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Are you a bit of a lazy gardener and prefer to make your garden look beautiful without the back-aching work? Although this might sound too good to be true, we can give you a hand with our guide to the top ten low maintenance flowers, no ifs or buds. 😉

Our top ten low maintenance flowers

Coreopsis

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers coreopsis

If you’re looking to throw some last-minute colour into garden, then consider throwing some coreopsis seeds into a sunny patch of soil and water until germination. That’s it! Just make sure to water them occasionally (or rely on our good old British weather to do that for you) and remove dead heads by trimming them from time to time.

🌼Our top tip is to dig up your plantings every third year to thin the roots out and to calm the fast spreading of the plant down.🌼

Hosta plants

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers hosta leaves

These plants do sprout fragrant flowers in the late summer, but you can munch on young hosta leaves throughout the other seasons!

🌼Our top tip is to boil, fry in tempura, or eat the leaves raw – they have a very similar flavour to lettuce and asparagus!🌼

The hosta plant is very easy to grow, and it prefers well-drained soils filled with organic matter (such as compost). As there are so many different varieties of the hosta plant, we suggest checking the shade of the leaf to determine how much sunlight it needs – the darker the foliage, the more shade they can handle!

To keep your plant growing healthily, fertilise it every now and then, but other than that you can just leaf it alone and let it get on with it! 🙂

Sedum (hylotelephium telephium)

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers Hylotelephium telephium

Not only is it a mouthful of a name, but the Sedum flower can grow up to 50cm tall and up to 30cm wide! This plant is such low maintenance that you can even just lay the stem on top of the soil and you’ll see that over time it will send roots out itself!

🌼Our top tip is to hand out detached leaves to your family and friends, they can put it in their soil at home and watch how the plant begins to grow! It’s almost too easy…🌼

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers Hylotelephium telephium daylilies

These flowers are so easy to look after, that gardeners say that they thrive from neglect (that’s clearly why it’s a part of our low maintenance flowers selection 😉 )

They need at least 6 hours of sun every day, so make sure you find a sunny spot in your garden.

The plants tolerate drought, so water them when you can but don’t worry too much if you forget a few times. Once they are up and growing, consider removing the seed pods, because if you leave them in it can delay the following year’s bloom. Fortunately, the leaves grow to be so thick that they tend to shade out surrounding weeds – what great self defense!

🌼There are so many varieties of daylilies that we recommend swapping and sharing your cuttings with families and friends to mix up some colours!🌼

Cosmos bipinnatus

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers cosmos bipinnatus Garden Cosmos

These lovely flowers attack the birds, bees and butterflies to your garden and they can grow easily in both beds and containers! To start growing them, place your seed or plant transplant about a quarter of inch deep into the soil. Fortunately, they like soil which isn’t too rich, so you don’t have to worry about using fertiliser. They are a very low maintenance type of flower, but if you get connected and really want to look after them, then we suggest removing all the dead and faded flowers and growing them next to a fence so that they get extra support.

🌼If you’re planting the seeds when it’s cold, be aware that they can take up to 7 weeks to start blooming! To speed up this process, consider growing your cosmos indoors first and moving them outside when they are 5 inches tall.🌼

Butterfly weed

thehandymano mano mano low maintenance flowers asclepias plant butterfly weed

If you’re not the biggest fan of butterflies then perhaps stay away from these low maintenance flowers! Orange butterfly weed can add a bright burst of colour into any garden, especially butterfly gardens (which, if you hadn’t guessed, this plant is perfect for!). Oddly enough, this beautiful flower grows just like a weed! It produces itself readily and it’s usually best not to interrupt it at all (cue cheers from you lazy gardeners out there 😉 ) because it grows by reseeding.

🌼Ideally, plant your flower in their permanent location, but if you do need to move them then make sure that their roots are no longer than 4 inches to avoid disrupting the plant!🌼

Cleome hassleriana

the handy mano mano spider flower cleaome flower low maintenance

The crazy clusters and long petals seem to bloom forever and this spider plant can almost do just that by ripening the lower seeds and forming new buds above! Plant them directly outdoors, don’t worry if it’s a bit cold, and watch it grow until about six inches high then consider thinning it before it positively takes your whole garden and/or neighbourhood. If you leave the plant completely alone for a year, then you may have trouble taking out the plants if you ever want to trim them, therefore, make sure you keep an eye on them to check that they’re not growing out of control (too much 😉 )

🌼Due to the height of the plant, we suggest putting them in the background or as tall borders🌼

Sempervivum

the handy mano mano spider flower cleaome flower low maintenance smpervivum

Okay, not quite a ‘flower’ so we’re pollen your leg a little, but more of a flower shaped lovely plant! Sempervivum care and maintenance is almost none existent, and you can grow them on a rockery, on a vertical wall or even on driftwood (if you really want to). They are relatively easy to plant, and they are likely to look different from their offsets, meaning that you can end up with some quirky and exciting combinations!

🌼If the plants don’t germinate in 4-5 weeks then leave the pots in the fridge for an extra 2-4 weeks before taking them outside again🌼

Pasque Flower

the handy mano mano spider flower cleaome flower low maintenance pasque

Perfect for growing in rock gardens, these flowers look beautiful all year around and are covered in soft, silvery hairs. You just have to water them quite a bit at the start to help them develop a good root system – you can also remove dead flowers to really prolong the watering process. Sow seeds indoors in trays and water often, allowing the soil to dry out in between irrigations as they hate being water-logged (don’t we all)!

🌼These plants also have long roots so make sure to choose your spot wisely before planting otherwise you’ll be wrestling it later!🌼

Have these low maintenance flowers left you with green fingers? Try out our other expert articles!

How to Make Organic Compost

Indoor Herb Gardening for Beginners

Add a touch of privacy to your patio with this two-in-one pallet planter and privacy screen project, made using up cycled pallets.

You can decide the height of the screen and the depth of the planter to suit your needs and can fill it with pretty plants to provide a subtle barrier between your patio and the rest of your garden. Alternatively, you can place the pallet planter near your house to create a handy kitchen garden planted up with tasty fresh herbs and salad leaves.

Tools and Materials

the handy mano manomano diy pallet project tools

Set square and tape measure
Jig saw or circular saw
Hand saw
Palm sander
Screwdriver
Stapler with staples
Crowbar

In addition, these materials will be needed:
7 x pallets, including 1 with thinner planks
Assorted sandpaper to fit your palm sander
20 x 2.5inch screws
Pack of 25mm nails
Woven weed control liner

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials for this project is £20, depending on the tools you already have. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used here.

This project is suitable for DIYers with some experience of using power tools. Depending on your DIY skills and the tools you use, this project shouldn’t take longer 3 hours to complete.

Step 1

Measure the gap between the edge of the pallet and the central supporting timber. Halve this measurement and mark a line across the pallet at this point. Use a circular saw, jigsaw or hand saw to cut along this line. This will become the top edge of your planter.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet project saw cut

Step 2

The section you’ve removed will be positioned behind the top of the planter to line the inside. The section will be slightly off-set to cover the gaps of the pallet, so you’ll ned to saw off the excess wood at the end.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 with a second pallet to create another long-side of the planter.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet project measure

Step 3

Use a circular saw or jig saw to cut away the supporting timber from one side of another pallet. Next, cut along the central supporting timber to create short planks. Repeat on the other side of the pallet.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet project measure shorten wood

Step 4

Use these short planks to line the inside of the planter sides you’ve created. Use nails to attach the planks, covering the gaps in the pallet from the inside.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet planter wood nail

Step 5

Use another pallet to cut two shorter sections to become the ends of the planter – ours measured 50cm but you can make them whatever depth you want the planter to be. First, cut away the overlapping edges of the pallet so that the planks are flush with the supporting timber. Repeat step 1 to create the top edge of the planter sides. Follow steps 3 and 4 to cut extra planks to cover the inside of the gaps and nail into place.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet planter saw cut

Step 6

Use a sander to smooth all the outer surfaces of the planter sides.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet planter sander

Step 7

In order to assemble your planter, you’ll need to cut away a rectangle from the supporting timber at the front corners of the short sides so that the sides fit together. Where the short sides meet the back of the long sides, you’ll need to cut away a larger section, which will provide space for the privacy screen to slot into the planter.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet planter assemble

Step 8

When constructing the planter, the supporting timbers inside the short sides should sit just below the supporting timbers of the long sides. Screw them together at the corners of the bottom and central supporting beams, with two screws in each corner.

Step 9

Measure the gap inside the planter, above the central timber supports. Use this measurement to cut more planks from another pallet. Nail into place inside the planter to create a shelf.

the handy mano manomano diy pallet planter saw cut final step

Step 10

Cut a piece of weed membrane to fit the inside of this top section of the planter. Use a stapler to attach the liner under the top edges. Fill with top soil or compost.

Step 11

To make the privacy screen, use a crowbar to remove the back supports of the thin-plank pallet. Cut the pallet front down to the height you’d like your privacy screen to be. Make the uprights using two of the spare pieces of supporting timber that you cut away from the in-fill planks earlier. Use a crowbar to prise off the small pieces of wood from the supporting timbers. Add the uprights to the edges of the thin-slatted pallet front (with the extra length of the support at the bottom) and nail into place. Pop the supporting timbers onto the holes at the back of the planter and screw to the planter base, using two screws at each corner to secure the screen in place.

the handy mano manomano pallet planter diy project finished complete

This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts about her home DIY projects, upcycled finds, budget recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a low-cost yet lovely life.

Still hungry for more pallet projects? We don’t blame you!

How to Build a Pallet Wine Rack

DIY Pallet Chair

DIY Wood Headboard Tutorial

At a loss at how to prepare for the new growing year? Our guest blogger Ciar is here to guide you!

1. Clear

In winter our gardens die back, so it is the ideal time to remove any lingering weeds and to cut back dead and dying leaves and stems. While most herbaceous perennials will benefit from being chopped down to ground level, don’t be in a hurry to be too tidy. It is beneficial for wildlife to leave some plant cover over the winter and then cut it back just before the new growing season gets underway. Many seed-heads can also look very beautiful and even architectural in the winter months, particularly when they have a dusting of frost.

2. Clean

Winter is the perfect time to give your garden tools a really  good clean (I find baby wipes come in very useful here) and to sharpen blades. Why not clear out the garden shed while you are at it. It is also a good time to clean greenhouses and to empty, mix and refill compost bins. 

Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

3. Dig

Towards the end of winter, when the ground is not frozen, dig over empty beds and incorporate well-rotted organic matter – maybe that garden compost from the bottom of your compost heap.

Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

4. Prune roses 

Shrub roses should be lightly pruned in late winter by cutting back some of the older main stems to the base to encourage vigorous new shoots and by thinning out any crossing or crowded canes. With Floribunda roses – the ones with clusters of flowers – shorten the strongest shoots to about 25-30cm above ground level and prune less vigorous shoots more lightly. With Hybrid Teas – the larger flowered roses – shorten the strongest shoots to about 10-15cm from the base and less vigorous shoots to 5-10cm. Use sharp, clean secateurs and make cuts sloping upwards with the higher end just above a bud. 

Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

5. Prune fruit trees 

I have to confess that despite studying the subject for the RHS Level 2 exam, I have still not quite got my head around how to prune fruit trees. We have several in our garden including three apples, two plums, a damson, a mammoth fig and a pear tree which has been allowed to grow so high that we need a very tall ladder to collect the fruit. Consulting my notes I remember that apples fruit on 2, 3 or 4-year-old “laterals” or side branches. Branches that are growing well horizontally with good fruit buds on the second and third year growth should be left in, while any that are overcrowded, weak or pointing upright should be removed entirely or cut back to fruit buds.

 Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

6. Chit potatoes

In early February, take seed potatoes and place them with the sprouting “rose” end facing upwards in a box or tray in a single layer and keep them in a cool, light, airy place such as a greenhouse (I keep mine on a north facing windowsill). By late March they should have developed strong shoots that will help them to grow quickly when they are planted. This is particularly useful for early varieties such as Arran Pilot and Pentland Javelin.

 7. Sow

Broad beans and sweet peas can be sown under cover in late winter if you have not already done so in the autumn, to be planted out after the first frost. Where we live, February is also the month of our local seed swap “Seedy Saturday”: there are seed swaps up and down the country where you can exchange your own seeds, or buy seeds cheaply from local allotmenteers and gardeners. When you have bought your seeds, store them somewhere cool, dry and dark.

 

 Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

8. Reflect and plan

This winter, I am going back over all of the photos I have taken of my garden in the last year to see what worked well and what I would like to change. It is also a welcome reminder of how lush and colourful the garden looks in the middle of summer. Then I will sit down with all the seed and plant catalogues I have collected and draw up a planting plan for the new growing year.

Eight winter jobs to get your garden ready for the new growing year garden diy manomano the handy mano

 

By Ciar Byrne from CarrotsandCalendula.co.uk

Growing your own pumpkins for Halloween couldn’t be easier, and after this quick garden project this October you will be ready to Grow Your Own next year! If you’re looking for cool pumpkin ideas, look no further. Do something different, easy and fun with your pumpkin this year.

Materials:

Tools:

Cost, time and difficulty

Buying a pumpkin can be as cheap as £2 and can go up to £15, with the flowers to go in them costing as little as £3. The most cost effective is to buy cheap, as after this project you could be growing Free pumpkins for life! The project itself is so easy it only takes 10 – 15 minutes, although a little longer when involving children, taking care with knives.

Making your Pumpkin-plant

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family tools

Step one.

Cut a large hole into the top of the pumpkin. When using a knife take your time and cut into the flesh of the pumpkin opening it up so you can see the orange flesh inside.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family de-seeding removing seeds

Step two.

Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin. With a spoon or trowel scoop out the inside of the pumpkin flesh, but be sure to keep hold of it.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family de-seeding removing seeds

**TIP: KEEP HOLD OF THE INSIDES OF THE PUMPKIN – YOU’LL NEED THIS TO GROW YOUR OWN**

Step three.

Add compostAny multipurpose compost will keep your plants looking and feeling great while they live in the pumpkin.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family

Step four.

Plant your flowers or plants into pumpkin.

Into the compost plant up your plants. I’m using Heathers in this case as they are super easy to look after and look great crazy hair for a scary pumpkin, but you can also use pansies, flowers, grasses and even succulents.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family

Step 5.

Add detailing and water wellTurn it into a Halloween planter by carefully etching a scary face into the front of your pumpkin removing the outer skin.

Now your planter is ready to go, place it at your front door for all to see and water regularly. Be prepared for some, “oh that’s different” comments.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin different interesting planter plant hair kids family

Next let’s look at how we can recreate this year on year, growing our own pumpkins for free! For this you will need the insides of the pumpkin from the above project, plus some kitchen paper.

Growing Your Own Pumpkin

Step one.

Remove and discard the flesh from each seed.

This is quite time consuming, but well worth it. Remove all the orange flesh from around the white seeds.

Step two.

Use the kitchen roll to dry seeds and place in paper bag.

Dry these seeds off well, place in a paper bag and store somewhere nice and dry.

 Step three.

In February sow pumpkin seed. This is where your pumpkin adventure begins.

Place one seed in a pot with compost and water well. You can grow these on a window sill where there is plenty of sunlight and is nice and warm. As the plant grows you should increase the size of the pot it is in.

Step four.

Transfer plant outside. After the last frost, around end of April/ start of May, you can now transfer your plant outside in the ground or in a trug.

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin

Step five.

Care for your pumpkin. As your pumpkins grow you will need to give it plenty of water and keep the pumpkin off the ground so it doesn’t rot away.

Step six.

By September/ October your pumpkin will be ready to harvest!

the handy mano manomano mano diy do it yourself projects easy simple halloween pumpkin

You now can do this each year having free pumpkins for life, and something amazing decorating your front door!

We hope this helped you on your hunt for cool pumpkin ideas. If you’re looking for more ways to decorate, why not check out these 6 easy and effective (not to mention cheap!) decor ideas. Want a break from all the Halloween decorations and to have a theraputic garden break? We have a list of your essential gardening jobs for October.

This article was written by our guest contributor, professional gardener Skinny Jean Gardener. He’s passionate about getting all the family involved in gardening and is Blue Peter’s resident gardener!

Starting at very cheap solutions and heading up in price, we’re bringing you ways to keep your greenhouse heated over the coming colder months. If you’re a keen gardener, you’ll be thinking of how the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour will cope. Consider first, what should remain inside the greenhouse – very tender plants may benefit from being brought into the house. A greenhouse as is will provide minimal protection – It’s designed to let as much warmth in as possible over summer, and will therefore let out heat during winter. We’ve put together some methods for greenhouse heating – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune so long as you’re prepared to take a little time to put appropriate measures into place.

 

1. Wrap it up

Layering the inside of your greenhouse with horticultural bubble wrap will create insulation, helping to keep your greenhouse warm. Horticultural bubble wrap is UV stabilized, with larger bubbles to let in more light. As well as attaching it to the walls of your greenhouse, it can also be wrapped around pots, and placed underneath them to protect them from the frost.

As well as bubble wrap, horticultural fleece can also be used. At night, layer your greenhouse with fleece, and remove it in the morning, to allow for light and ventilation. Vents should also be opened on occasion to prevent moisture and humidity spreading disease.

Top 5 Tips for Greenhouse Heating winter bubble wrap sustainable long lasting cheap maintenance easy simple fleece do it yourself diy gardening mano mano manomano the handy mano bubble wrap man

 

2. Thermal mass

A sustainable way to operate your greenhouse during colder months is to harness the energy given off by the sun in the day time, and use this to keep it warm during the night. A cheap way to do this is by using thermal mass in the form of a heat sink. Various materials can be used for this, but water is good as it holds double the amount of heat that concrete does, and four times more than soil. You can decide how to set up your heat sink:

  • Water barrels: Put a few large barrels or containers of water into your greenhouse where they’ll be hit by direct sunlight. Put more tender plants (seedling trays or warm weather crops) close to the barrel.
  • Stone or concrete: Build this into the floor or sides of your greenhouse.
  • Raise soil beds.

Thermal mass is easy to add, as well as being very cheap. It takes a little longer to work, and will not be as effective as other larger forms of heating systems, but it’s a great addition nonetheless.

Top 5 Tips for Greenhouse Heating winter bubble wrap sustainable long lasting cheap maintenance easy simple fleece do it yourself diy gardening mano mano manomano the handy mano bubble wrap barrels thermal mass

 

3. Rocket Mass Heater

This method combines thermal heat with combustion to intensify its effects. It can be put together in a number of ways, using different materials, but the general principles remain the same. You’ll need a feed chamber – a space to load fuel, and thermal mass – insulated so that it doesn’t burn. The heat will be absorbed by the thermal mass, and then radiated outwards for much longer than simply the fuel burning time.

4. Climate Battery

Although this seems like a little more fuss, other than digging it is a relatively easy installation, and required little maintenance. It provides a significantly large heating system, along with relative control over temperatures.

It works by installing tubes underground. There are usually two sets of tubes, one 2″ and one 4″ below the surface, filled with water. Fans are installed in the greenhouse, and during the day, they push warm air down into the tubes which warms the water. In the night, the temperature falls and the water droplets condense. In this change of states, energy is released in the form of heat. This warms the soil, and by extension, the greenhouse.

Top 5 Tips for Greenhouse Heating winter bubble wrap sustainable long lasting cheap maintenance easy simple fleece do it yourself diy gardening mano mano manomano the handy mano heating system climate battery

As this system is so large, it provides a significant heating system for the plants inside your greenhouse. Fans mean that the air is distributed more evenly around the greenhouse, preventing pockets of cold air. You can also have a degree of control over the system by installing fans connected to a thermostat. This way, you can make the heating system start up and stop at certain temperatures.

Top 5 Tips for Greenhouse Heating winter bubble wrap sustainable long lasting cheap maintenance easy simple fleece do it yourself diy gardening mano mano manomano the handy mano climate battery

 

5. Electric Heater System

Electrical fan heaters can be used if you have a mains power supply to your greenhouse. These have the added benefit of pushing the air around to distribute the warm air evenly. Alternatively, without a mains supply, you can use a paraffin heater, although these should be operated with great care. An eco-friendly and more sustainable solution involves solar panels, some of which can be found cheaply, and placed on the floors or walls of your greenhouse.

Take some time to decide what temperature your greenhouse needs to be – most tender plants can get by with a minimum temperature of 7°C. The position of your heater is important. It should be away from any sources of water, and shouldn’t be blowing hot air directly over plants foliage.

Top 5 Tips for Greenhouse Heating winter bubble wrap sustainable long lasting cheap maintenance easy simple fleece do it yourself diy gardening mano mano manomano the handy mano electric heater

Heating a greenhouse this way can be a little costly, so only heat the areas that need it. Putting in dividers can make the most effective use of your heater. You will also need to be very careful with ventilation, as added humidity and moisture can spread fungal disease. Plants should be watered only when they need it, and early on in the day. Open the vents of your greenhouse on warm mornings and close them before night falls.

 

We hope this helps you with your greenhouse heating. Taking a little time to care for your plants will help them stay cosy (and hopefully, alive!) through the colder months. Can’t get to your greenhouse for leaves? Lucky for you, we’ve put together an entire guide for how best to deal with stray leaves. Missing the greenery? Bring it to you with this indoor vertical planter DIY.

 

 

Source: https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/heating-greenhouses-for-free-zb0z1411zmat