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Weed Control Tips.

  • Couch Grass is a gardeners nightmare, as its underground stems / roots are easily spread by cultivation. So if your vegetable plot is affected, cut a trench approximately 30cm x 30cm around that needs treating, this will create as a barrier to prevent the roots growing in or out of the vegetable plot. Rather than digging up the roots and spreading the shoots, cut or hoe off the grass leaf on a weekly basis this will weaken the plant and it will die off in a couple of months.
  • Thistles and Dandelions are another gardeners nightmare,  cut the plant off at ground level and apply a heaped teaspoon of salt to the exposed remains. Salt removes all water from the root and prevents re growth.

 

Lawn Care Tips.

  • Scarifying - de-thatching or removing moss from your lawn will greatly benefit your lawn in the long term. So what's the best time to undertake this task?

Answer - the grass must be actively growing and the ground should be warm (plenty of sun and rain) this will ensure maximum regeneration, at all cost you should avoid cold or periods of drought. You can lightly de-thatch or remove moss in the spring (mid April or August / September). Heavy scarification will impact on the thickness of your lawn so wait until August / September before undertaking this task.

Scarify in two directions for maximum effect, light scarification just removes dead thatch and moss, heavier scarification is achieved by lowering the depth of cut on your scarifyer to allow the blades to cut some of the grass roots boosting growth to the remaining roots and grass leaf.

Scarifying produces a lot of arisings so be prepared to rake and clean up.

 

Supporting Wildlife in the Garden.

  • Squirrel proof your existing bird feeders -

Invert two large hanging basket holders to create a 'mesh football'.

Wrap some wire or string to create a hinged joint and use wire or string at the other side of the 'mesh football' to secure / close / lock the hinged ball.

Hang your feeder (birdseed feeder, peanut feeder fat ball feeder etc) inside the mesh football. You now have a squirrel proof feeder.

 

  • Bird Nesting Box Projects

To attract sparrows to your property you can make a terraced bird nesting box recycling some old timber or using 10mm thick exterior quality plywood sheet. Hang the box at least 3m above the ground facing an easterly direction away from direct sun, prevailing wind and rain.

 

 

 


 

You can also make single nesting boxes as per the plans outlined below, again use recycled timber or 10mm exterior quality plywood.

Many garden and woodland birds nest in holes and may be attracted to a nestbox. The particular species attracted will depend on its local distribution and population, and on the size of hole provided in the nestbox. An entrance hole of 28 millimetres in diameter will admit Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Tree Sparrow and Pied Flycatcher; whereas a slightly larger hole of 32 millimetres in diameter will also attract House Sparrow, Nuthatch, and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

The following design is for a basic small-hole nestbox. The roof should be hinged, for ease of cleaning out, either by a non-ferrous hinge and screws or by a rubber strip. The dimensions are only an approximate guide and are by no means critical; but if they are followed, this box can be made from one 48 inch piece of timber, 6 inches wide, and 0.75 inch thick.

The box may be screwed or nailed together, and small drainage holes should be drilled in the floor.

A variety of species may be attracted to an open-fronted nestbox placed in a garden, the commonest of which will be Robin and Wren, although it could also be used by Pied Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher and Black Redstart.

The size and construction is similar to that for a small-hole nestbox, except that the front will be a piece of wood 3.5 x 6 inches. This box too can be made from one 48 inch plank of timber, 6 inches wide, 0.75 inch thick. It is not necessary to hinge the roof as the box can be cleaned through the entrance hole. The floor should have small drainage holes drilled in it.


 

 

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