Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2012

Hedgehogs are considered the gardeners friend, but we may not be that friendly towards them as our gardens can contain many hidden dangers. Here are some ways that we can reduce these hazards.

Slug Pellets

Many slug pellets contain Metaldehyde (commonly the blue ones but check the ingredients on all slug pellets) and will not only kill the slugs but can also kill the hedgehogs (and birds) if they eat one of these victim slugs. Try alternative natural slug deterrents such as Slug Gone and Copper Slug and Snail Tape that are safe to all wildlife.

Recycled containers

We are all being encouraged to recycle but empty food cans, yoghurt pots, plastic cups etc. are a real danger to inquisitive hedgehogs and small animals which can get stuck in them head first and die of starvation or suffocate, to prevent this squash all cans, and cut up containers before putting them into the bin. Wildlife can also get caught in the plastic rings that hold the cans together and the different sizes of holes in them can trap different types of animals, each circle should be cut up before putting them in the bin. These have been banned in America we hope that our government will ban them too.

Water Features/Ponds

These attract wildlife to our garden but if there is no escape route anything that falls in will be unable to climb out and drown. Hang some plastic coated wire over the side and into the water to make a ladder, half submerge some rocks around the edges or make a gentle slope on at least one side of your pond. Keep ponds topped up, especially in hot weather so that hedgehogs are less likely to topple in. Children’s paddling pools and sand pits are also a danger when filled with rainwater.

Netting

Keep all pea-netting a foot above the ground so the hedgehogs can go under it and will not try to go through it and become stuck.  The same applies to tennis nets, children’s football nets etc.

Bonfires/Compost Bins

Before burning accumulated rubbish in the garden or before emptying or turning your compost bins check that a hedgehog has not made a home in it, the best time to spread the heap is October/November.

Strimming

Take care when mowing long grass with mowers or especially strimmers, when cutting long overgrown areas cut initially to about a foot high and then check for hedgehogs and other wildlife before cutting any lower. 

Provide a safe home for our friends

We should all leave an area of our garden to go wild for nature, and this would be an ideal place to put a hedgehog house these provide a safe haven for hibernating hedgehogs and also for females to have their young. Ideally place the house somewhere quiet against a bank, fence or wall and out of prevailing wind. We have the perfect Hedgehog home at The Recycleworks the Hogitat it is an attractive natural home and safe retreat for hedgehogs which will comfortably nestle into any garden.

  • It features a sturdy, rust-proofed steel frame
  • A waterproofed roof with an attractive natural finish
  • A predator defence tunnel
  • Lots of room for a family of hoglets and the mother

 So let’s do all we can to help our adorable prickly friends.

Read Full Post »

Our latest competition winner Ryan Cinato wrote about wanting a hedgehog to come into his garden and it got me thinking about how special and unique these little creatures are. Hedgehogs are a gardener’s friend and a welcome visitor in any garden.

Everyone knows what a hedgehog looks like but did you know that there are approximately 5,000/7,000 spines on an average adult hedgehog each one is 25mm(1”) long, they are really modified hairs and are absent from the face, throat, chest, belly and legs where they are covered with coarse, grey-brown fur. Something that I did not know is that hedgehogs have a small tail.

Hedgehog Food

If you want to help hedgehogs and encourage them to your garden why not start by putting out some Hedgehog Food for them. At this time of year, end March beginning of April, hedgehogs should be emerging from their winter hibernation and will be very hungry. A hedgehogs natural diet consists of earthworms, slugs, beetles caterpillars, snails etc. these become harder to find in cold or dry weather but to supplement their diet during these difficult times and when they need it most (after hibernation, when they have young and prior to hibernation) we can help them by putting out food do not put out milk and bread as the hedgehog cannot digest the bread and cows milk gives them very bad diarrhoea, many hedgehogs die because of this wrong diet.

At The Recycleworks we love hedgehogs and have some ready mixed Hedgehog Food, it is similar to a hedgehog’s natural diet and following trials with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society our improved recipe includes chopped peanuts, sunflower hearts, dried mealworms, sultanas and dried blackberries. As the food contains dried ingredients, be sure to put out a bowl of fresh water as well. Any food should be placed somewhere where dogs and cats cannot get at it, especially if it contains raisins and sultanas as if eaten even in small quantities these dried fruits can cause cats and dogs serious kidney problems.

Hedgehog snack feeding bowl

Food should be put out in the evening and ideally in a hedgehog feeding station so that only the hedgehog can get to it, the easiest way to make one of these is to place a paving slab on some bricks, leaving a gap as an entrance hole and put the Feeding Bowl in the middle underneath the paving slab with the Water Bowl outside.

For your little or big Hedgehog enthusiast why not treat them to a Hedgehog Field Guide this four page guide includes lots of facts and information on feeding and encouraging hedgehogs to your garden.

Read Full Post »

Thank you to everyone who entered our January / February Competitions we had a brilliant response and I am delighted to be able to announce the winners.

The Family Competition was to ‘Watch the wildlife from your window and tell us what you spot’ by sending in a photograph, drawing or even a story and you could win a Ceramic Bird and Bee Nester and a Ladybird and Insect Tower.

The winning entry was from Ryan Cinato age 6 from Luton and he sent in a lovely story about what he saw one night through his bedroom window.

‘ when it gets light in the morning i wake up and look out of my window i have some trees in my garden with apples on them and sometimes they fall off so i put them in a little pile for the birds to eat but sometimes they dont eat them so i put out some of my dinner that i didnt want to see if they would eat that. i left it out there and when i was in bed at night i heard something out of my window when i looked out it looked like a big dog so i call my mum and she told me it was a fox eating my dinner i was so excited.  i now put out lots of different things to see if any other animals come in my garden my friend said he has a hedgehog come in his garden i hope one comes in mine i just need to work out what they eat.’

We loved his story about the fox eating his dinner and it also showed his enthusiasm and commitment to feeding and caring for the birds and wildlife that come to his garden.

In response to Ryans hedgehog query ‘What do hedgehogs eat?’ we have the ideal solution and our Hedgehog Food has been trialled by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, for more information take a look on our website.

Well done Ryan.

The Schools Competition was to ‘Design a Garden for Wildlife’ and you could win a Bug Board and a Hogitat Hedgehog House.

We had some lovely colourful designs and it was very hard choosing a winner but the winning school was The Greetland Academy, Halifax and the winning entry was by Molly Stevens. Molly’s design was well thought out with separate areas within the garden for Birds, Insects, Animals and Pond Life and was beautifully drawn too.

Congratulations to everyone your prizes are on their way and don’t forget to take a look at our current competitions.

Read Full Post »

The Schools Competition theme is ‘Vegetable Planting’ and we have lots of goodies to give away.

Spring is in the air, the plants in the garden are coming back to life, the wildlife is becoming active and hopefully the worst of the weather is behind us. Now is an ideal time to start planting.

PolyPot Grow Bags

For this months competition we are giving away some brilliant planting kits and a selection of vegetables to grow, which will get your school garden off to a great start.

Garlic Bulbs

Growing potatoes is something that every child enjoys from delving in the lovely moist compost to plant the seed potatoes to looking for ‘treasure’ at harvest time. Rhubarb is an easy plant to grow and maintain and available in different varieties, we have included two varieties here so that you can compare them. Garlic is another easy plant to grow and all the more interesting as it’s the main ingredient of everybody’s favourite Garlic Bread.

 
 
To enter all you need to do is to find three signs of spring where you are and then tell us what they are as well as what is your favourite thing about spring, be imaginative it could be something that happens, or something that you do, as well as a plant, bird or animal.
 
So hurry, hurry, hurry as the competition ends on 31st March 2012, get your entry in to us as soon as possible for a chance to win: 

Rhubarb Timperley Early

 
So get out there ‘Spring Spotting’ as entries need to be in by 31st March 2012. For entry details and your entry form click here.

The Family Competition theme is ‘Seed Sowing’ and we have some great prizes up for grabs.

Spring is finally here and there are plenty of jobs to do in the garden, things to plant and seeds to grow. Lots of seeds can be started off on your windowsill and an ideal way to grow them is in a Mini Propagator especially if the weather outside is cold or wet.

Mini Propagator Seed Growing Kit

To win some great garden goodies all you need to do is to
 
SOW AND GROW SOMETHING YOU CAN EAT ON YOUR WINDOWSILL
 
and then tell us all about it or send in a photograph or a drawing
 
 
Growbox Childrens Flower Garden
 
The winning entry will receive:
 
 
Gardener's Apprentice Hand Trowel
 
Kid's Traditional Watering Can
So get planning, sowing and growing as entries need to be in by 31st May 2012. For entry details and your entry form click here.

Read Full Post »

As gardeners we all know how important water is, conserving it is important to keep our plants alive and our vegetable and fruit gardens productive.

Children love watering in the garden but often more water goes on them than on the plants a Non Spill Watering Can would make a wise investment and save on washing!

Containers, Patio Tubs, Growing Bags, Hanging Baskets, window boxes and Standing Raised Beds all require extra watering to prevent them from drying out, the addition of Rain Gel Water Storage Granules to your compost/soil will substantially reduce the need for watering as the granules absorb large amounts of water which is then slowly released to the plant roots just where it is needed most.

Here are a few other ways to conserve water in the garden:

  • During hot weather it is best to water your plants/garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimise evaporation.
  • Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture as well as suppressing weeds.
  • Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
  • Water only when necessary, most plants die from over-watering than under-watering
  • Wash fruit and vegetables in a pan instead of running water from the tap.

With hose pipe bans looking likely in the worst affected areas as soon as next month I think we could all do our bit for the environment by saving and reducing water usage and not just in areas where there is a water shortage.

Read Full Post »

Recently there has been a lot of coverage in the news of water shortages in Britain and as it’s also Climate Week I thought it would be useful to look at ways of collecting and saving water.

Not all of Britain is affected by water shortages, it is generally in the South East and East of England, and is not due to water being wasted but by a shortage of rain. Recent winters have seen unusually low rainfall and last Autumn was one of the driest on record, although we can’t make it rain we can help by using the water we have carefully, by re-using it as well as collecting any rain that we do get.

Super Space Saving Water Butt 250L

Water Butts are the most obvious way of storing rain, they can hold quite a considerable amount, the Super Space Saving Water Butt has a 250 litre capacity and is ideal for smaller gardens/spaces, its square shape allows it to be positioned against a wall. To enable you to collect rainwater from your downpipes a Rain Water Downpipe Converter or a Guttermate 2 Rain Diverter and Filter can be used.

Did you know that the water you use in the bath or shower can be reused to water plants and on the garden, if everyone has a bath/shower every day there is an awful lot of water that can be recycled. An easy way to do this is to use a Bath and Shower Water Saver which is connected to your bath/shower/hand basin waste water pipe and the water can be diverted via a hose to a Water Butt.

Have a look at on website for more information on these great products which will pay back dividends year after year.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

This year Mothering Sunday is on 18th March, little over a week away, here are a few suggestions (which are also on my wish list) for Mothers Day Gifts available from The Recycleworks.

The Family Kitchen Garden. This invaluable book provides clear instructions on growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and cutting flowers including an A-Z of plants and month-by-month advise on what to do when. A must have book.

Grow your own gift pots, these seed kits contain all you need to grow either Basil, Cape Gooseberry or Chilli on your windowsill in a stunning hand painted terracotta pot.

Watering Cans are a very useful gift and are available in all sizes and attractive colours.No gardener would be without a good pair of gloves and these Rostaing Violette Ladies Gardening Gloves are perfect for protecting your mum’s hands and look great too.

Our Fairtrade products are currently on offer and our range includes some lovely handcrafted items, by buying these you will be helping the most economically-deprived people of the world improve their lives.

I hope that I have given you a few ideas but there are many more products available on our website so take a look for your perfect gift.

If you want to be creative and make your own gift click here for details of how to make a homemade card and a decorated windowsill pot.

So go on spoil your loved ones on their special day, and my idea of a perfect Mothers Day – a nice sunny afternoon spent in the garden, I am keeping my green fingers crossed!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »