Your Garden Super Hacks For This Spring

Tue 17 May 2016

Just moved or thinking of moving and need to whip your garden into shape? Why not try some us these less traditional gardening technqiues to bring your garden to life this spring!

Vacuum your artificial lawn 

More and more of us are embracing the concept of an artificial lawn, especially those of us who might be a little ‘black thumbed’ when it comes to gardening. Artificial lawns look great all year round but instead of grabbing the broom to remove any dirt or leaves that have fallen onto your plastic grass, did you know you can just get the hoover out?

Of course, it needs to be dry to vacuum but in the summer this shouldn’t be an issue. Swap the Flymo for a Dyson and your green area should look great all year round.

Penny for your thoughts 

This isn’t actually a gardening tip, but if you want to keep some of those pretty blooms you’ve cut from your back yard healthy and fungus free in their vase, then drop a copper penny in the water. Copper is an excellent natural fungicide and will draw out any fungus growing on the plants, keeping them healthier looking for longer.

Nature calls 

While this method isn’t one many will want to try out, urinating on your garden can help plants grow quicker as it helps them produce more proteins that aid their growth. It’s also a good idea to add it to your compost heap, as the acid increases the rate of decomposition.

Get the bubble wrap out 

Bubble wrap isn’t just great for popping when you’re feeling a bit bored – in the winter you can use it to cover taps and pots to insulate and protect them from frost. You can even cover your greenhouse windows with the stuff and insulate those too!

Preventing pests in your garden. 

Jellied slugs 

Gareth Richards, an expert horticulturist for online garden supplies company Bakker Spalding, has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to deterring pests from your prized plants, he said: “Put petroleum jelly around the tops of your plant pots. When the slugs venture up the sides for a nibble on your plants they slip straight back down.”

Go bananas

Gareth also noted that food waste is also great when it comes to gardening. “Place banana skins in the soil around your rose bushes,” he said. “The potassium is great for plant growth and you can also place orange peel in your borders to keep cats away; they hate the smell.”

Plant curry and mint  

Cats, ants and other garden pests don’t like the smell of curry and mint plants, so these are great for planting around areas you want to keep pest free. Mint destroys an ant’s sense of smell, making it harder for them to travel around your garden and encouraging them to avoid the area.

Be aware, though, that mint spreads quickly. To deter this you can push a long tube (an old rain pipe will do) into the ground and then plant the mint into it. The tube ensures the roots grow downwards and can’t spread out into the soil.

Liquidise those bugs 

Sounds gross, but this tip is great for creating all natural insecticides you can spray on plants in your garden. Trap and then blend together bugs from your garden in a mixer, add to water and then spritz this mixture onto the affected plants.

It’s like treating poison with an antidote made from a mild solution of the poison itself, bugs won’t want to visit places where the remnants of their dead pals have been sprayed – or it just doesn’t smell great to them. Also, please ensure you use a different blender for bugs – no wants a nasty surprise in their smoothie the next day.

Clean out your hairbrush

Matthew, a Garden Centre Assistant at the Old Railway Line Garden Centre, recommends using hair as a slug barrier around your vulnerable plants!

“It is quite abrasive to slugs and snails but also releases some beneficial nitrogen into the soil as it decomposes.”

Crack open a can 

Slugs and snails love beer. So, if your prized strawberries have been feasted on by these slimy fiends grab a can of the good stuff and pour it into a tin or jar that you’ve buried into the soil. They’ll be attracted to the smell, crawl in and drown. It’s a pretty horrific way of removing them from the garden but one that works every time. You don’t even need to crack open a good can of beer, a cheap everyday value supermarket brew will do the job.

Help your garden grow 

Don’t pour your cooking water away. The water you use to cook pasta, rice and vegetables in is a great source of nutrients for plants, so don’t throw it down the sink, save it and sprinkle it on young bulbs to encourage growth.

Garden by moonlight 

There’s some debate over this tip, but some people believe that the phases of the moon have an effect on how your plants grow. For example, on a new moon the increased moonlight apparently encourages root and leaf growth and is the best time to plant crops such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and cucumber.

Apparently, you should also mow your lawn in the fourth quarter, because there is less gravitational pull that hinders plant growth. It’s also believed that planting by moonlight is a good idea, because it prevents weeds that have been pulled up while tilling from sprouting.

It might sound a bit wacky, but there’s no harm in giving it a go if you’re a bit of a night owl anyway.

Water plants with chamomile tea 

Chamomile tea is great for plants because it contains anti-fungal properties that ensure they don’t succumb to diseases. Whip some tea up and mix it with water, then spray or water it straight onto plants when they’re looking a little dry. Many gardeners also recommend soaking seeds in the tea before planting to improve their resistance to disease.

Plant cucumbers next to sunflowers 

Popping some these two next to each other not only gives the cucumber something to climb as it grows but the sunflowers also help sweeten them up, making for extra tasty salads in the summer!

Add powdered milk to tomato plant soil 

Yep, that’s right, throw some powdered milk into the soil when planting your tomatoes and you’ll save them from dreaded mildew and calcium deficiency. Powdered milk is preferred over the pourable kind, simply because it doesn’t smell while breaking down and there is less risk of putting too much into the soil and causing issues.

When it comes to gardening there are plenty of alternative methods that should help your outdoor space flourish into something beautiful. These tips can be easily tried out by everyone. Happy Gardening.

"A big thank you from me to all of you for the support that you have given to the Boxall family. I knew that they would be in capable hands and we are very pleased with the outcome."
Baches Solicitors - Happy Clients

News Archive

December 2017

Some Real Christmas Crackers

Moving into a smaller house, tips on downsizing

You won't hit a bum note with these cloakroom design ideas

November 2017

Beauty in Belton

Costs to consider when buying a house for the first time

6 Reasons you must view this house in Ingestre

A Tenants Guide To Renting A Property

How to move house with pets?

Customer service is Marie's number one priority

Is selling my house in the winter a good idea?

Reserve before Christmas to save thousands on Stamp Duty

Your vote could help secure funding for Abbots Bromley sporting facilities

Bank of England base rate rise announced for the first time in 10 years

October 2017

Stafford welcomes June Reeves as Sales Director

Move over magnolia make way for gracious grey

How to make your house appealing to buyers, the DOs and DON'Ts of home staging

Land with outline planning permission for 39 dwellings

Autumn/Winter Acquire Magazine

House buying terms explained

The Ultimate Country Pad

Ashby's FABulous comes to John German Estate Agents 1920's-style!

First time selling a house what do I do?

September 2017

Mortgage lenders in a willing to lend frame of mind

Paul smashes the Abbots Bromley 10k Run

How to rent out my house

How to increase your EPC rating G or F to an E or above

A house that instantly feels like home the moment you walk through the door

Abbots Bromley 10k and Junior Fun Run 2017

Is your money in safe hands

Choosing a solicitor when buying and selling a house

Ever dreamed of running your own holiday/short-term let?

Forget the South canny purchasers are buying property in the Midlands

Make a splash take part in the BASC Bridge to Bridge Swim challenge

August 2017

Proud sponsors of the Ashbourne Show 2017

4 Things you should know when buying a leasehold property

Welcoming Jo Gibbons into the JG fold

5 Reasons to pick John German Estate Agents to sell your house


First development of its type in decades

How to make a small bedroom appealing to house hunters

A family home ticking all the boxes tucked away on the outskirts of Sileby

John German Estate Agents donate towards the Defibrillator Project in Stramshall & Bramshall

July 2017

Stuart, Richard & their mini-me's take part in this year's Ashbourne Fun Run

Selling a property whilst on your summer holidays

Luxurious Living in Burton on Trent

William Shrewsbury Summer Fun!

Join in on some vintage fun at Oakamoor Hill Climb Revival

Tips to follow when booking a valuation


Garden Party Success at Mountfields Lodge Primary School in Loughborough

June 2017

Little Mix bringing their Summer Shout Out tour to Donington Park

A sale has been agreed, what happens next?

Fully fledged property expert Emily Baines

Barton Gardens Festival & Teddy Extravaganza

Well, well, well, what have we got here?

Prepping your garden for photographs and viewings

Step inside from the comfort of your own home

May 2017

Finding the right buy to let property

Waterproofs & umbrellas at the ready

Grumpy's Girls Prepare to Strut Their Stuff

Small garden improvements to impress buyers

Prepare to fall in love 3D VIRTUAL TOUR

April 2017

Do I need a survey if I've had a mortgage valuation?

Renting a property for the first time landlord

Moving to a new house with children - Turn it into an adventure!

Looking to buy a house or remortgage? Adam can help!

How to change your existing letting agent

March 2017

Simple home improvement tips for under £500

Stafford Half Marathon 2017

EPC expert by day, marathon man by night

What is rental yield?

Spring Budget 2017: No stamp duty reform, landlords may be hit

Name your home!

February 2017

How to spot and deal with Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica)

How do I decide on accepting an offer?

The house buying process, where do I begin?

What are energy performance certificates (EPCs)? And why do we need them?

A Glamorous Georgian Home

Top Tips to find a reliable tradesman

January 2017

What are my legal responsibilities as a Landlord?


Contemporary family home perfectly positioned within the heart of Loughborough

Landlord's - 5 ways to attract long-term tenants you can trust

Choosing a letting agent : A landlords guide.

Top tips to help sell or let your property


Add value to your home - Is it time to upgrade your bathroom?

5 KEY FACTORS to be aware of when getting a mortgage on a new build

December 2016

Post Christmas Cleaning Tips

Buying A Home - Step By Step Guide

Our opening hours over Christmas & New Year

Do solar panels add value to your home?

William Shrewsbury Primary School Christmas Fayre 2016

House been on the market for a while? How to generate more interest in your property.

Which John German team did Christmas best?

Christmas gift ideas for home movers!

The Millionaire's Club : Luxury Properties For Sale

Proud to support the Loughborough Round Table Santa Float

How to sell a house in just 10 days

A quick and easy guide to downsizing

November 2016

Christmas...the perfect time to sell your home

Relocating from London? Just look at what £500,000 will buy you in the Midlands

Brand New David Wilson Development; Hastings Park in Ashby


Winter Proof Your Home - Top Tips

12 hygge essentials for your home

An exquisite period farmhouse set in 4.95 acres close to Ashbourne, Derbyshire

The Daily Telegraph launches campaign to slash stamp duty

Beautiful Barn Conversion in South Derbyshire

Homebuyer Confidence Back To Pre-Brexit Levels - NAEA

Buying Books for Brookside Primary School in East Leake

October 2016

Who can buy through shared ownership?

Thorney Hollows; An historically important period residence

Well done to the John German runners at the Abbots Bromley 10k!

Proud to support the upcoming Abbots Bromley 10k Run

Top 10 last-minute questions to ask sellers

Individual Architect Designs in Ashby

5 Reasons to live in Brocton, Staffordshire

Retirement apartments designed to provide easy living

Cakes Taste Better Together

September 2016

Relocating area? Top tips to help ease the stress of moving!

Supporting the Church Leigh Charity Cricket Match

Star Property in Shepshed, Leicestershire

What's to love about the vibrant market town of Loughborough?

ADAM BEDE HOUSE : Inspiration for author George Eliot's first novel

Proud sponsors of the Melbourne Festival 2016

Outstanding Success Where Other Agent Failed

Proud sponsors of Uttoxeter's Senior Men's Open

Outstanding newly built Country Home at Wood Farm, Rakesdale

Over 55 and considering moving house, but can't quite find the right one?

Record turn-out expected for Ashby Ivanhoe vs Ilkeston Town

August 2016

Help set a Guinness World Record - 1300 friends & family required!

Long Whatton; A picturesque village set on the border of Leicestershire countryside.

Giant plant provides a superb centre piece for our vendors lawn!

Loughborough vs Ashby - Where would you prefer to live?


Buying a property without a survey could be a risky business

£7,700 raised for our chosen charities!

New Homes & Development Opportunities

Small town - big spirit : Why Shepshed is up and coming!

1st Round FA Cup - Ashby Ivanhoe FC v Quorn AFC

July 2016

Always dreamed of keeping alpacas?


Searching for a period property to buy? Or looking for stylish interior design ideas for your own Victorian home?

Classic or contemporary?

Outwoods Primary School Summer Fair

Prepare to be blown away by this fabulous Windmill conversion


Ashbourne Half Marathon & 5k Run In The Park 2016

Presenting Springfields House in Stramshall near Uttoxeter

June 2016

We handover our final cheque to Rainbows Childrens Hospice after a year of fundraising

Hall Orchard Primary School Summer Fayre 2016

East Leake - Our pick of the week!

Barton Gardens Festival 18th & 19th June 2016

Congratulations Marie Marklew

Bretby Hall - Buy your own piece of history

Ways to Weatherproof Your Patio

Shining the Spotlight on Keyworth, Nottinghamshire

Selling a property that requires renovation

Simple ways to bring the elements from the outdoors into your home

Traditional Agent or Online Agent; Who should be selling your home?

May 2016

Is 'broken-plan' the new 'open plan'?

Keep missing out on your dream home? Avoid making a big mistake !

Village of the week - Quorn, Leicestershire

Your Garden Super Hacks For This Spring

Luxury living in Lichfield - OPEN DAY

Why choose an NAEA estate agent?

Spend a little, gain a lot

Discover the Key Trends Influencing Bathroom Design in 2016

Barclays 0% Mortgage Deal

Weird & wonderful facts about houses

Be aware of over-valuing : it could cost you in the long run

April 2016

Traditional Agent Vs Online Agent

NAEA says first time buyers benefit from stamp duty surcharge fallout

We Love Our Vendors Pets!

The Importance of Choosing the Right Estate Agent

Instructed to completed in one month : yet another happy Lichfield customer!

NUMBER 1 SELLING AGENT in Burton and East Leake within the last 12 months!

COMING SOON - Shared ownership opportunites in Shepshed

100% of our clients surveyed would recommend John German Estate Agents to friends & family

Innovative ways to add storage to a small home

March 2016

Which home improvement can potentially add 20% to the market value of your home?

BEFORE & AFTER : A Professional Home Stager's Tips on Presenting a Property For Sale

They're selling like hot cakes - Why is Kegworth, Derbyshire so popular!

7 motivational reasons to have a Spring clean

The budget - what's relevant to property?

Good Luck Rachel - Stafford Half Marathon 2016

Second home stamp duty hike - April 2016

The Listed Property Owners Club

Phase 2 Launch - The Heights, Boxley Drive, West Bridgford

Simple steps to a successful property search

February 2016

Say goodbye to the humble British bungalow, say hello to super stylish single-storey living

Submitting a planning application - tips & advice

Winner of our Customer Satisfaction Survey

Plenty of viewings but no offers : why?

Buying a property with friends - what do you need to know?

John German's Youngest Member - Baby Bennet!

Feng Shui Tips to Transform Your Home

Shrovetide Fair Pancake Race in Lichfield

5 Tips to buying a house

You're Invited To Our Property Advice Evening

January 2016

Your Moving Journey Step By Step

January Success For Loughborough & East Leake

Who should do the viewings on your home?

Sharing Your Home With Children

Download Your Mobile App

Key steps to get your house on the market:

7 Ways to Make Sure Your Property Photographs are Amazing

10 Tips for Buy-to-let Investments

Why Should I Choose John German To Sell My Home?

Top Reasons Why Home Owners Sell

Your Moving Home Checklist

Top Tip to Sell My Home

December 2015

Opening hours over Christmas and New Year

Property Surveys - A clear and impartial guide.

Looking for a buy-to-let property?

Benefits & potential risks of Buy-to-let investments

Shorter office opening hours for Friday 11th December

East Leake Christmas Lights Switch On 2015

William Shrewsbury School, Stretton Christmas Fair 2015

Home-owner confidence sets the scene for higher prices in 2016

November 2015

Proposed Stamp Duty Changes, Could Now Be the Time to Sell?

Help To Buy: ISA - How does it work?

8 Easy To Make Decorations For Your Christmas Tree

The Millionaire's Club - Exclusive Properties For Sale

Selling your home in winter : Get ahead of the game!

Gun Powder, Treason & Plot!

How to add space and value to your home

Why Should I Register With An Estate Agent?

6 Ways To Improve Your Property's EPC Rating

Who Will Buy My House?

October 2015

Ten Things To Do Before A Viewing

The Heart Of The Home - The Dining Table

Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

Jesse Gray Football Tournament Raises £300

21st Century Kitchen - Stay In Touch With Your Home

Marie's Top Tip For Buyers & Sellers

Helping Abbots Bromley Build A New Sports Field

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?

SOLD In West Bridgford - Should We Be Selling Yours?

BASC Charity Swimming Gala

September 2015

Sponsored Cycle Relay raises over £2400

To furnish or not to furnish...?

New Appointment of Branch Manager in West Bridgford

Simple Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Autumn/Winter

Great Turnout for Ashbourne Half Marathon

5% Deposit Mortgage Deals

Enter the Ashbourne Fun Run

Another £80 Raised for Rainbows

Top Postcode to Raise a Family

Quorn Country Hotel Rainbows Summer Fete

Top Tips on How to Secure a Mortgage

August 2015

John German's Sponsored Cycle Relay

Sold Within One Week!

July 2015

Top Selling Estate Agent in East Leake

A familiar face returns to our Uttoxeter office

June 2015

A convenient and less disruptive way to create excitement from buyers

Appointment of David Woodcock MNAEA

Donington Race Track Charity Evening Success

April 2015

Winner of our client satisfaction survey PRIZE DRAW

March 2015

We don't just help our clients sell houses we can also help with their onward purchase too

Our 175th Anniversary fundraising year has well and truly begun.