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Posts Tagged ‘Hedgehogs in the garden’

Snail

On the whole this year it has been dry but the recent wet weather combined with mild temperatures has brought out all the slugs and snails (big and small, young and old) in the garden and on the allotment and which no doubt will take advantage of any remaining flowers and crops.

When we moved into our house twenty years ago the garden was a wilderness, you could not really call it a garden and the populations of slugs and snails that it contained was unbelievable, I couldn’t kill them as I believe that every creature has a place and a purpose on this earth, but as a keen gardener I knew that they just had to go somewhere else and that was in the surrounding fields, after dark when they emerged I collected them in a carrier bag and moved them to their new home the following day. I am sure that a lot of people must have thought I was mad but it did the trick and since we put a pond in the back garden and the frogs moved in they are now at a manageable level.

If slugs and snails are a problem in your garden and you want to stop them from eating your plants here are some environmentally friendly ideas and products that can help:

The Urban Bird Feeder

Birds   Attract birds into your garden with bird feederswater dishes and nest boxes, they will in return eat many garden pests including slugs, snails, caterpillars, aphids, ants etc.

HEDGEHOG

Hedgehogs    Encourage Hedgehogs to visit and make their home in your garden with a Hedgehog House placed in a quiet corner along with some Hedgehog food, ensure that they can come in and out of your garden by making some small openings in your fence.

Frogs & spawn

Build a pond    A pond is a magnet for all types of wildlife especially frogs and toads which eat slugs and snails.

Slug Gone   Place a layer of Slug Gone Organic Wool Pellets around your plants, made from the dagging fleece of the sheep, the wool fibres as well as the sand, grit and potassium salts that it contains irritate the foot of the slug/snail forcing them to feed elsewhere.

Slug & Snail Trap - Pack of 2

Slug and Snail traps   Bury the pots near to vulnerable plants and fill with beer or sugar water, the slugs and snails will come for a drink and fall in the pot.

Nemaslug Slug Killer

Nemaslug Slug Killer   A natural control containing nematodes that are found naturally in the soil, simply mix with water and apply every 6 weeks around your plants or on areas that are affected.

Copper Slug & Snail Tape

Copper Slug and Snail Tape    Ideal if you garden in containers, placed around the tops of pots, planters and raised beds the copper tape gives off a tiny electrical charge which deters them from crossing the tape.

…. or as a last resort you could always move them in a carrier bag!!

I quite like snails they are quirky looking, do you remember Brian the Snail on Magic Roundabout?

Love your environment

Gill

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We had a brilliant response to our October November Competitions, unfortunately there can only be one winner for each Zone, the lucky winners are:

In the Family Zone

John Stowe, Hampshire

In the School Zone

Fulbrook Middle School, Bedfordshire

both winners will receive:

Hogitat Hedgehog Home

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

A perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

guide to Hedgehogs

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

and a pack of Hedgehog Food

Hedgehog Food

Well done to both of you and I hope that you soon have a Hedgehog making its home in your Hogitat

Look out for our next competitions in the New Year

Gill

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Hedgehogs are busy at the moment looking for a safe place to hibernate and eating plenty of food to build them up for the long winter months, if you love Hedgehogs why not have a go at our two free Gardening with Children Competitions, one in the Family Zone and one in the School Zone.

In both competitions you have a chance to win

Hogitat Hedgehog Home

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

A perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

guide to Hedgehogs

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

and a pack of Hedgehog Food

Hedgehog Food

All you need to do in the School Zone Competition is to correctly identify which Trees the Seeds and Leaves pictured come from, in the Family Zone Competition you have to correctly identify the Fruit/Berries pictured, in each competition there is a list of options to help you.

Hurry, the closing date for both competitions is 30th November 2014

So what are you waiting for? Click on the above links to enter and find out more!

Good Luck

Gill

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If you have been reading my previous blogs you will know that I love Autumn especially getting out for a walk and collecting leaves, seeds, nuts and fruits I simply can’t resist it. The fruits such as Blackberries and Apples can be cooked to enjoy now in Pies and Crumbles or made into jams, chutneys and preserves to savour over the next few months, the seeds and nuts can be planted and will produce new flowers/wildflowers for your garden or a new generation of trees, all that remains are the stunning colourful leaves and the seed/nut cases.

You can have lots of fun with leaves and when you have finished they can be turned into valuable leaf mould for your garden, for lots of ideas for your wonderful leaves click here. This year the Beech has produced a bumper crop of seeds (which are often called Beechnuts or Beechmasts) and as I have quite a lot of the Beech seed cases I got thinking … they are very dry, hard and often spikey just like the prickles of a Hedgehog, so why not ….

Beech Seed Case Hedgehog

Make a Hedgehog from Beech Seed Cases

What you will need

  • Dry Beech Seed Cases
  • Potatoes
  • A Cocktail Stick
  • Sticky Tack or Glue
  • Conkers
  • Black felt tip pen

What you need to do

  1. Choose a potato preferably with a flat side (to stop it rolling around) this will be the bottom.
  2. Leave one end of the potato bare for the face then make holes with your cocktail stick in rows along the back and sides inserting beech seed cases by their stalks until you have covered your potato.
  3. Draw or stick on some eyes then add the conker nose securing it in place with Sticky Tack or Glue

If you have plenty of materials why not make a Hedgehog family and arrange them on a tray/lid with some of your leaves.

Hedgehogs are busy at the moment looking for a safe place to hibernate and eating plenty of food to build them up for the winter months, why not have a go at the new free Gardening with Children Family Competition or School Competition for a chance to win a Hogitat Hedgehog House, a Field guide to Hedgehogs and some Hedgehog Food for the Hedgehogs in your garden.

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

The Hogitat Hedgehog House – a perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

Have fun

Gill

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This week is Hedgehog Awareness Week (4-10 May) with ‘hedgehoggy’ events being held around the country, it is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and aims to highlight the problems that Hedgehogs face and how we can help them.

Hedgehogs are secretive, beautiful and fascinating creatures they are especially loved by children and welcomed by gardeners yet there has been a sharp decline in their numbers. Throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn they will eat many of our unwanted garden pests, including slugs (up to 80 a night), snails, beetles and caterpillars, in a totally environmentally friendly way.

During May female Hedgehogs will be pregnant with their young due to be born in June/July there are usually 4-5 in a litter but unfortunately only 2 or 3 survive, the babies (Hoglets) are born blind, pale pink and spineless but after only 2-3 minutes their spines begin to appear, the young stay in the nest and feed on their mother’s milk, after 3-4 weeks they will leave their warm and safe home and go foraging for food with their mother. If you find a hedgehog nest do not disturb it or handle the young as the mother may abandon them.

 The Original hedgehog house

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

 The Hogitat

How can we help?

Provide a safe home for female hedgehogs to rear their young, there are various types of Hedgehog Houses available, place them in a quiet part of the garden preferably against a bank, wall or fence and to avoid cold winds make sure that the entrance does not face North or North East. Make your hedgehog house more welcoming by placing twigs, leaves and short grass on top and around the house and some dry leaves and grass inside.

Hedgehog Food

A quick ready meal of Hedgehog food will be welcome to the mother and her young hedgehogs, place out of the way of other animals, birds and pets along with a dish of fresh water.

Hedgehog Feeding Bowl

It would be such a shame to lose these delightful creatures if you see one enjoy watching it quietly from a short distance, they should not be touched or picked up unless absolutely necessary.

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

If you want to know more about Hedgehogs why not treat yourself to a Hedgehog Field Guide this four page guide includes lots of facts and information on feeding and encouraging hedgehogs into your garden.

Love your environment

Gill

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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.

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