The urban gardens of the UK are active with a great range of wildlife as these creatures try to eke out survival in our every changing world. With foxes, hedgehogs, wild birds as well as many insects the garden is important to them all. The garden can be full of valuable nutrients and food and the home occupants can help, not necessarily a good thing, where waste food is left for these animals to scavenge. Some animals are welcome such as the hedgehog and the massive array of birds where some, such as foxes, are not quite as welcome. People in general have a divided opinion about foxes, where some people love them, some despise and fear them with many just accepting them. They are nice in a way with their bright colours certainly in the drab winter months.
You will find that a 8×6 shed is a help to these creatures as this building can provide shelter for them and help to keep the wind away. On the rare warmer days the heat radiating from the building is a welcome break from the cold and they can enjoy this. The shed also helps them to hide away from any predators during the day.
Whilst not everyone welcomes these creatures you will find many are good for the garden. Hedgehogs are great at controlling slugs and ladybirds feed on aphids. Worms are great at borrowing through the earth and help to improve the soil and where would we be without bees pollinating our fruit, flowers and vegetables.
If you would like to encourage wildlife into your garden, which many people do, you will find that a ‘prim and proper’ garden is not the best option. An untidy garden is good for them, a bit like a teenager’s bedroom, as this will make them more at home. Be careful when you treat your 6×8 shed and try to keep the treatment off the surrounding garden. If you have a pond this is also good for wildlife but you must be aware of the dangers where young children are present, who must always come first.
However, as much as you may love foxes, you do need to stop them building dens under your shed. This is helping to increase the fox population, which is not really sustainable, and can lead to foxes getting braver, by necessity, and entering our homes. This is according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who state that the domestic garden is seeing larger number of foxes appearing.
To prevent foxes digging under your garden shed you need to look out for any holes which may be appearing and fill them in or block them up. However, always ensure that the foxes are not using the hole beforehand. If they are then you need to wait about after the cubs have been born.
The RSPB conducted a survey name Make Your Nature Count and this asked people to spend a hour in their garden and to see what birds or wild life were visible. Results of an earlier survey in 2008 showed that a quarter of all the gardens in the UK are home to foxes, which is a staggering amount. They very rarely pose a risk to humans as attacks are rare, but the biggest problem is their noise. The survey also suggested that an 8×6 shed is the best size for most gardens.
An animal welfare consultant, Jim Barrington, said that foxes, in general, are welcome in our gardens. They rarely cause any damage but do often get blamed for digging up lawns which they don’t normally do. If you want to discourage foxes then you should cut back any trees in your garden as well as shrubs. If you have any shady corners then remove them and, most importantly, fill in any gaps around any garden buildings. These simple actions will tell the foxes they are not welcome.
Winter seems quite a long season, certainly after we get past New Year, and the months of January and February can seem long before we can get out into our gardens, open the shed up and fire up the lawnmower. Of course everything is ready to go as you prepared all your tools before the winter break. You will find your garden’s lawn maybe looking a little sorry for itself, not the bright green you would find on a warm summer’s day, but a dull drab looking green. You can think back to the summer days, maybe relaxing in your shed in your garden, or sitting on the patio having a barbecue with friends. You can switch on the TV and see the cricket with its pristine playing field or watch the tennis at Wimbledon on the immaculate lawns and thinking how much you would like your garden lawn to look like that. All seems a long time ago at the moment.
Ratedpeople.com stated recently, in their view, that if you want to keep your garden looking good and to ensure the lawn is healthy and vigorous for the Spring then you must NOT lock up your sheds through the winter. Your garden tools will be needed. They state that you can do simple things yourself like raking up the leaf debris which has fallen off nearby trees. This will ensure the maximum amount of sunshine for the lawn. They say that mowing the lawn can be beneficial but I personally don’t take that view. I feel that the less you walk in the garden on the grass the better as you don’t walk to compact the grass any more than necessary.
They also suggest leaving grass clippings on the grass so they can act as a kind of fertiliser as they give off valuable nutrients. They believe that this action will help the lawn shoot faster in the Spring. Again I think you need to be a little careful in this respect. You could collect the grass clippings and store them in your shed or garden store. You could also use garden clippings as mulch around your plants to help protect from the frost. This will give your shed purpose besides keeping your garden tools secure and dry.
A spokesperson at RatedPeople said that leaving a small layer of grass cuttings on your garden lawn is good practice to help preserve the lawn as well as ensuring the level of thatch is kept under control. Only recently an Oxfordshire paper recommended that gardeners use these wet weather conditions to uproot unwanted weeds. As I say I think the lawn in your garden is best not walked on so that the ground does not becomes too compacted.
My garden is looked after by a regular monthly expert contractor and they put weed killer and garden lawn feed on it at the correct time. This year I’ve paid extra so they come along to my garden and last week they scarified the grass. This meant raking out all the dead moss and leaves and giving the grass some room to breathe. This was followed up this week with hollow-tine-aeration which sounds like a medical condition. This involved making thousands of holes in the lawn and this will help where the garden had become compacted. This procedure also allows air, moisture and nutrients to reach the roof of the grass which will enable the lawn to bloom in the summer. I was also told to keep my lawnmower in my delightful 8×6 shed in my garden until early spring, good news for my back.