without turning it. Soggy soil isn’t good for plants and will quickly kill them off, so be sure to spend some time every week or so turning the soil.

Prune your dead flowers and trees

If you’ve got flowers in your garden which should grow back in the springtime, now would be a fantastic time to prune them so that they can grow fresh shoots and flowers when the weather is more suitable. This is also a good idea for any trees that you have that aren’t evergreen. Any trees that grow fruit will thrive from a good prune and grow back the following season as healthy as ever!

Plan your garden

Take a look around your garden and plan out where you’re going to be planting your plants in the spring, and whether or not you’re going to try your hand at growing vegetables in your garden in the spring. Sectioning off these areas now will allow you to get straight to work when the time is right; meaning your garden will be looking fantastic in no time!

If you’re planning a big build in your garden like decking or a pool, now would be the time to section off the area that you want to change so that you know you don’t have to worry too much about the condition of the grass or plant beds.

Put these checks into play with your garden and you will see how much easier gardening will be once the spring is upon us.

Family, General, Self-Care

3 Simple Ways for Moms to Relax at Home

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

If you’re a mom, you may find that you have very little time available to kick back and relax. With the holidays fast approaching, now is a fantastic time to discover some new relaxation techniques and some simple ways you can find more time to chill out.

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Set aside a tranquil space

If you’re anything like most parents, your home has been taken over by toys. Children may only be small, but they have a lot of stuff, and it can spread far and wide in record time. If you struggle to find a quiet space to gather your thoughts and take a quick timeout, find a corner of your home and make it an adults-only space.

If you’ve got a box room, a spare room or a study you never use, or your living room is large enough to section off a small area, this will be perfect. De-clutter, use calming colors on the walls and create a relaxing ambiance using aromas and subtle lighting. You can get more info about oils and scents that are designed to make you feel calmer online.

Once you’ve got this space, you can retreat to it when the kids are napping, they’ve gone to bed, or you need 5 minutes in the middle of the day. Read, meditate or close your eyes and enjoy a minute’s peace.

Work out at home

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re tired or stressed, but working out is proven to lift your mood and help you tackle stress and anxiety. If you haven’t got time to go to the gym or you can’t leave the house because you’ve got young kids at home, home training sessions are ideal.

There are various options available, including buying gym equipment or following online or DVD workouts. You don’t have to spend a fortune on machines. You could look for secondhand bargains or buy cheap equipment such as a yoga mat and some light weights. When you’ve got 20 minutes spare, you can do a quick yoga session or a cardio workout, and you’ll feel much better afterward.

(Related post: 5 Ways to Make Time for Yourself)

Sort your sleeping environment

Many moms are tired because they don’t get enough sleep at night. There’s not much you can do about this if you’ve got a newborn or a teething tot, but often, moms don’t get enough rest even when their children sleep through the night. This can sometimes be due to their routines or their sleeping environment.

If your bedroom is cluttered, there’s light streaming through the curtains, and your bed is uncomfortable, you’re going to find it hard to drift off. Likewise, if you’re running around like a headless chicken before you go to bed, it’s going to be tough to switch off. Spend half an hour relaxing before you hit the hay. Run a bath, read a book or kick back with your favorite playlist.

Do you find it hard to relax? Do you often feel stressed or tired? It’s not always possible to get out of the house, so hopefully, these tips for relaxing at home will help you unwind and de-stress.