What to do about badgers in your garden?

What to do about badgers in your garden?

Many of us met our first badger in a bed-time story, whether it was the kindly and wise Mr Badger from The Wind and the Willows, Fantastic Mr Fox’s legal-minded Clive Badger Esq. or The Chronicles of Narnia’s loyal Trufflehunter. But anyone who’s woken to find their bins knocked over and holes dug in their lawn by badgers in search of supper may have a less rosy view. Badgers and their dwellings (setts) are protected by law, but there are some steps you can take to protect your garden.

 

Badger habits

Badgers are nocturnal mammals, sleeping by day and coming out to hunt and forage at night. They live in groups known as clans and make their homes in underground burrows called setts. Generations of badgers will use the same sett, extending it as needed, so some setts can grow very large. If you suspect there’s a sett in your garden, the Badgers Trust can provide advice on what to do.

But most badgers seen in gardens are just looking for a good meal, and that meal usually involves earthworms. Lots of earthworms, in fact – badgers can eat several hundred in a night. They also eat fruit, birds’ eggs and occasionally even small mammals. They dig holes in lawns to root out worms and in beds to get at bulbs, and they’ll happily steal carrots and sweetcorn from vegetable plots.

 

How to stop badgers digging up your garden

To stop badgers damaging your garden, the first step is to remove food sources. Don’t leave out pet food dishes containing uneaten food, avoid filling bird feeders with peanuts and make sure food recycling bins are secure.

Keep your lawn healthy by aerating it twice a year, spiking holes in the lawn at regular intervals with a garden fork or a hollow tine aerator. This helps to reduce compaction and improve drainage, allowing the grass to build up a strong root structure and making it harder for badgers to dig up worms. Peg chicken wire down on the soil above new bulb plantings or over newly lain turf.

 

Feeding badgers

If you like seeing badgers in your garden and you can live with the damage, leaving a small amount of food may distract them from eating your favourite plants. What to feed badgers:

  • Fruit
  • Raw (unsalted) peanuts
  • Dried dog food
  • Mealworms
  • Unsalted, sugarfree peanut butter

Leave small amounts of food now and then as a treat – a handful of food per badger is a good rule of thumb and means the badgers are less likely to start relying on you as a food source. Remember to leave fresh water, and if you’re putting out dry food, leave some soft, moist fruit such as grapes as well.

If your garden is suffering after a visit from the badgers, visit our garden centre for help and advice on lawn care and repair as well as all your other garden queries.

You might also be interested in:

Create a special something for Mother’s Day

The one day of the year we celebrate Mothers everywhere, will soon be here and it’s a day to recognise, appreciate and thank the special lady in our life. You could go for an exclusive meal or a girls day at the spa but nothing is more appreciated than a handmade gift for Mum. There is something special about the time and effort spent on a gift made at home and you won’t be short of ideas if you read on…

Read more...
Home trend: Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes are a great way to help create bright and modern interiors. If used well, they can give a perfect balance with interesting fabrics and accessories, adding a harmonious touch to home interiors. The modern edges of geometry provide a contemporary touch and it’s becoming more popular all across the world. But how to use geometric shapes in your home and how do to involve plants in the design style? Have a read through these ideas to get you started! 

Read more...
What can we learn from Piet Oudolf?

There is a lot about planting and garden design that we can learn from Piet Oudolf, his romantic and naturalistic approach to planting large landscapes is special and different to many other designers, which is why he is so influential in the industry. His style can be replicated in any size garden with some tweaks here and there for size but the natural drama and colour he creates for all year interest is second to none. Take a look at some of his work in places such as The Millennium Garden at Pensthorpe Natural Park to Battery Park in New York, also the High Line in New York to County Cork Garden in Ireland. So what can we learn from Piet Oudolf?

Read more...
3 ways you can join Garden Re-leaf Day

Greenfingers Charity Garden Re-Leaf Day is a popular event which is held annually and helps to raise much-needed funds to transform the lives of children spending time in hospices across the country. The magical gardens created at these hospices bring much-needed respite and joy to children and their families lives. This year is the eighth Garden Re-Leaf Day on Friday 22nd March 2019 and there are many ways you can get involved from organising walks, cycling challenges along with quiz nights, raffles and cake sales. Here are a few ideas! 

Read more...
Source: Green Fingers Charity