Make January Your Month
Taking care of ourselves is incredibly important, but often overlooked! We’ve put together some ideas to help keep you occupied over the sometimes duller winter months.
From Aloe Vera to Swiss Cheese plants, houseplants are proven to provide emotional benefits. They can provide stress relief and boost productivity, whilst immersing yourself within a green area is a great way to spark creativity and introduce a calmness into your home or workspace.
Make your own terrarium – Keep your mind occupied with your very own terrarium. Fun to make and take care of, a terrarium is a great way to exercise your inner creativity. We have put together a step by step guide of how to make yours below!
Ingredients – We have a terrarium kit available here at Poplar (all you add is plants), but also sell the individual items needed to build one too.
· Terrarium compost
· Charcoal (helps to avoid stagnation)
· Stones/shells (for decoration)
· Plants (3 to 5 depending on the size of the terrarium)
· Funnel (to add gravel)
1. Put compost and charcoal in terrarium and mix. If the compost is in a block, make sure to pre-soak for at least 4 hours. Fill roughly ¼ of the way up depending on the terrarium shape.
2. Plant your chosen plants in the terrarium. For our example we used 3 plants. Make sure that there is enough space for growth (the smaller the plants the better). Think about the foliage shape and the colour as this makes for a more interesting display.
3. Apply gravel around the plants (a funnel makes this easier). You can gently straighten up the stones with your fingers.
4. To add a sentimental touch, why not place pebbles or shells from your favourite days out?
5. Water lightly around each plant and let your terrarium settle for a few days. Before watering again, check the base of your container for moisture. Place in a bright spot out of direct sunlight.
Cooking a delicious meal can be incredibly rewarding and healthy too. Foods such as leafy greens, nuts, oily fish and chicken can help to balance moods, improve memory and increase learning capacity. They can be incorporated with some of your favourite foods to make a feast good for both body and soul.
We have a huge variety of ingredients available within our Food Hall to help you get cheffing in no time. BBC Good Food is an amazing place for recipes too. We’d love to see what you created, why not tag us on Instagram @poplarnurseriesltd or @poplarfoodhall.
GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD -
GYO provides a level of satisfaction which is simply not achievable from anything else! Providing meals from food you’ve grown yourself and spending time within nature can help both your mental and physical health, from stress reduction to improvement in mood and fitness. We’re compiled a list of what you could be planting during January and February below.
You can start growing your tomatoes and peppers from seed at the end of January/start of February, making sure to keep them warm. A windowsill is an ideal place to keep them, as you can ensure they are getting sufficient light too. You will need good fertile soil and they will need to be watered regularly and fed weekly. They’ll be ready to go outside after the last frost in May.
There is nothing quite like the flavour of home-grown spuds, and January is the perfect time to start chitting your seed potatoes. Chitting is the process of exposing your seed potatoes to light before planting to encourage them to sprout so that they produce a greater crop once planted. You can start chitting in January, approximately 6 weeks before you plan to plant. Stand the tubers with the blunt end (the more rounded end which has a number of ‘eyes’) facing up in egg boxes with plenty of natural light. The potatoes are ready to plant when the shoots are between 1.5/2cm. More information on how to grow seed potatoes is available here - https://www.poplarnurseries.co.uk/news/growing-seed-potatoes/.
Early carrot varieties can be grown from seed in February/March under grow cloches or fleece. Carrots grow best in well-drained soil in light areas and should be planted about 1cm deep. Carrots do not require a huge amount of care however it is important to keep the soil around them weed free and watered occasionally. Carrots should be ready within 12-16 weeks.
Get the kids involved with simple to grow items such as herbs. Make sure you have a sunny indoor spot (south facing is ideal). Ensuring you have good drainage is essential, and a nutrient rich compost such as seed and cutting can increase the chance of germination. Plant 5 or 6 seeds per container/cell and cover with moist compost. The seeds should only need a light sprinkle of water twice weekly; however, you should monitor them daily to make sure they have not dried out too much. As seedlings mature, they can then be transplanted into larger containers and kept in the house or planted out after the last frost.
Upcoming competitions -
We will be launching our #selfcaresaturday competitions weekly, via social media. Throughout January we will be giving you the chance to win a self-care bundle from different areas of the garden centre. Each competition will be launched on the date below and will end on the Tuesday after. You can follow us on social media by following the links at the bottom of the blog.
8th January – To kick off our #selfcaresaturday freebie, we are giving away an all-in-one terrarium kit. It includes all you need to make a terrarium, including the plants, soil and charcoal and is the perfect way to spend a chilled afternoon. (COLLECTION ONLY).
15th January – Our second #selfcaresaturday freebie is a meal for two with drinks & cake in the Poplar restaurant. Tuck into a delicious cooked meal with a special someone. To enter, tag the person you’d bring.
22nd January – Cooking can be a great way to relax, which is why this freebie for #selfcaresaturday is this basket of ingredients to make a tasty Italian inspired dish. Simply tag who you’re sharing this delicious meal with to be entered into our giveaway! (COLLECTION ONLY).
29th January – Our final freebie for #selfcaresaturday is this bundle of goodies from our gift department worth £45! It includes soap, a bath set and a candle to help to relax a little. Simply tag a friend for the chance to win. Winner will be announced on Tuesday (COLLECTION ONLY).
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PoplarNurseriesLtd
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/poplarnurseriesltd/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/poplarnurseries