Edible gardener Mark Diacono: These animals are impossibly cute so to get rid of moles is even more of an unsavoury undertaking than it might be. In any event, trying to get rid of moles may prove a futile, as well as an unpleasant exercise because they travel about using a network of semi-permanent tunnels deep underground. They dig shallower channels nearer to the surface when they search for food.
There is almost certainly another mole to take the place of any you kill, so learn to live with the occasional visitation if you can. Take advantage of the spoil of perfectly sifted topsoil they leave on the surface because makes a good base for potting compost. I simply add sand and perhaps a little coir or something similar.
Biodynamic gardener Tom Petherick: Moles are fond of earthworms so fertile soil is therefore bound to attract the little furry creatures. Bonuses to having them include increased drainage, especially in a clay soil. Keep the soil from the mole hills so you can use it for potting on young plants.
Moles have an acute sense of smell, so the best way to get rid of moles is to put something down the tunnel that smells bad and is preferably biodegradable. With this in mind, I have had success with very old cheese and wisps of dried grass soaked in over-fermented yoghurt or sour milk. Likewise, noise is also not great for moles, so you could try a loud radio in the run. And finally you could ask them to go and live somewhere else. Simple but very effective, as long as it’s done with feeling.
TV gardener and nurseryman Toby Buckland: I swear by the traditional mole traps but there are now humane traps available. You need to make sure you check these at least daily because moles feed regularly and will starve
In a world being reshaped by climate change, gardeners are increasingly asking themselves what can be done to counter the destructive effects of extreme weather events. The answer, as we’re discovering, is to take a nature-friendly approach that supports and nurtures resilience.
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London pride (Saxifraga x urbium) is a low-growing evergreen perennial, a hybrid between Spanish Saxifraga umbrosa and Irish Saxifraga spathularis. Once a great garden favourite, London pride plant is hardy and looks good all year round, forming spreading clumps of leafy rosettes made up of spoon-shaped, fleshy, mid-green leaves. In summer masses of small, pink-flushed white flowers are borne on slender stems of around 30cm in height, lasting for up to three months. London Pride thrives in most soils and situations and is especially useful for shady sites. It’s an undemanding and versatile perennial that has fallen from fashion but is a worthwhile garden plant, being easy to grow, yet not invasive. Called London pride because it flourished on bombed sites in the city during the Second World War, it’s even the subject of a song by playwright and composer Noel Coward, whose song titled ‘London Pride’ was popular at the time.
Try these fast-growing microgreens that are ready in just a few days: Radish (5-7 days), Cress (5-8 days), Arugula (7-10 days), Sunflower (8-10 days), Pea Shoots (7-10 days), Mizuna (8-10 days), Mustard (7-10 days), Beet (7-10 days), Kale (8-10 days), and Broccoli (10-12 days). Just plant them in shallow containers, mist regularly, and harvest when true leaves appear. More tips below!
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Happy 2024! We’re back and ready for another great year of growing fruit and veggies! We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year.
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GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Columnar or Fastigiate trees
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