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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Garden Tips with Eugene - Encouraging Animals 

Thursday, 3 November 2005


Eugene will display and discuss the boxes available to make a safe home for the different animals in your garden over winter.  Eugene will also demonstrate his four top tips of the week.  As the cold weather sets in this is the time to cater for your garden friends in whatever way you can.

Hedgehog Box - €39.95
These guys are looking for a home now or might even be hibernating under your compost heap.  This home will keep them safe.  It should be placed in shelter under shrubs.

Owl Box - €100
The poor owls are being wiped out.  Their numbers are quickly reducing as a result of the rats they eat being infected with rat poison.  They need all the help and protection you can give them.  The owl house should be placed on top your garden shed or up in your garden trees.

Bat Box - €18.95
Bats need to hibernate.  They lower their body temperature which enables them to survive the winter without feeding.  They need homes badly and now.  The bat box should be placed up in a tree.

Frog Box - €29.95
A frog can eat 10,000 insects in 3 months and this includes snails and mosquitoes.  He needs protection during the winter so provide him with a home placed close to a pond in your garden if you have one.

Ladybird Box - €15.95
There has been much debate as to whether or not this works..but Eugene is keen that we give it a go.  The box should be positioned in the garden next to greenfly infected plants.  It will attract the ladybirds who will gobble the greenflies.

Bumble Bee Box - €25.95
The bumble bee is a hero of the garden and the world but not to be confused with the honey bee. He/ she will be looking for a home for the winter.

Eugene's Top Tips
. You can get rid of dandelions and daisies by carefully tipping a teaspoon of salt into the centre of the cluster of leaves.
. You should plant plants that encourage wildlife to thrive in your garden. i.e. plants that supply berries to the birds, like Pyracantha, Cotoneaster, Skimmia and Holly.
. Improve the vibrant colour of your daffodils by mixing dry mustard with compost when you plant them.
. People have a tendency to dump their excess autumn leaves on top of the compost heap.  However, autumn leaves take longer than the other constituents of the compost heap, to break down.  What you should do is separate the leaves by putting them in plastic bags.  Fill the plastic bags with 1/3 water and tie the bag up.  The water will speed up the breakdown of the leaves and then you can add them to the compost.

What And Where to Buy
Animal Boxes - Widely available from many retailers around the country, both garden centers and pet shops
For a list of stockists in your area, call Peckers on 01 201 99 81
Pyracantha - €7.95 - widely available.
Cotoneaster - €6.95 - widely available.
Skimmia - €10.95 - widely available.
Holly - €8.95 - widely available.