Welcome to the Robert Dyas Press Office
Welcome to the Robert Dyas Press Office
Robert Dyas' top gardening tips for October
The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us, with frosty, foggy mornings and the smell of bonfire smoke lingering in the air. It’s time to savour Mother Nature’s kaleidoscope of rich autumn colour and put the garden to bed for winter, say the gardening experts at Robert Dyas…
Clean out greenhouses
Greenhouses full of dying plant material and old compost are a breeding ground for pests and diseases to overwinter. Take advantage of a fine day to empty all contents and sweep structures out. Glazing should be disinfected by scrubbing down with warm water containing outdoor cleaner (wash pots and seed trays out at the same time). Clear leaves and debris from gutters that risk obstructing the flow of rainwater into butts, then wash the entire structure down using a hosepipe fitted with a powerful spray nozzle. Leave doors and windows open for 24 hours to allow the greenhouse to thoroughly dry out.
Build a bonfire
By October, gardeners face dealing with a mountain of rubbish. While green waste can be composted, twiggy prunings, dead wood and branches are best disposed of in a bonfire – one of the joys of autumn and a great way to celebrate the turning seasons. The safest method is to use a garden incinerator, which has the added benefit of being enclosed, so garden wildlife – especially hedgehogs – can’t climb in ahead of the fire being lit. Stand incinerators on a level, paved surface away from fences, decks and sheds and use firelighters, never fuel, to safely get the blaze going at dusk when neighbours won’t object.
Plant for winter colour
Millions of planters and pots sit empty over winter once summer bedding has fizzled out. However, containers can be packed with colour by mixing flowers and berries that will lift spirits during the freezing months, so get planting now! Raised planters in natural timber provides a stylish backdrop to winter stars such as Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’, famed for its deep-red flower buds and the winter cherry (Solanum capsicastrum) which bears an abundance of vivid orange ornamental fruits. Add in trusty winter-flowering pansies, violas and miniature cyclamen then soften the edges with trailing ivy for a beautiful display all winter-long.
TLC for houseplants
It’s that time of the year when the central heating on is switched on and log burners are fired up – great for keeping us cosy as temperatures fall; not so good for houseplants which can struggle in the warm, dry atmosphere of our homes. Raising humidity levels by misting holds the key to keeping indoor plants healthy. Fill a small, hand-held sprayer with tepid tap water and mist the leaves of foliage plants every few days to keep displays at their prime. Standing plant pots in a large tray of water once a week will help root systems to absorb exactly the right amount of moisture they require (these trays are also ideal for storing tubers of dahlias and cannas in dry compost or newspaper in sheds and garages over winter, once tubers have been lifted from gardens in autumn).
Tidy lawns and lay turf
Clearing leaf debris from lawns, whether using a lawn rake, leaf vacuum or brush, is a must to keep turf healthy over winter. Leaves left in situ over winter will decompose, creating muddy, slippery patches on grass, but they’ll break down into wonderful soil improver if gathered and placed in a compost bin. October is likely to be the final mow of the season, so raise the blades on lawnmowers, as grass that’s clipped too finely can suffer at the hands of winter cold. October also represents the last chance to lay new lawns from turf this season: dig soil thoroughly, remove weeds, tread level then rake to a fine tilth before positioning rolls of turf. Keep new lawns watered well and avoid trampling over newly laid turf for the first few weeks.
Sow sweet peas
Fragrant, vigorous and flowering profusely during summer, it’s no wonder that sweet peas are one of the nation’s favourite flowers. Starting seeds in small pots of compost in October gives seedlings a head start over plants sown in spring as they’ll flower earlier next season. Once seeds have germinated and established, seedlings should be placed in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse over winter (it’ll prevent plants becoming leggy) before being acclimatised to conditions outdoors and planted in their final growing spot ahead of summer.
Restore hosepipe order!
One of the most common reasons why flowers, shrubs and trees in containers perish over winter is a lack of watering. Sure, plants need less moisture during cold months, but dense canopies can prevent rainfall from reaching the compost, placing plants under stress. Check container plants every week during winter, keeping hosepipes handy. Hoses left sprawling over patios over winter are unsightly and a trip hazard, so now’s the perfect time to wind unruly pipes onto a hose reel for neat winter storage – it’ll also prevent pipes from kinking. Replacing broken or dripping hose connectors will ensure that winter watering or car washing is leak and hassle free!
Banish Burglars with Help from Robert Dyas
Please see here for images.
The nights are drawing in and clocks will soon go back, providing the cover of darkness to would-be burglars and potentially compromising the safety of our homes.
Indeed, claims data from Aviva over the last two years reveals a 15% increase in home theft claims during October and November*, compared to the monthly average during 2018-2019.
In the lead up to National Home Security Month (NHSM), which takes place between October 1 – October 31, it’s wise to think about the importance of home security so you can be safe in the knowledge that your property, family and belongings are protected.
To help the public secure their homes, high street retailer Robert Dyas has compiled a security checklist, identifying common weak points and vulnerabilities that homeowners can combat during the winter period and beyond.
“This time of year is notoriously busy for house crime, so considering how to keep your home and family safe is paramount”, says Robert Dyas’s Consumer Electronics Category Manager, Dene Hamill. “Many of us make security mistakes that are easy to avoid with the right equipment, so whether you live in a large detached house or a small flat, we’ve got something to suit every home and budget.”
If you have gates at the front and/or back, great - these add an extra layer of security to deter thieves. Make sure you use a strong padlock to strengthen that security, such as the Dekton 80mm Armoured Steel Padlock (now £12.99, was £25.99), a heavy-duty solution to resist access from intruders.
With many of us having spent more time in our gardens lately due to lockdowns, we may have more outdoor valuables than before. Keep them protected in your shed with the Yale Protector 45mm Weatherproof Padlock (now £9.49, was £12.79), and use the Yale 2.2m Security Cable (now £9.29, was £12.49) for expensive tools, garden furniture, ladders and more.
If you have a bike, prevent it from being stolen with the ultra-strong Dekton U-Lock Bike Lock (now £9.99, was £19.99).
Floodlights near entry points are important - install one with a PIR sensor like the Status 50W PIR LED Floodlight (now £29.99, was £36.99), which lights up when movement is detected.
Visible alarms and cameras are also good deterrents. The Netatmo Presence Outdoor Security Camera with Siren (£319.99) features an in-built alarm to ward off would-be burglars. It automatically turns on when it senses a person, car or animal, flooding the area with light and sending a notification to your smartphone to alert you instantly.
Doors and Entry Points
Can you see who’s at your door without opening it? If not, a smart doorbell like the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell (£269.99) would be highly beneficial. It will send you a notification when anyone steps foot onto your property, so if someone’s at your door, you’ll know about it straight away with an alert to your phone. That way, you can see and speak to whoever’s at your door to find out who they are.
Similarly, if you’re keen on smart home devices, a smart lock could help, such as the Bold Smart Lock Cylinder SX-33 UK (£169.99, reduced to £134.99 on October 1). Designed for easy and safe keyless access control via your phone, it has an SKG three-star rating which is the highest possible burglary resistance classification.
If you prefer the traditional way, don’t make the mistake of putting your spare keys under a plant pot or mat - keep them safe in the tough-to-penetrate Hilka Wall-Mounted Key Storage Box (now £17.99, was £35.99).
One of the weakest points of a house, and the part which is usually used to force entry**, is your French or conservatory double doors. Make this point more secure with the easy-to-fit Patlock French Patio Keyless Security Lock (now £49.99, was £54.99). It works by holding the internal handles securely and restricting the movement of the exterior handles, as well as acting as a visual deterrent.
Keep an eye on what’s going on inside your home with a smart security camera. The Netatmo Indoor Security Camera (£179.99) notifies you immediately if it detects a stranger inside. You can also watch a live stream whenever you want to check in while you’re out, and ask Google Assistant what’s happening in real time in your home. For extra security, add the Netatmo Additional Smart Indoor Siren (£79.99, reduced to £54.99 on October 1), which comes with pre-recorded sounds such as dog barks and other home noises to make it sound like someone’s at home while you’re away.
If you want to increase your level of security, opt for a whole home system, like the Arlo Home Security Starter Kit (Link active from September 22. Special launch price just £229.99, available from September 22. Will return to RRP £374.97 on October 28). Providing premium smart security without the wires, this impressive system offers full home coverage and a simple, easy-to-use app.
For valuables, keep them secure with the Pro-Craft Digital Safe (now £27.99, was £42.99), which is made from solid steel with double-locking bolts and an incorrect password alarm to deter thieves. Make sure any safe you have is securely bolted to the floor or wall.
While burglars are a common threat, they aren’t the only security risk to your home: there’s also fire and deadly carbon monoxide to guard against. Be prepared for all eventualities with the FireAngel Thermoptek 10-Year Life Smoke Alarm (now £12.59, was £18.99) - ideal if you often forget to replace batteries - and don’t forget to have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case, like the AngelEye Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher (now £11.99, was £17.99).
Protect yourself from invisible, odourless carbon monoxide with the FireAngel Carbon Monoxide Detector (now £17.29, was £25.99). This potentially life-saving alarm emits a loud 85dB warning siren when it detects the gas and it will run for seven years on a Li-ion power pack, so there’s no need to replace the batteries. Remember to test your alarms once a week to keep yourself and your family safe.
Home Security When Away
Back at the office? Keep up appearances with smart lighting or plugs. Smart bulbs or plugs like the TCP Smart Wi-Fi Plug (£19.99) allow you to turn lights on and off or set schedules to make it look like you’re home’s occupied when you’re out.
Here are some other important tips to follow to help keep your home safe when you’re away.
Cancel mail deliveries
Use a smart alarm or camera so that you can check on your property remotely via your smartphone
Don’t check into places or add location tags on social media
Store high-value items in a safe
Ask a friend, relative or neighbour to check on your property
Keep all windows and doors closed and locked, and valuables out of sight
Trim hedges to limit hiding places
For more information please visit the Robert Dyas website at (http://www.robertdyas.co.uk).
Prices are correct to the time the press release was issued.
About Robert Dyas:
From the innovative to the everyday, you’ll find everything you need for your home and garden,
from cleaning solutions and kitchen essentials to the latest DIY gadgets and gardening must-haves –
all at great prices.
The extensive selection of products range from some of the world’s most famous brands through to
exciting new start-ups. The common factor between them all is that their products share the Robert
Dyas ethos for being innovative, practical and designed to last.
Robert Dyas founded the company in 1872, and it was bought by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis in
2012. Theo is one of the UK’s most high-profile businessmen with an empire spanning retail,
property and finance.
The company has over 90 stores, mainly in the South of England, and also operates 24-hours a day
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/robert-dyas/