Monthly Archives: January 2016

How to plant garlic the right way this winter

It’s really important to know what you’re doing when planting garlic in winter. There’s not much else you can be doing around the garden or allotment at this time of year so if you’re going to plant, you want to do it right. Generally speaking, your harvest will be more successful if you plant in autumn but with careful planting, you can still have success.

Firstly, buy your bulbs from a seed merchant (we use Marshalls Seeds). They are far more likely to succeed than if you go to a supermarket.

If you live in an area of relatively mild conditions, you can plant them in well prepared soil. However, you will need to take precautions to protect them from the cold. The best solution is to use plant blankets and treat with Envii Early Starter, our very own bio stimulant that acts as an anti-freeze for plants.

  1. Break up the garlic bulbs to separate the individual cloves.
  2. Plant in prepared soil so that the tip is around 2.5cm below ground.
  3. Plant cloves 10cm apart.
  4. Treat soil with Early Starter using a trigger spray.

Remember – Choose an area in full sun and with well-drained, light soil.

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Warm Winter of 2015 – Envii Early Starter – winter protection for your plants

This post is all about how Envii Early Starter can protect your plants this winter. Hopefully you’ve been following our series of posts about the strange weather we’ve had this winter and how it can affect your garden. Temperatures have been way above average for this time of year which has tricked some plants into flowering early. This could mean that they will be killed by a cold snap and fail to re-flower in the spring… But we can help!

Envii Early Starter

Early Starter is an advanced biostimulant that forces the plants to dig deep and grow stronger roots, which gives them access to nutrients and water from the soil where the temperature isn’t as low. It has two main functions

  1. It protects plants from cold weather if applied before a cold snap.
  2. It allows damaged plants to repair quicker by giving access to water and nutrients.

AND in the unlikely event that a cold snap never comes, your plant will benefit from the increased root growth anyway. So it’s a win-win situation!

It’s a completely natural product and is safe for any wildlife brave enough to venture into the garden at this time of year.

How do you apply it?

Add Early Starter to your watering can following the dosage rates on our website. Then water your plants weekly. It’s that simple.

We still recommend that you use traditional methods like plant blankets and laying straw around the plant. This will add to the protection and give your plants the best chance of survival.

Envii Early Starter will be available to buy from our website in the next two weeks but in the meantime you can buy it from Amazon or eBay.

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Don’t hesitate to call us on +44 (0) 1246 240880 or email to oliver@bio8.co.uk if you have any questions.

The Warm Winter of 2015 -How cold weather affects your plants

You’ve heard the expression, “all good things come with a price”?

Well, although we’ve enjoyed the last few months of decidedly autumnal weather, we’re probably in for a bit of a cold snap. I wrote in the last post about why the weather has been so warm and when it’s going to change; in this post I want to look at how that can affect our beloved gardens. There have been loads of reports of plants blooming out of season (click this link to see a BBC interview with the head of the Kew Arboretum), and we’ve heard about the woes of fruit farmers not getting enough “chill time” for their plants; but how can it affect you?

Well… because some plants have been blooming early, they could be killed by a drop in temperature and fail to reflower in the spring.

How does the cold affect plants?

Of course, there are many different types of plants and with it, many different levels of hardiness, but here are a few of the different effects that cold can have on plants.

  • Water can freeze inside the plant’s cells causing it to expand and destroy the plant from the inside.
  • Water can freeze on the outside a plant causing desiccation (drying out).
  • Decreased enzyme activity.
  • Changes in the fluidity of cellular membranes.

This means that any plants tricked into thinking spring has come early, are highly vulnerable over the next few months.  Unfortunately, this could have a trickle-down effect on the whole garden ecosystem – without plants flowering at the correct time there could be a significant lack of available food and pollen for insects. European Honey Bees, which have famously been dropping in number, could have an even tougher time this spring.

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The Warm Winter of 2015

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, the UK has had an unseasonably mild November and December. Aside from the terrible flooding in some parts of the UK, this has seemed a welcome change from the harsh winters of recent years. There’s been no need to dig out that winter coat, spend on fuel has decreased and generally people have welcomed the mild temperatures. However, nothing good comes without a price, especially for the gardeners among us. Plants are blooming way too early and insects are confused and could suffer a lack of food source in the crucial spring months.

What has caused the warm weather?

The Latin American phenomenon “El Nino” is, without doubt, a contributing factor. Occurring every two to seven years, “El Nino” is a series of complex climatic changes in the pacific equatorial region which can have dramatic effects on weather across the globe. Many experts are saying this is likely to be the strongest ever recorded.

Another contributing factor is climate change. While some scientists still dispute its existence, there is overwhelming evidence in favour and many experts believe it has contributed to around 25% of the increased temperature this winter.

Are we in for a cold snap?

Winter is coming. Probably.

After trawling through the various weather forecasters and mainstream outlets it seems that the general consensus is that it’s going to get colder over the next few months. But I think most of us expected that.

Met Office – “Temperatures should return to near or a little above average for most areas but further cold spells are possible.”

Weather Outlook – “Some colder incursions could occur, especially in the North.”

Channel 4 – “After the warmest December on record for the UK, with temperatures more akin to spring, winter is finally coming next week.”

The UK is not the only country experiencing weird weather.  Many countries in Europe and North Africa have seen mild weather over the last few weeks and parts of the USA as well.

In the next post we’ll be looking at how this could affect our gardens this year. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.