Gardening During Lockdown – Week 1

As the first, bizarre, unsettling week of lockdown due to coronavirus comes to an end, we have collated some of the things we have done in our garden during the last week. With who knows how many weeks to come, there will likely be plenty of time to undertake those outdoor jobs you haven’t got round to yet. If you are wanting to turn your hand to horticulture and not sure where to start here are some ideas to get you underway with our latest blog “Gardening During Lockdown – week 1”

Sow Seeds

It’s the perfect time of year to get some seeds sown and veg and flowers growing. We have sown a variety of seeds, from broccoli and courgettes to sunflowers and nasturtiums. All you need is some compost and seeds (your local hardware store may even deliver to your doorstep). Don’t worry if you don’t have seed trays, anything can be used – yoghurt pots, drinks bottles, butter tubs. Anything!

It's the perfect time to sow some seeds

It’s the perfect time to sow some seeds

Chit Your Tatties

Get yourself some seed potatoes (don’t just use a potato you find in your cupboard) and get them chitting in a bright, cool area. Make sure the “eyes” are pointing up. After a few weeks they will be ready to plant. Chitting will make your potatoes grow faster and stronger so it’s worth doing.

Start chitting your potatoes

Start chitting your potatoes

Paint Fences

We had a busy weekend painting fences, making sure that they don’t just look smart but are also given added protection and will last longer. We used “urban slate” on our side fences and “black ash” for our bottom fence, the perfect back drop for planting. It’s a great job to get the kids involved with too!

Get the kids to help paint your fence!

Get the kids to help paint your fence!

Prep Your Veg Beds

Top dress your veg beds with compost and/or manure to make sure your veggies grow super strong. Give it a good dig in and clear any weeds.

Add compost and manure to your veg beds, dig it in and then rake over in readiness for sowing.

Add compost and manure to your veg beds, dig it in and then rake over in readiness for sowing.

Fit/Clear Gutters

We needed to fit a gutter to one of our sheds so that job got ticked off this week. Take the time to clear any debris out of your existing gutters too. You could even fit a water butt to a down-pipe and start storing rain water for use in your garden.

Make sure your sheds have good gutters to protect your shed and harvest rain water if you fit a water butt.

Make sure your sheds have good gutters to protect your shed and harvest rain water if you fit a water butt.

Clear away overgrown ivy

Ivy can be pretty in the right place but can also be incredibly invasive. We had lots growing over a side fence so we took the opportunity to tackle that, clearing it all off in readiness for painting.

Remove ivy to keep your structures safe and strong

Remove ivy to keep your structures safe and strong

We will keep you posted on the progress of our seeds and veg patch as well as what other jobs (there are many!) we will be tackling throughout this lockdown period.

We hope you are keeping safe and managing to spend time in your own garden. They will help keep us sane!

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The Vialii Guide To Working From Home

In these extraordinary times, more and more people are finding themselves working from home. “Indoor Vialii” have been largely working from home for years so we reckon we are pretty skilled on that front. So here is the Vialii guide to working from home so you can weather the storm and come out the other side still reasonably sane…

Get Dressed

Tempting as it may be to sit in your jammies all day, it won’t help your productivity. Enjoy not having to dress quite as smart as you might have to for the office, but at least wear something you would be happy to wear to the shops (unless you are someone who shops in their PJs!) Dress smart, think smart!

Have A Proper Work Station

Again, it may be tempting to lounge on the sofa with the laptop, but it won’t be great for your productivity or your posture. Sit at a proper desk or table and make sure you have a comfortable chair. Ideally have your work station in a separate room from your main living area where you can close the door at the end of the day so you can then put your feet up and relax.

Set up a good work station. Maybe don't have a dog on your knee though, reduces productivity somewhat!

Set up a good work station. Maybe don’t have a dog on your knee though, reduces productivity somewhat!

Eat Healthy

Now this bit can be tricky. At least when you are at the office you are limited to the healthy packed lunch you brought in (unless you work next door to McDonalds!) Limit the tea and biscuits and opt for healthy snack and lunch options. The aim is not to come out of this crisis 4 stone heavier!

Get Outdoors

This bit is crucial to your mental health. Take regular breaks and go outside. It might be sitting out in the garden or taking the dog for an hour’s walk up the hills. Getting some fresh air and a break from work will help productivity and how you are feeling.

Walking the dog is one of my most favourite parts of the working day. great to blow away the cobwebs and reset the brain. Definitely get outdoors, even if it's just ten minutes weeding the garden.

Walking the dog is one of my most favourite parts of the working day. great to blow away the cobwebs and reset the brain. Definitely get outdoors, even if it’s just ten minutes weeding the garden.

Have A Plan

Creating a schedule is really helpful. Have times when you switch off your phone. Don’t get distracted by the TV just because you can. Especially just now with the constant news bulletins. Schedule those all important breaks. Working from home is great as it means you can nip to the shops or hang out the washing. Just make sure you set time aside for those things and they don’t get in the way of your work.

Take a break, read a magazine, have a cuppa. Don't eat too many biccies though!

Take a break, read a magazine, have a cuppa. Don’t eat too many biccies though!

Keep In Touch

Working from home can get lonely sometimes so it’s important you stay in touch with colleagues, people in your sector and friends. These days that is easier than ever with apps such as Zoom, Whats App and Skype allowing free video calls. Mental health is crucial and taking time to have a chat with others definitely helps.

And most of all, stay safe. We will get through this by looking out for each other, staying positive and being supportive.

Take care

All at Vialii

Vialii Guide To Top Garden Pests And Diseases

Gardening is well known for being good for the heart and soul. But when garden pests and diseases start to shoulder in uninvited it can get those stress levels rising again! In this Vialii guide we share some pests and diseases to watch out for in the season ahead…

This list is based on the 2019 most common calls for advice by the RHS and isn’t necessarily the most common garden pests and diseases to be found in UK gardens.

 The box caterpillar is the #1 most common pest the RHS received calls about

PESTS

  1. Box tree caterpillar
  2. Vine weevil
  3. Slugs/snails
  4. Fuchsia gall mite
  5. Alder leaf beetle
  6. Woolly aphid
  7. Rosy apple aphid
  8. Viburnum beetle
  9. Glasshouse red spider mite
  10. Plum leaf-curling aphid.

So the box tree caterpillar “wins” the top spot yet again, that is three years in a row! Not a great accolade to have Mr Caterpillar!  Box tree caterpillars feed within webbing and can completely defoliate box plants. It is a relatively new insect to Britain.

Honey fungus has the unenviable accolade of being the #1 disease the RHS received calls about

DISEASES

  1. Honey fungus
  2. Phytophthora root rot
  3. Box blight
  4. Pear rust
  5. Brown rot of fruit
  6. Leaf spot and canker of Prunus
  7. Apple and pear scab
  8. Rose black spot
  9. = Blossom wilt of fruit trees
  10. = Powdery mildew of Prunus.

Honey fungus is the common name given to Armillaria mellea a fungus that attacks and kills the roots of many woody and perennial plants.

If you have a particular pest or disease in your garden please get in touch with us for specialist advice. We try wherever we can to use an organic approach to eradicating garden pests and diseases.

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