I found an article from 2017 saying on average us Brits spend 2 hours a week gardening. If my lock down is anything to go by, this has doubled or even trebled. If I’m going to spend weeks staring out of my kitchen / bedroom / study window, I at least want something nice to look at.

Lock down has also given me more time to think about how to be more eco friendly in the garden. I’ve been guiltily contemplating how many little critters I have harmed in the past with those unthinking slug pellets or that easy ant powder.

So here are some really simple, effective, critter friendly ways to keep your garden looking lovely. All tried and tested by me, and seem to work. 

Slug stopping: Slug Gone pellets. These are just fantastic, Made from wool, the little sluggies don’t like the feel of it under their sluggy feet, so slug off somewhere else, meaning everyone is happy. The pellets also seemed to keep the squirrels and cats off new plants too, which is a huge bonus. 

Ant annihilation: Boiling water! This took me right back to childhood, I suddenly remembered expeditions with my dad into the garden, kettle in hand to glug into the little ant burrow hole. If you feel a bit squeamish about murdering ants in this way, just think how much better it is than a slow, horrible death by poison. But I only do it when I absolutely have to, otherwise live and let live.

Weed whacking: Vinegar and salt solution in a spray bottle. For the driveway, where you don’t have to worry about killing anything else around it, you can use a simple mix of 500g vinegar (at least 10% acidity), a dessert spoon of washing up liquid and around 30g of table salt. Shake together in a spray bottle and spray on the weeds. Ideally find a time when it’s not going to rain for a few days. But be really careful not to get it on anything else, what I’ve read suggests nothing will grow after this.

Wasp whipping: This year I’m trying The Buzz Wasps Away fake nest to keep the little blighters off my apples. Apparently they won’t go within a few meters of anything that looks like a wasps nest. It hasn't really been put to the test yet as the apples are still too small, but my local garden centre, who I trust implicitly, said they were very popular and the reviews are good. I used to use a wasp trap thing, which is also eco friendly - to everything except the wasp. Wasps, as Chris Packham eloquently explained on Spring Watch, play a hugely important role in our eco system, much more important than my role, so who am I to lure them to their death?

Just a few ideas here, if you’d like more, just let me know and I will endeavour to research them and update this
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