Friday, 19 August 2011

How to Sow Violet Seed

As most of us know, the time to sow seed is in the spring months. However not many people know that the time to sow Violet Seed is now. This is because the seed needs to be stratified, this means they will need a period of cold after they have been sowed. Although you can sow them in other seasons using your fridge, this is the natural method. When you sow the seed, cover it lightly using a gritty compost to get a good drainage then cover with glass or polythene with air holes punched in. Make sure they are kept damp. The RHS also recommend that viola seed should be kept in the dark. For further instructions, see video below.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How to make good Cider in large quantities

First choose a blend of Apples to get the best taste.

Clean your apples thoroughly, cutting out any bruises or damaged parts. As a rule, it is not recommended to use any fruit for cider you would not eat as it is.

Cut your apples into quarters or use our fruit crusher to do this for you. Then press your apples through a straining bag using a cider press.

Store the cider juice in a sealed container below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for extended storage.

The trick to making cider and not vinegar is to FILL your container to the top with your pressed apple juice. If you only half fill that bucket you're going to get vinegar. Yeast need an anaerobic environment. So the more space - hence air - left in the container contributes to the vinegar taste. Co2 is heavier than oxygen and will eventually be purged through the valve at the top.

Choose a variety of apples, and process each separately, then combine the juice to sample different flavors and see the difference in the colors you may produce using golden, green, and red apples.

Just remember, Whatever the size of your container/bucket you must fill the container as close to the top as possible with your squeezed apple juice. If you do not do this, if you only half fill the container, and you will get vinegar instead of cider.

About our Fruit Presses
Groves are excited to bring our Cider Fruit Presses online and in-store (around 8th September). Our cider presses are capable of crushing everything from grapes, oranges, lemons, strawberries to large apples. Why not make some homebrew Wine from the Grapes or Cider from the Apples?

For large hard fruit such as apples, the fruit must be prepared pre crushing, so we recommend you buy the Aluminium 7 litre fruit crusher that fits onto all our presses.

The fruit press also comes with one free fruit straining bag that you insert into the main basket so the efficiency off the press is 100%. The straining bag will also help catch pips, seeds and other plant waste you don't want to find in your freshly pressed apple or fruit juice.

All fruit presses are beautifully made, with a heavy duty pressed steel base covered with a hard wearing enamel coating, a beech cage bound with enameled steel rings, a stainless steel spindle and cast iron press mechanism. Our presses range from 6 litres perfect for making juice in small quantities up to 75 litres for large quantities of juice/cider.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

How to Light up your Garden on a budget - DIY

Ever wanted to know how to light up your garden at an affordable price? Our DIY Techmar Garden lighting range is a perfect solution.

The Garden lights product range offers you a series of lighting products that can be easily and safely installed by everybody and without an electrician.

Each light is supplied with 2 meter cable with a watertight screw connector, which fits the connectors to the low voltage main cable. Our wall lights are supplied with 3 meter cable. It won't get any easier! All cables and transformers are supplied with these easy to use, watertight screw connectors.

To light certain details or features in the garden you can choose spotlights. These spotlights can be directed and are available in various models and materials. Most popular in this range is the Focus spotlights which delivers great lighting directed to your conveience

Deck Lights
Another way to illuminate certain features is to apply deck lights, fittings which illuminate details from a fixed position. (e.g. from the ground) We recoomend the Astrum white and blue lights in this range.

Driveway lighting
Straight standing lighting can be placed along pathways, on lawns and between plants. These models are available with halogen lamps, light bulbs and LED's. In this range we recommend our Vitex and Larix Lights

Wall lighting
Wall lighting is fitted with LED or halogen light source. Simple to fix to fences/walls etc. If you want a traditional look then look no further than are Lumo lights. If your looking for a modern light ,then our Olympia lights. Both would add a great source of lighting to your conservatory or outside area.

Under Water Lighting
A number of lighting products in our range are suited for permanent use under water. These models can be recognised by the IP68 logo and will be stated in the product description.

As well our lighting range, we also offer dusk/dawn sensor and the abilty to control your lights with a remote control. All available at a budget price that you can install on your own.

If you need any help with layout, or design, please email and we will be pleased to help.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Plants at Groves

We have just updated our plant catalogue with an easy to use Index that has all the plants we have available (when in season/stock).

We have also expanded our online plants section that includes Herbs, Roses and are very popular Grape Vines and Violet Plants

The Violets and Herb plants are grown on-site and sent all around Europe. Clive has been growing Violets for the last 30 years and is a well known expert in this field. We hold the national collection of Violet Plants are we recommend them for your garden to add wonderful sent and colour. Clive has recently retired from administration which gives him more time to tend to his beloved violets with the help of Rodney and Barbara who also work in the Violet Nursery.

Since Little Groves Nursery opened back in 2007, Becky has been expertly growing Herbs and we now offer a wonderful array of common and unusual herb plants. Most of of which are great for cooking and aromatic use.

Grape Vines are also matured on our premises are mostly two year old plants and we have had some great feedback from them. Once planted, you should start getting your best crop from 3 years after planting.

Roses are only sent out bare root from late October but please feel free to contact us if you would like to pre-order. We do also stock many Roses throughout the year, so please get in touch as we can often make exceptions if the Rose is in stock.