There be three Badgers on a mossy stone Beside a dark and covered way: Each dreams himself a monarch on his throne, And so they stay and stay
- Lewis Carroll
… and stay to eat your spring bulbs! What can you do to stop your spring garden from disappearing before your bulbs have barely even had a chance to settle in the soil?
Even though they may wreck your carefully planted bulbs, remember that badgers are a protected species. And with good reason! They are excellent home builders and their burrows or setts can survive for centuries, housing several generations. Badgers are very house-proud too! They won’t bring food inside or use any part of it as a toilet. They will repeatedly change their bedding to prevent the build-up of fleas and lice. Not only that, but they are a bit of a cultural icon too, featuring in the Beatrix Potter stories, ‘The Wind in The Willows’ and even made it as the symbol of Hufflepuff house from the Harry Potter series!
But they do love a bulb or two! Here are some ways that might deter them:
One of the best options to stop badgers digging is to get some thick wire grid (e.g. weld mesh from a builders’ yard), cut it to size and place just beneath the soil surface. Plants will grow through the grid, but the badgers cannot dig through it and it can be removed for weeding and composting.
Similarly, put branches of prickly holly all over the surface of a bed planted with tulips. May help to keep the paws away, but when the tulips shoot up, the holly will have to be removed.
You could try an ultrasonic animal deterrent device. These use strong ultrasonic dual signals which frighten animals and ensure they do not get used to the sound due to the intermittent signals it sends out when activated. These signals, coupled with the strong flashing light, may be enough to make any pest running for cover.
Get some help from a friend! Human male pee can deter and will put off badgers as they are very territorial. Dilute it with water in a 1:4 ratio and use a sprayer or a water can to apply. (This way it will smell less and it will still serve the purpose). Although heavy rain may wash it away.
Scotch bonnet chilli peppers might do the trick too. Badgers don’t see very well, so they are reliant on their sense of smell. If they detect something as irritating to the nose as these chilli peppers, they will have no choice but to retreat. Crush the peppers until fine and sprinkle them at where you think the badgers are entering or around the boundary. (Be careful though, these peppers are VERY hot, so don’t touch your face after handling them). Again, rain or heavy winds may wash or blow the peppers away.
To prevent other animals, like rodents or deer from snacking on your bulbs, consider our animal-resistant varieties. You can find them on our website by applying the Animal Resistant filter under Special Features or by clicking here.
Most perennial plants benefit from being divided every two or three years.
Get started by loosening the roots with a garden fork. Gently work the plants out of the ground and shake off excess soil. Perennials form different types of root. Heuchera and Hosta for example are fibrous and pull apart with a little gentle tension.
Now is the time to think about lifting and dividing those overcrowded clumps of snowdrops as it is always best to do so as the foliage is just starting to die back. If you can, remove any spent flowers or seed pods to give the bulbs the best chance of developing and flowering the following year.
Use a fork and dig deep underneath
We know there’s a mind-boggling array of bulbs and plants available on our website. It’s what we’re famous for! To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, we’ve added filters to our category pages so you can go straight to the products you are after. In this simple “how to” guide, we show
With a little knowledge and effort, we can cheat nature and bring some much needed spring colour into our homes in the depths of winter.
Forcing bulbs is easy! You will need:
A selection of containers such as bowls, jam jars or small plant pots.
A selection of spring bulbs - we like to use crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils (especially miniature ones
As we've all seen in the news, bees are under threat from a loss of habitat and certain pesticides. We can help to reverse their decline by planting their favourite plants in our gardens. According to a study by Sussex University the best plants can attract up to 100 times as many insects as the worst ones. Choose carefully and you can have a
Dahlias will grow in most soil types but are best planted in fertile, well-drained soil. Plant them outside from the end of April after the chance of frost has gone. Ensure they are in a spot that receives full sun and plant around 15cm deep adding well-rotted organic matter.