A nest of eggs made from Strulch Garden Mulch

Over the years we have received lots of feedback about the benefits of using Strulch Mulch - some of them not so obvious.

A customer sent me this charming picture of eggs nestled in Strulch. An unintended consequence of using Strulch Garden Mulch but very appropriate for Easter. I know birds also use Strulch in their nests as I have seen the evidence when they are abandoned later in the season. Birds are adept at making use of materials that are available to them. Mulching with Strulch encourages earth worms near to the surface of the soil which is great for keeping soils friable but also an excellent source of food for the young.

Here in Yorkshire the garden has been slow to wake up and today we have had another coating of snow! A friend joked that his village had been twinned with Narnia!

The wintry weather has led to stop start gardening outside but has provided an opportunity to reflect on what to grow in our raised vegetable beds. As it is a relatively small space I like to grow my favourite crops that I use regularly in my cooking, and which cost a bit more in the shops. I particularly love shallots as they are so easy to grow and to store. Tender herbs are another favourite along with mange tout, silver beet and dwarf french beans. When they are established I give them a good mulch which cuts down on the need to water in dry spells.

Mulching improves earth worm activity

How to get the best out of your garden when using Strulch and encouraging wildlife.

Despite the poor weather, there have been a few days when we have been able to tidy up the garden beds. We planted a new garden in 2014 and this is the second time we have topped up our mulch. Strulch lasts on the surface for up to two years and now we can see it needs to be topped up again to make sure that our delphiniums and lupins are not devoured by the slugs and snails. There is nothing worse than investing in a new plant only to find that unwanted visitors have munched on it!

Strulch is a great barrier against the dreaded pests but it doesn't kill them, so birds and hedgehogs can still enjoy them. Whilst we were dividing our plants and digging them we saw our territorial robin waiting patiently for us to depart so that he could collect a few worms. For me, having a garden that attracts birds, insects and other wildlife is one of the most satisfying aspects of having a garden and we can all encourage them no matter how large or small our plot is.

Once the beds are finished and I have squeezed in some summer bulbs and neatened the edges, the lawn will need attention. It needs to recover from the late snow, but as the Spring Bank Holiday will soon be with us let’s hope the sun will shine and we can all enjoy a cup of tea whilst admiring our handiwork and watching our plants thrive.

Happy Gardening

Jackie Whiteley