Pest Control, Spiders

Under Siege from Spiders in September?

Now that we’re into September, there’s no use denying that the dreaded spider season is once again upon us, when our 8 legged friends descend upon our homes to escape the cold outside. Over the last week or so alone I’ve had to catch about 5 of the things, and they just seem to be getting bigger and bigger! Luckily there are now a number of different ways to help protect against these invaders.

If you’re looking for something a bit less up close and personal than the classic cup + paper technique, you could try out a spider catcher, or spider vacuum, which won’t hurt the spider, but more importantly keeps the thing at arms length! These little contraptions are great to have ready to hand, and can also be used for hoovering up any other unwanted house-guests you may come across.

However, this still may be too close for comfort for some people (myself included!), and so there are also a number of defences you can put up to protect your home. Why not spray spider repellent around window frames and other entrances to create a natural barrier that is environmentally friendly and won’t harm the creatures. Or if you have a real infestation of spiders and other creepy crawlies, you can clear the whole area in one go with a smoke fumigator – perfect for attics and garages, although maybe a little heavy duty for most cases!

Perhaps the most effective way to guarantee whole-house protection is to opt for an ultrasonic spider repeller. This device works in two ways to help clear your house of spiders, and stop them coming back! It uses ultrasonic sound waves thought to be extremely uncomfortable for spiders and other crawling insects to drive them from your home; kind of like nails scraping on a chalkboard constantly. It also uses electromagnetic waves that turn the wiring of your home into one giant repeller- anywhere near a wire will be protected! Sounds perfect no? It is thought electromagneticism affects their nervous system, making them flee your home. Additionally, you can also get smaller, battery-powered repellers – perfect for greenhouses, sheds, attics etc.

So, you no longer need to live in fear of the 8 legged freaks! Take back control of your home, and enjoy a stress-free, spider-free Autumn.

Gardening, How To

Allotment and Garden Advice for August

August is a busy month for gardeners – the majority of the time in my garden has been spent watering! In most areas of the UK we’ve actually had a fair bit of sunshine this summer, which is marvellous for sunbathing but hard work for gardeners!

On the plus side, tomato blight seems to be thankfully absent this year – the warm dry weather is to thank for that. However we have had some short, intense periods of rain which have been fantastic for the plants, and also for the weeds!

If you are finding you are running out of space to compost the spoils of your weeding escapades, it may be time to invest in a compost bin! If you already have a bin, a compost rotation system involving two or more compost bins can be a very valuable addition to a well functioning and efficient garden. This system works by filling up one bin whilst the other gets busy composting. You can then empty one whilst the other is composting – fantastic!

Those of you who have been growing your own potatoes, broad beans and other veg will find that you have a constant supply of peelings and shells finding their way to the compost from the kitchen – we’ve found some fantastic compost caddies which can store uncooked kitchen food waste – especially useful when winter approaches and we all feel less inclined to visit the garden!

Sail Shades, TV

Kookaburra Sail Shades on ITV!

Alan Titchmarch recently demonstrated how sail shades can help transform an unattractive part of your garden into a modern, shaded sitting area.

Kookaburra Sail Shades

Using one of Primrose’s Kookaburra sail shades, he turned a neglected corner of the garden into a lovely secluded area to relax and unwind. He put up the sail in less than an hour, with the help of the home-owner, demonstrating how quick and simple these things are to get set up.

You can catch up with Alan on his programme “Love Your Garden” through the ITV website HERE (only available until Aug 14), and if you just want to jump to the relevant bits, then skip to 11:10 to 15:05, and 18:40 to 19:30 to see this amazing product in action!

Awnings, Gazebos, Sail Shades

Shelter in the Garden

Well, after all that lovely hot weather we had in spring, the summer so far has been a bit disappointing! Sometimes hot, sometimes fresh, often humid – we’ve even had thunderstorms!

However, even though it hasn’t quite been the summer we might have hoped for, there’s still no reason why you shouldn’t continue to enjoy your garden. Whether the sun is shining intensely or the odd droplet of water is falling, if you still fancy some fresh air, what you really need is some shade or shelter to offer a bit of protection from the elements – and there are lots of options to choose from!

One of the most cost-effective options and also one of the most flexible are shade sails. These are waterproof canvases that also protect against UV rays that you can set up anywhere in your garden – all you have to do is attach each corner to a pole, post or tree, making sure it is at the correct angle and covering the required area. As soon as it’s up, you can start relaxing underneath its protection!

An alternative to a shade sail is to invest in an awning. These naturally attach to the wall of your home so don’t have quite as much flexibility as a sail shade which doesn’t have to be placed against your house. However, awnings are very robust and long-lasting, look great and are perfect for providing shelter over a patio area.

Of course, awnings and shade sails only provide overhead shelter. For a different look and more all-round shelter, you may like to consider a small garden house or a gazebo. Often made of wood such as willow or hazel, gazebos will naturally blend in to your garden while creating an attractive spot for relaxation. Large enough to hold some garden furniture such as a few garden chairs and a table, a gazebo can offer some respite from the hot sun as well as greater privacy than an awning or shade sail.

The main point to check, however, is whether the gazebo is waterproof. While the fabric used for awnings and shade sails is waterproof, some wooden gazebos may have small gaps between the woven wood which could allow rain water to pass through.