Frequently Asked Questions

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Your Questions Answered

This Frequently Asked Questions page is for the garden community.

Like thousands of people in the UK, gardening is not just a pastime it is a passion for most. If you’re just starting out or are a seasoned gardener their is always something new and interesting to learn. 

Probably you have lots of questions – What is? How do I? Where will? When can I? What is the Best?  Well, you’re in the right place. This is why we created our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. Hopefully, you’ll find some of the answers below!

Linking Frequently Asked Questions to Posts

Where we can we link a FAQ answer to one of our posts or if it’s a short enough answer we will give you the answer right here below.

Have a question that’s not listed?

Send us your questions via our contact us page and we’ll try and get you an answer and add it to our FAQ.

Garden Junkie:- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Garden Storage

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

A deck box is an outdoor storage box rated to withstand the rigours of the elements. These deck box containers are used for safely storing and containing outside clutter of a whole host of garden and patio equipment.

Deck boxes are often doubled up and used as extra garden seating or tabletop.

You can find out more details about the astonishing garden deck box in our post.

PE Rattan is a synthetic ‘rattan’ made from polythene. PE Rattan has many advantages over a natural rattan (wicker) for instance, it has great strength and durability.

Garden furniture made from PE rattan will withstand all that the outdoor elements can throw at it without the need for a furniture cover.

PE Rattan is similar to natural rattan, otherwise known as wicker. Natural rattan requires much more maintenance and care however. Garden furniture for instance, would require ‘covering’ if it was made from natural rattan. If not kept dry, natural rattan would eventually rot.

Sold Secure is a UK-based organisation that will certify locks to help consumers compare the security levels between different types and brands.

The company tests them with a wide range of tools, including some that try to defeat each lock individually in order for it to be classified into one of four categories:

Bronze (extremely difficult), Silver (moderately hard ) and Gold or Diamond depending on how long it takes for them to crack your particular product!

In 2020 they’ve added yet another level – platinum

Garden Design

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

To attract the broadest range of wildlife to a pond is not difficult. It’s very much ‘build it and they will come’ By planting correctly, creating deep and shallow areas and boggy mudflats, things like water beetles, frogs, pond skaters and dragonflies will populate your pond naturally. Check out our post ‘How to Build a Large  Wildlife Pond‘ which provides all the information required in building and planting a wildlife pond in your own garden.

Garden Ideas

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

Based on the size of your parasol it is recommended that a rough base weight to parasol size is calculated. See below table for the rule of thumb.

If you have a small parasol (2-2.5m) which is placed in the central hole of a patio table, normally about 38mm in diameter, then a base weight between 9-15kg should be sufficient to hold the parasol in place. For many larger parasols that are free-standing, say behind sun loungers or are used to shade other large outdoor areas, a minimum 30-40kg base will be needed to keep the parasol secure.

We have an in depth review of several overhanging cantilever parasols, where we detail the parasol,  size and base weight recommended for each.

With the above is in mind though the recommendations are:-

Base WeightParasol Size
9kg-12kg2m
12kg-15kg

2m – 2.3m

15kg-20kg

2.5m – 2.7m

20kg-30kg

3m & 3m x 2m

30kg-50kg3m x 4m
50kg+4m+

Generally, without going into the physics of light energy, namely reflection, absorption and transference, lighter colours ‘reflect’ the heat better than darker colours which tend to absorb heat.

An ‘opaque’ light colour parasol would, therefore, would be an ideal colour to choose.

More importantly, though, a parasol with a 30+ UV rating, irrespective of colour should be a priority when choosing a parasol for protection against the suns harmful rays.

These days with respect to garden shade, a garden parasol and a garden umbrella are often interchangeable when in a discussion.

The main difference between a parasol and an umbrella is that traditionally when protecting oneself from rain, we use an umbrella. We use a parasol when protecting ourselves from sunlight.

 

Yes, you can make a compost bin out of wood. One of the best materials to use for a compost bin is wood.

However, make sure that you get ‘treated wood’ or use a good brush on wood treatment so the wood does not become susceptible or vulnerable to fungal disease or rot, or the prevailing weather conditions such as heavy rain!

Many people turn old ‘wooden pallets’ into their own wooden composter.

 

Yes, a wooden compost bin does ideally require a purpose-made lid. The reason is that it helps speed up the growth of aerobic bacteria inside your compost heap and prevents your compost from turning into a ‘slimy mush’, due to, to much moisture accumulating in the decomposing organic material from rain and or other adverse weather conditions.

However, if your wooden compost bin does not have a lid there are other effective means by which you can easily cover over your compost heap.

See ‘how to make a compost heap easily’

Fruit & Vegetables

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

Potatoes are one of the easiest of vegetables to grow in a bag or container. Many people grow things in pots due to the restrictions of their own garden or backyard. All you need are seed potatoes, compost, fertiliser and bag.

We have written a full easy to follow ‘How to Grow Potatoes in a Bag | 4 Easy Steps’ guide for you.

The F1 hybrid (Filial 1) is a term used in genetics and selective breeding. The first filial generation seed or plant will be the result of cross-mating distinctly different parental types, such as plants with two distinct species to produce new varieties that have not yet been seen before.

See How to Grow Cucumbers (variety BellaF1)

Outdoor Living

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.
When you BBQ you do not grill food over hot coals or as some put it ‘hot and fast’ this method of cooking food is generally called grilling.
 
When you BBQ correctly, its a process where the food is cooked with indirect heat at a temperature, usually below 200 degrees, and over a long period or ‘low and slow’ as is often the term in barbecuing and smoking circles.
 
‘Smoking’:- Using a ‘smoker’ means cooking something with ‘smoke’ (also known as low and slow) so it is, in fact, a barbecuing process in itself.
 
By introducing ‘smoke’ at these low temperatures and long cooking times, helps large, often tough cuts of meat turn tender, and reveal their full ‘smoked’ flavours.
 
We have put together a beginners guide to the barbecue smoker, which we hope will explain further about smoking and smokers
Generally there are 8 types of smokers used today. All use a variety of fuels, including charcoal, wood, electricity, gas, and pellets
 

1. Vertical Water Smoker

2. Horizontal Offset Smokers

3. Box Smokers

4. Electric Smokers

5. Drum Smokers

6. Smoker Ovens

7. Kamado Grills

8. Pellet Grills

We have reviewed 7 of the best barbecue smokers in the UK market. Check the popular choices and see what barbecue smoker is right for you.

It should be stated, there are no laws against the creation of fires generally in your garden. Problems arise though when the fire created causes a nuisance. Fire laws in the UK are overall very lenient, even in ‘smoke controlled’ areas. Fires in these areas are also generally allowed in most cases

A few important government guidelines for those wanting to make a fire in their garden

  • You should not cause a regular nuisance to your neighbours.
  • You should avoid building fires close to buildings or boundary fences
  • You should avoid burning wet wood and or green leaves that produce a lot of smoke.

These guidelines should not really affect those simply wanting to create a firepit for the garden.

The advice and guidance given above is more geared towards those burning household waste or garden waste, like leaves and sticks in their gardens.

A quick word of warning though, if you ignore this simple government guidance,  then your neighbours are within their rights to lodge a complaint with the council, who may issue you with what is known as an ‘abatement notice’. Break that and you could face a serious fine of up to £5,000.

There are however a couple of specific rules/laws relating to outdoor fires the public should be aware of, the breaking of which can land you in some serious hot water.

  1. You cannot allow smoke from your fire to drift over public roads where it could impede visibility.
  2. You cannot burn anything that generates dangerous fumes. This includes plastics, flammable liquids like paint or oil, or any container that may have contained chemicals.

I advise all those looking to have a fire of any sort on their property, to consult the government website https://www.gov.uk/garden-bonfires-rules for further perhaps updated information on this subject.

As mentioned in my post, Best 5 Fire Pits For The Garden, fuels that are generally used in domestic garden fire pits today have different calorific values.  The calorific value or properties of a ‘fuel’ is the amount of energy/heat produced by a single unit of that fuel on its combustion with oxygen and is expressed in Kilojoules per Kilogram (of fuel) and or British Thermal Units per Pound (of fuel)

You will see from the general guide/table below that ‘Natural Gas’  has the highest energy output per kilogram/pound of fuel and wood, which many people burn in their fire pits is the least efficient with respect to fuel input and energy output.

Fuel

Kilojoules per Kilogram (kJ/kg)

British Thermal Units per Pound (Btu/lb)

Dry Wood

17,500

16,590

Charcoal

31,000

29,000

Propane

50,000

47,000

Natural Gas

53,000

51,000

Bio-Ethanol

29,000

27,000

Gel

23,000

22,000

There are a couple of factors that go towards answering the question “What Fire Pit Gives Off The Most Heat”

  1. The efficiency of the fuel used.
  2. The radiant heat from the firepit itself.

The key to heating effectively outside is for the heat source (fuel) to produce constant ‘radiant’ heat and not just ‘convective’ heat (hot air, which just rises up into the sky and away).

For example, fire pits of ‘Cast Iron’ produce good ‘radiant heat’, as the heat energy emitted by the fuel is ‘absorbed’ and radiated outwards from the fire pit to the surrounding area. Just like a steel radiator in the home.

Fuels, like charcoal, coal and logs (although not the most efficient fuels to burn) combined with,  say a cast iron or steel fire pit in your garden, are a great combination to provide warmth to those sitting or standing around it.

Check out the post Best 5 Fire Pits for the Garden

Gardening

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

We find in today’s digital weather stations for the home, most of the external sensors are ‘clubbed’ together in a single 5-1 sensor array. So, it’s challenging to place one single unit, usually encompassing 5 different sensors, Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed/Direction and Rain Gauge, all in one optimal spot.

The measuring sensors listed below are the main ‘conditions’ measured in today’s home weather stations. Other types of specialised sensors may need to be placed in other locations and environments more suitable for measuring specific data.

However, where should a weather station sensor be placed? Here are some practical guidelines to follow in placing your external sensor/s to help achieve the most accurate results possible.

  1. Outdoor Temperature/Humidity
  • Temperature Sensors – Sited on level ground, ideally north-facing, the main consideration with a temperature sensor, is that it must be shielded from the sun at all costs for accurate data to be provided. This is normally accomplished with a ventilated ‘radiation shield’ which comes as part of and provided by, the manufacture of the weather station, if not, try and make something yourself or place your sensor in a shaded area.
  • Temperature sensors – Should also be placed no less than 2m or (6ft) above the ground and it is particularly important that you place them away from walls, pavements, concrete, or tarmac to avoid ‘radiated heat’ from these types of surfaces.  In conjunction with the height requirements, try and keep a horizontal distance of 2 x the distance from the nearest tallest object like a bush, or tree. For example, a 5m (16ft) tree, try and keep a 10m (32ft) horizontal distance away.
  • Humidity Sensors – With today’s home weather stations, external sensors are generally ‘fitted’ and come as one-unit (array). This means the ‘humidity’ sensor is in close proximity to the temperature sensor.  Humidity sensors work reasonably well if you can place the temperature sensor as described above. No additional measure, therefore, needs to be taken with the humidity sensor.
  1. Outdoor Windspeed/Direction
  • Optimally to measure wind speed (Anemometer) and direction (Wind Vane) you need to mount your anemometer and wind vane as high as possible to ensure clear wind or airflow. This is generally considered to be a height of around 10 m (33ft). Which as we know is not always practical, especially in an urban setting.

So, mount your unit as high as practicable possible to improve accuracy, and far away from any surrounding structures that may influence the airflow. In addition, try to locate your anemometer/wind vane on the prevailing side, which is usually the SW in the UK.

  1. Rain
  • Your rain gauge needs to be mounted securely on firm, level ground. This will ensure you get your best accurate results. Gauges are fixed generally on a pole together with other sensors, but your rain gauge should not suffer any movement during high winds as precipitation (rain) collected may be affected and provide false readings.

There are international heights recommended for rain gauge heights above any ground-level these are between 50-150cm. However, in the UK a suggested height of just 30cm will bring you in line with other rain gauge site across the country.

At this height, you should avoid any debris blowing into or affecting your rain gauge.

Home weather stations work through a combination of ‘external’ sensors to measure your weather data and an ‘indoor’ console or base station used as a visual display of your collected data. 

Your base station can also measure and record things like internal temperatures and humidity, but this may depend on the manufacturer/model.

There are, however, different types of sensors depend on the type of data you wish to measure and record.  For home use, these sensors generally include but are not limited to a rain gauge, temperature, and humidity sensors, wind anemometers/vanes and atmospheric pressure sensors. 

These external sensors are usually fitted into one ‘external unit’ called an ‘external sensor array’.

Types Of Sensors and What They Measure

Thermometer: A thermometer measures temperature (Inside and Out)

Hygrometer: The hygrometer measures relative humidity, which is the quantity or percentage of water vapour (water in gas form) in the air. (Inside and Out)

Barometer: Measures the atmospheric pressure.

Anemometer: The Anemometer measures how fast the wind is blowing or wind speed.

Wind Vane: It is also called weather vane. It determines which direction the wind is blowing.

Rain Gauge: A rain gauge measures rainfall or precipitation.

Transmitting

Data (readings) from the various sensors in the array are constantly measured, normally updating every 3-15 seconds (dependant on the model/manufacturer)  and transmitted wirelessly via radio signal to your base station, which is normally located somewhere in the home.

To determine a soil type using a soil texture triangle, let’s assume that after a ‘mudshake’ test you have determined your garden soil percentages for Clay, Silt and Sand are as follows:

% Sand 39 / % Silt 29 / % Clay 32 = total 100%

How to find out my soil type - Soil texture TriangleIf we take this a step further and determine what type of soil you have we have to use the soil texture triangle like the one to the right.

This may look complicated but is actually easy to use. Since the total of sand, silt and clay is 100% we only need to use 2 of these values. Let’s use silt and clay in this example.

On the left side of the triangle, you can see the % clay value going from zero % at the bottom to 100 % at the top. We said our sample test had 32 % clay, see it indicated with the ‘blue’ arrow. 
 
We then need to draw a line from that point (32%) over to How to find out my soil type - Soil texture Trianglethe silt side of the triangle on the right-hand side following the horizontal line in the texture triangle.
 
Next, we find our silt value which in our sample test was 29% which is marked on the right side of the triangle as indicated with the red arrow.  Now we draw a line from this point (29%) to the sand side of the triangle at the bottom, following the diagonal line in the texture triangle.
Now, following the lines of the
How to find out my soil type - Soil texture Triangletriangle to the point at which the red and blue lines intersect will determine our soil type. 
 
The lines have been taken away and a black arrow has been placed at the intersection. You will see in this sample the soil we have is clay loam, which is very good soil.
 
How to find out my soil type - Soil texture TriangleAnything in the centre of the triangle is good gardening soil. If your soil is near one of the corners or along the side of the triangle, it means your soil does not have enough sand or silt or clay
 
You will have to work a bit harder to grow things.
 

Do you need topsoil to lay turf? The short answer is yes!

Undertaking any landscaping project it is very important that a good foundation is made and placed correctly, ensuring you have an outdoor space that looks great all year round.

One aspect people often overlook when installing new lawns (turves) is laying down enough good quality topsoil so ‘grass plants’ can root into it easily, grass needs at least 15cm (6in) of good loamy topsoil to support growth.  For further information, check out my How to Lay Turf – 5 Easy Steps to Success

There are a few steps one should certainly follow when preparing to ‘lay turf’ in the garden for a lawn. Check out my How to Lay Turf – 5 Easy Steps to Success this will help you achieve a beautiful lawn in no time.

A grass trimmer is a common term in professional circles, but a grass strimmer can be used as well. More and more manufacturers are labelling their machines “grass trimmers/strimmers” to avoid confusion between two types of lawn care tools that do virtually identical jobs.

Fort further information on strimmers and trimmers, check out my post:  What is the best grass strimmer to buy?

A raised bed does not have to be very deep. Though I recommend at least 12- 18 in (30-45cm), it will depend on the specific plants in question and your soil’s drainage capabilities.

What we do not want is for the raised bed to dry out. If you’re growing vegetables or anything else that prefers drier soil, then 12-18 inches should do just fine!

You can find out more about raised beds and raised beds gardening by reading my post Raised Beds for Gardens – 4 Tips to Success

At the bottom of a raised garden, you should place good organic material.

Creating a raised garden bed has never been easier or popular as gardeners become more environmentally conscious.

All that is needed are materials such as grass clippings, leaves, cardboard, wood chips, straw or other organic material on the bottom of the area to be covered. 

A good mulch on top of the topsoil will help prevent ‘weeds’ while turning into rich compost for your plants!

You can find out more about raised beds and raised beds gardening by reading my post Raised Beds for Gardens – 4 Tips to Success

Can you remove Japanese knotweed yourself? The short answer is yes, but it’s not advisable.

There is a lot of legislation in the UK surrounding the removal and disposal of Japanese Knotweed.

Professional help should be sought, particularly if you are looking to sell your property sometime in the future. 

My post: Japanese Knotweed Removal provides a full in-depth look at Japanese Knotweed in the UK covering identification, removal, legislation and where and how to get professional help.

Roundup Tree Stump Weed Killer and SBM Job done Tough Weed killer as well as other weedkiller brands are all glyphosate-based herbicides that will kill troublesome weeds such as Japanese knotweed. 

However; the inclusion of weedkiller products in this post does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by Garden Junkie or any of its authors. It is simply an indication of products currently available to the home gardener.

Take a look at my in-depth post  Japanese Knotweed Removal

For full and complete information.

Japanese Knotweed is not poisonous to humans.

Its reputation precedes it, but Japanese knotweed is actually non-poisonous to humans. The plant can be a difficult and resilient enemy for property owners to combat but do not worry, the plant doesn’t have any poisonous elements!

Just as many plants on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are not poisonous either.

Their only traits seem to include being able to grow at an unbelievably rapid growth rate which may make it challenging to remove from your property. 

For further information take a look at my in-depth post  Japanese Knotweed Removal For full and complete information.

The flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium are more elongated and have auricles. The leaves differ too, with them being pointed in the former as opposed to rounded for Cyclamen coum.

Lastly, they bloom at different times; one early on and another later into autumn/winter season!

Growing hardy cyclamen outdoors is easy as long as you follow these general guidelines. Hardy cyclamen can be difficult to propagate from seed, but if planted in late summer or early autumn they will grow just fine.

It doesn’t survive where summers are hot and dry though so make sure you know the climate of your area before planting them!

Sharp blades are essential for producing a clean cut. As the parts wear down, replacing them is inevitable even with good care. However, because there are always costs involved in this process it shouldn’t happen more frequently than necessary. 

Changing of blades for your robot mower will depend on the usage of course, but with regular mower maintenance, it is advised that you should only need change your robot mower blades every 2-3 months (8-12 weeks)

A lawnmower that produces grass clippings (a mulch) that are so small and unnoticeable they will disappear back into your lawn and act as a natural fertiliser to create a healthy lawn.

Small plastic greenhouses that use polycarbonate or plastic coverings of greenhouses, provide you with better insulation than classic glass/aluminium or wooden greenhouses.

Plastic lets out less heat, thanks to its superior heat retention properties! This means an effective performance in both warmth and sound for your home garden; something that’s just as important when it comes time to grow things properly from seedlings all the way up through mature plants.

Polycarbonate is a durable material, but it needs to be treated with a UV protectant in order to prevent it from turning yellow or breaking down.

With proper care and attention, polycarbonate can last about 10 years. Polycarbonate is often used in aluminium greenhouses and smaller plastic greenhouses in lieu of glass.

All greenhouses should be anchored to a solid foundation. Some greenhouses have holes in the bottom of their bases, and some are integrated with anchors.

It is certainly recommended for a greenhouse to be anchored directly and firmly into concrete slabs or onto the earth (not recommended) using long  good fixings or ground stakes.

Any greenhouse must be attached firmly to a level surface for stability and rigidity. This is especially true if your greenhouse has a warranty agreement.

Wildlife

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

Simply put, birds do not eat bread naturally so why feed them bread.

Although bread will not ‘directly’ harm birds, bread is bad for birds due to the fact that bread does not contain the necessary and often important vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fat birds need from their diet to keep them healthy, especially in the cold winter months.

So bread simply acts as an ’empty filler’ for birds. One would be far better off feeding birds mixed birdseed, dried fruits, mealworms or other dried insects.

Monitoring your hedgehog house for a potential resident is quite simple and straight forward. 

Just place a small ‘light’ obstruction at the entrance to the hedgehog house to see whether it is ‘pushed’ away overnight. If it isn’t this is an indication that there has been no hedgehog activity. This is a simple trial and error technique but works quite well.

You can also carry this exercise out during late March/early April if you are wanting to clean out the hedgehog home after winter hibernation. However, this is not really necessary as hogs will reuse the house come autumn, if just left alone.

Putting out a bit of food will help see wild mammals through the colder weather.

So to encourage hedgehogs into your garden, leave out freshwater (NOT milk) in a shallow bowl and a small amount of cat or dog food, mixed with some crushed dog and or cat biscuits.

If you are leaving this type of food out to feed or encourage hedgehogs into your garden please make sure it is NOT a fish-based food. Alternatively, you can buy specialist hedgehog food from Amazon or perhaps your local wildlife supplier.

If food isn’t eaten overnight, remove anything that will go off and replace it with fresh offerings in the evening.

A little bit like us humans when looking for a home, its generally all about location, location, location, hedgehogs are no different. 

  • Try to leave areas of your garden ‘wild’ with piles of leaf litter and logs as these are attractive nesting sites as well as a home for the invertebrates (slugs, beetles etc..) that hedgehogs like to eat.   Placing your ‘hedgehog home’ in this type of area will be a  great advantage when encouraging visitors to take up residence.
  • Hedgehogs travel quite extensively during the night may be up to 2km. It is therefore essential you leave a small hole 13 x 13cm (5 x 5”) holes in walls or fences which will let hedgehogs through between gardens, but are too small for most pets.
  • Try creating wildlife ponds with safe ‘ramped’ side areas so hedgehogs can escape; even though hogs are good swimmers they need an escape route.
  • Put out food and water as a supplement to their natural diet.
  • Stop using chemicals, they are unnecessary in a well-managed garden. As gardeners, we use lawn treatments which reduce our worm populations. Pesticides insecticides and slug pellets are all toxic and reduce our hedgehog’s diet of those creepy-crawly things they love to eat. 

Every little thing helps to encourage hedgehogs into your garden and into a safe hedgehog house.

Choosing the best bird box camera can be a daunting task. There are many different systems out there and it’s hard to know which one is going to work best for you. My post 6 bird box cameras – A comprehensive guide will provide you with the benefits and drawbacks of some of the UK’s top birdbox cameras so that you can make your own decision about which is right for you.

Miscellaneous FAQ's

This is a question often asked but does not have a blanket answer. Much is dependant on the local authority and where you are in the UK. Different building legislation may apply. In most cases, however, but not all planning permission is not required for a domestic garden shed.

We have written a full in-depth guide to help you decide on what route needs to be taken with your local authority in the UK and why the maximum shed size has some restriction based on certain criteria.

PE (Polyethylene) is a thermoplastic polymer with an infinite number of applications. It can be found in everything from artificial Christmas tree’s and various decorations to packaging material and cling wrap, as it can be shaped into any form imaginable because its variable crystalline structure allows for flexibility while maintaining strength.

Consumer Rights Act 2015

You’re probably always aware that there are different rules for purchasing things like food, alcohol and cigarettes. But what about the more common goods you purchase? If a retailer is misleading or deceptive with their pricing information then this could be considered an unfair trading practice under Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA).

The CRA also protects your rights if they refuse to repair something after it’s broken down within 6 months of buying it – so make sure you know how long warranties last on products before committing!

The UK has legislation called the Consumer Rights Act which aims to protect consumers in almost all purchases made. 

Check out this link from consumer favourite ‘Which’  know your consumer rights

A lithium battery (Li-ion) is a type of rechargeable battery that stands head and shoulders above other batteries like (Ni-Cad) because of their ability to provide a constant stream of energy.

Lithium-ion batteries have two main benefits – they charge quickly and they discharge at an even rate, regardless if they are 100% full or 10% full.

Batteries that do not use Lithium are great when they are 100% charged, but as battery life diminishes so does the energy stream and the power fades dramatically or battery-operated tools slow down. Not with lithium batteries, they provide that even discharge rate, irrespective of the amount of charge left.

However, with such great technology comes a cost, and lithium-Ion batteries are considerably more expensive in comparison to other types of battery.

Lithium batteries are commonly used today in many portable electronic devices like your mobile phone and a whole number of battery-operated tools, even in electrical cars. 

Pressure-treated wood is wood that has had chemicals ‘forced’ into the wood structure.

To ensure that wood looks good and lasts, the wood used for outdoor use, like garden furniture for example is ‘professionally’ treated during the cutting and machining process.

An anti-fungal preservative is ‘forced’ into the wood ‘under pressure’, (Pressure Treated) giving protection against rot, fungal and insect infestations.

(TVL) means TV Lines. TV lines are the measurement of detail in an image. The higher a TV line number, the more detailed and clear images will be rendered on screens where they appear.

Some popular TVL resolutions are : 420 TVL, 480 TVL, 540 TVL, 600 TVL, 700 TVL, 1000 TVL

FSC Timber or FSC Certified Wood (Forest Stewardship Council) is wood ‘certified’ by the non-profit organisation as coming from FSC certified forests and or recycled resources.

Buyers and sellers can rest assured that their wood products are not only renewable but that they come from forests that are managed responsibly, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.

See Wooden Bird Tables

C24 timber is a ‘very high’ graded sawn timber. A structural timber with fewer and somewhat smaller knots than other premium grades, making C24 timber structurally stronger than other grades of timber.

C24 Timbers are suitable to be used both externally and are suitable for wet areas or areas where the timber will be coming into contact with the ground.

See Wooden Bird Tables

Puddle Clay is a workable (water & clay) material,  that is used in the traditional ‘puddling’ process. When correctly applied ‘puddle clay’ provides a thick watertight lining or layer,  when excavated ‘permeable’ ground layers or water channels like canals, dams and ponds, are to be made watertight.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a means of carrying electrical power through data cables. This allows devices that typically need both ethernet and power connections to forego an additional power cable.

This reduces cabling requirements for networked devices as any device which connects to an internet or LAN network will also need some form of power – one for data. 

CMS is a pseudonym for (Central Management System). CMS is one of the most versatile video management software for DVRs, NVRs, IP cameras and encoders.

It provides multiple functionalities such as live view videos in real-time or even remote playback with DVD quality sound to meet all your monitoring needs.

Download Free CMS Software

A concrete haunching is structural concrete to “haunch” over a drain or service to protect it from damage should the area be excavated at a later date.

In addition, haunching is used to ‘back up’ and support kerbs and or edging to provide additional support, it stops them from being pushed over as they are haunched (supported)

 

Oriented strand board (OSB) is a type of engineered wood similar to particle board, formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations.

The Brannock device is a foot measuring tool that accurately measures the size of your feet. “True to size” means that the shoe’s length, width, and arch measurements are in direct proportion to this measurement on one specific person: you!

Barium Crown Glass or BaK glass is used primarily in optical instruments such as binoculars and camera lenses due to low dispersion through a wide range of colours combined with a relatively high melting point (approximately 1900° F).

BaK glass is an unusual type of borosilicate glass that contains barium, zinc, potassium and sodium.

The refractive index and density are between K-ZK glasses which makes it a perfect material for lenses to be sure they will not distort light as it enters the lens.

It’s also important in binoculars because its properties can help magnify images up to three times their original size without more distortion than necessary!

 

An optical technique used with roof prism binoculars to increase colour fidelity. The light enters the image-erecting roof prism and it’s split in two by a slight difference in lengths of each path, which causes one half to be out of phase when rejoined before entering your eye.

Phase-corrected prisms have optical coatings applied to one side of the shorter light path. This coating slightly slows down that half, causing it again to be in phase with the other when they are rejoined.

With no colours being reinforced or cancelled out and more accurate colour reproduction, these prisms tend to produce better results than uncoated ones which can often lead to distorted images due to their lack of accuracy and variation between each prism depending on its internal structure.

The thermal cut-out switch automatically shuts the pump off to protect it from overheating and or permanent damage. When you turn on your ponds pump, an ‘automatic’ internal device (thermal cut out) turns it off if the pump starts heating up too much.

This is a safety protection measure that ensures no damage can happen to your expensive pump in the case of a blockage or other problems causing it to overheat.

 

Certain solids or liquids can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as gases.

Some VOCs may cause short- or long-term health problems. Indoor locations have higher concentrations of VOCs than outdoor sites (up to ten times more).

VOCs are emitted by thousands of products, including paints, varnishes, and waxes. Organic substances are frequently employed as ingredients in domestic goods.

These substances include organic solvents, which may be found in cleaning, sanitising, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Organic compounds are also found in fuels.

While you are using these goods, you may release organic substances, and to some extent when you store them. It is possible to clean the air of these VOC’s by using an air purifier with activated charcoal filters.