Feed and Weed for Lawn?
16th April 2019 at 8:39 pm #14589
I’m fairly new at Hedgehog spotting (since a trail cam Christmas pressie) but I can confirm I definitely have 4 different hoggies and am feeding and watering them regularly now. Previous years I have always treated my lawn with feed and weed and would like to know if this is still okay or a definite no no. The last thing I want to do is harm my new spiky friends.16th April 2019 at 10:31 pm #14595
Hi Emmadale, i don’t use chemicals in my garden on anything, especially the grass. Like you having hedgehogs coming in to feed i don’t want to harm them. I have stopped cutting my grass short and now leave it at around two inches, maybe a bit shorter. Lots of insects get into the grass if not to short. My grass is full of weeds but it has to stay that way. At least i don’t let them flower and scatter their seeds around. In fact hedgehogs prefer an untidy garden.17th April 2019 at 7:47 am #14598
When I moved into this house the lawns were truly dreadful & full of perennial weeds; chems were a must to make any progress at all …… then I discovered hedgehogs! I do still use weed & feed but am very fussy about when I’ll use it – during hog season I’ll only use it if it’s going to rain before the hedgehogs get up in which case it’s fine, it becomes harmless once properly wet and the smell is gone.
We were lucky this year because the grass started growing before the hogs emerged from hibernation so I got it done early enough to not worry. Some years it can be very frustrating waiting for the right day with late afternoon rain which may never come!17th April 2019 at 3:27 pm #14627
I agree with William – best not to use any chemicals on the lawn. If you are fussy about weeds it is quite easy to dig them out and the gap left soon fills in with grass again – or you can just add a small amount of grass-seed and possibly compost. But as well as the effect of the actual chemical on the hogs, I have heard that they discourage earthworms – a source of food for hogs. Personally, I think it’s counterproductive. I have never used chemicals on my lawn and have been complimented on it in the past. As well as being food for hogs, earthworms are good for a healthy lawn.
Where I don’t agree, is that a garden has to be untidy to be good and/or attractive to hedgehogs. You can still keep it reasonably tidy if you want to. The main thing is to include wildlife and hedgehog friendly features. i.e. woodpiles, to attract beetles, etc. But these can be kept tidily if wished. A wild flower patch is also good. I have found that the hogs don’t actually like the grass to get too long for actual foraging on, but not too short either. Longer margins or areas, can provide homes for insects, and the hogs can forage around them.
Please avoid strimming or at the very least check areas very carefully before strimming and even mowing. Hedgehogs can get horrific injuries from garden machinery. Their natural instinct is to roll up rather than run away. I had a poor hog a couple of years ago who had such a bad injury that he had to be put to sleep. Although he was so badly injured, he had, somehow, managed to make his way to my garden. I will never forget those shining eyes looking at me from what had once been a beautiful hedgehog as if to say ‘what has someone done to me’. A few days ago another hog (who I have been watching since hoglethood and who didn’t hibernate over winter so I know it well) was found to have had a strimmer injury as well. This one is receiving treatment but no hog wants to be confined – they need to be free. I won’t use a strimmer in my garden, they are so dangerous not only to hogs, but to other wildlife, such as amphibians and reptiles.
Good luck with the hogs there. I hope they all do well, and maybe, later on have some hoglets.19th November 2019 at 11:49 pm #19899
Old post and bit out of season now, but I love pulling up weeds, get so much satisfaction when I get the full root out – my favourite is Japanese balsam bashing – our local areas often advertise Balsam bashing days – I’d be at my hearts content on a massive field with millions of Balsam, and pulling it out of the roots.
If you don’t know what I mean, have a go – you will understand!22nd November 2019 at 12:02 am #19937
Hi Hedgie Lover, some residents have that balsam here and were told to bash it and stamp on it and said its made not a bit of difference! You may be interested to know, they have found a rust that attacks the balsam and eradicates it completely. It attacks nothing else, so other plants are safe. It may take a while before it’s available though, it’s only just been found to work. Best wishes.23rd November 2019 at 12:49 am #19959
It’s a non-native very invasive weed – it does look pretty for a weed though – but there’s tons of it, especially around water –
I pull it out when when I’m out with the conservation team, as part as one of our jobs – council pays for us to do that, I’d that probably, as it’s cheaper, to use it the traditional way of pulling it out and stamping on it. Can’t imagine the council will spend money on a treatment – but would be okay to use in your own garden, I haven’t got a problem with weeds in my garden, just the odd dandelion. I don’t mind weeds, but is just a problem if they are invasive.
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