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Why We Love the Slug!

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Why do we need slugs?

Quite simply slugs perform a couple of vital roles in the natural balance of our garden and for those reasons we need to let them get on with the day job.

First of all, slugs help to decompose all that rotting vegetation that is created such as fallen leaves and dead plants. By tearing through this type of material the slugs help to compost such matter back into the soil, helping to create healthy growing conditions.

Secondly they are a vital food source for some of the most splendid and endangered wildlife in the country. Numerous birds, hedgehogs, frogs and so many more see slugs as a nice treat. When all we hear is the continual fall in number of so many of these creatures its vital we do what we can to support them.

What can we do?

It seems everyone wants to kill the slug, and usually in the most inhumane ways possible. No, instead we would recommend managing the slug population. There’s no reason why you can’t have a stunning garden in full bloom where slugs are kept alive at a distance. By reserving part of your garden with damp rotten vegetation slugs will be attracted and leave other plants alone. Picking them up by hand and moving them once you see them won’t harm you or the slug

The beautiful (okay, ugly) little friend of ours, helping to keep gardens in full bloom and supporting the wildlife. Give the slugs a pat on the back.

Grazers G2 – Slugs and Snails

We think Grazers has appeal for both garden lovers who do not want their plants ravaged by slugs and the environmentalists who abhor chemical damage to the environment and its balance. It will give these people satisfaction and huge peace of mind to be able to think that they are spraying plants with a safe nutritious product that is effective against damage while leaving the molluscs as a safe food source for garden wildlife

Check out Grazers G2 Formula. From just £6.99

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Spring application guide on farm

20160417_162800_resizedThe image on the right shows an ideal growth stage to apply Grazers against rabbit or pigeon damage. In this instnce its spring barley but the same applies in the autumn whether it is wheat, barley or oil seed rape.

Its easy to presume that you are wasting product because there is more soil than leaf, but rest assured this early stage is the building block of life for the plant and this is when it is most actively taking in product – Grazers is designed to work at its optimum on the young actively growing plant and whatever hits the leaf gets too work!

As autumn sown crops come out of winter and soil temperatures are on the rise, it is also an ideal time to spray with Grazers if they are being eaten back by pests – Crops only need a couple of weeks break at this stage to grow out of danger.

Rabbits and pigeon like to feed when there is clear space between the plants,  once the leaves have met across the rows, or crops have grown above easy munching height they are generally out of danger.

Remember it helps to add a non ionic surfactant (inert wetter) particularly with waxy plants eg oil seed rape (canola).

Our spring promotion on grower packs (4ha and 20ha) continues until end July 2016 and is available at all major Agchem distributors or from Grazers online 

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The Rise of the Hedgehog in 2016

Did you know it is Hedgehog Awareness Week 2016 from the 1st to the 7th May? Hedgehogs are a well-loved species here in the UK, yet the population has reportedly dropped by 99.97% since the 1950s, motivating campaigners to petition for them to be protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

 

Hedgehogs – Nature’s own pesticide

 

Campaigners have also been calling for Parliament to ban the use of certain pesticides and chemicals in the garden that can cause hedgehogs to have a slow and very cruel death, most notably the use of metaldehyde in slug pellets. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that hedgehogs are in fact one of nature’s own best pesticides. They get their name from the fact that they forage in hedgerows and other wild places for mice, frogs, snails, slugs and all kinds of insects. They are also one of the few creatures that are immune to snake venom, and therefore smaller snakes are a part of their diet.

 

Look Out for the Hedgehogs

 

As spring unfolds, one of the ways you can help preserve the lives of hedgehogs is by being aware that even if you can’t see them, they could be around when you are working in the garden with machinery or tools such as strimmers, cutting machines, spades or forks.

 

Are the Hedgehogs Hiding in your Garden?

 

Creating a safe space for hedgehogs in your garden can be as simple as making sure you check everywhere within the area in which you are working to ensure that they will not be accidentally harmed – for example, if you decide to make a fire out of garden rubbish, it is a good idea to move it from one site to another to make sure any hedgehogs that might be taking shelter in there have had chance to escape. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, hunting at night and tending to curl up and sleep during the day in sheltered places where they are often camouflaged by leaves, roots and soil.

 

Understanding that they love undergrowth and wild spaces also helps us to be judicious about disturbing this type of habitat before using garden tools in areas such as piles of leaves or compost where hedgehogs may be hidden.

 

Please don’t let them get Trapped!!

 

Considering ways in which hedgehogs could be in danger of falling or getting trapped is another way you can help their plight. The Hedgehog Preservation Society advise a 13cm x 13cm gap in walls, fences or netting, and also ensuring that manhole covers, drains and basement windows are closed at night and that ponds and pools have an easy exit.

 

What should you do if you find a troubled Hedgehog?

 

So, what should you do if you do happen to find an injured or sick hedgehog or an isolated hoglet (baby hedgehog) in your garden? If a hedgehog is wandering around during the day it is likely that it could be in some kind of trouble, even if it is not possible to spot the signs yet, so it is always worth erring on the side of caution. The first thing to do is to find a box deep enough that the hedgehog will not escape, and to ensure you are wearing thick gardening gloves to avoid getting spiked by its quills if you pick it up. Line the box with newspaper, ensure there is adequate ventilation holes in the box for the hedgehog to breathe and if the hedgehog is cold, place a hot water bottle or heat pad inside the box with it. Next, take it to the nearest vet, animal rescue or dedicated hedgehog rescue centre for assistance.

 

What if you find the whole family?

 

If there is a nest of hoglets and a mother hedgehog in distress, the babies should be put in a separate box from their mother as it is possible the mother could kill them for their own safety if she is experiencing anxiety and feeling under threat. They will be reintroduced to each other as soon as they have been checked over.

 

Please note that unfortunately, the new domestic breeds of hedgehogs that are becoming popular are completely unable to survive in the wild, and if they have escaped or been abandoned it is therefore important that they are not released back into the wild. It is possible to differentiate between domestic and wild hedgehogs by their colouring, which is usually a lot paler, and sometimes they have pink eyes or larger ears than indigenous breeds.

 

Why not commit to helping hedgehogs for Hedgehog Awareness Week, and remember that using chemical free pesticides is one of the best ways you can help preserve one of our favourite British animals this year.

 

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Farm Spring 2016 Promotion

We are pleased to announce our Spring Promotion on GRAZERS  grower size packs from 11th April 2016 until 31st July 2016.

 

GRAZERS 1 litre (4ha pack) promotion £100 +VAT  now £80+VAT  (price per ha £20 0r £8 per acre)

GRAZERS  5 litre (20ha pack) promotion £350 +VAT  now £250+VAT  (price per ha £12.50 or £5 per acre)

offer ends 31/7/16.

 

Spring Promotion 2016

 

During this promotion we will be releasing trial data and case studies (available on request).

New trials are ongoing regarding tank mixing this spring and new product trials are also proceeding.

This promotion is available throughout our normal farm distributor network (see website) and available to all online.

We wish you all a successful growing season!

Kind regards

The team at Grazers