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100 Acre Wood
Our natural habitat
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What Are Galls?

What Are Galls? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
You can see evidence of insects everywhere, especially on plants. Galls on leaves, twigs, buds, stems, and roots are most often the result of insect activity. What, exactly, are galls?

 

Galls are abnormal growths of plant tissue trigger in response to an injury to or an irritation of the plant, usually (but not always) caused by some living organism. Nematodes, bacteria, fungi, and viruses can all cause the formation of galls on trees, shrubs, and other plants. Most galls, however, result from insect or mite activity.

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Current Drought is an Opportunity to Think About Replacing Turf with Gardens

Current Drought is an Opportunity to Think About Replacing Turf with Gardens | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Are you trying to keep a lawn alive in this drought? Let's save water by removing turf and adding gardens.

 

How much water can you conserve by replacing your lawn with a garden?

 

A couple of years after starting my outdoor garden the water connection to the outside broke and I never fixed it. It turned out to be a blessing because up until then I did not realize how much water I wasted. It wasn't until I was watering grass with a watering can that the severity of the situation dawned on me. Little by little, I replaced the drying turf with plants until there were only a few square feet of it left.

 

Today, everything that grows in the ground in my garden has to survive on rainfall. That includes the annuals, perennials, spring blooming bulbs and the summer blooming bulbs-and even a healthy dose of weeds. I didn't set out to be a water conservationist -- it just happened.


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Protecting the Environment Yard by Yard

Protecting the Environment Yard by Yard | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

A visit to Carolyn Summers’ native plant garden in the Catskill Mountains of New York is a reminder that we live on a planet that is paradise. ... Summers has been a pioneer in the use of native plants, garden design and natural landscape restoration for more than 20 years.

 

Regardless of where you live, every region and landscape has plants that are native, that are indigenous to it, that evolved in that same place. And because they evolved in a certain place and the wildlife evolved with them, they are all part of the same web of life. To introduce another plant from another region or continent – which we see a lot of – those plants can't interact with the ecosystem because they didn't evolve with, or have the co-dependencies, that native plants have.

 

What is an example of this natural co-dependency?

 

There is one particular butterfly, the Karner blue butterfly, Lyaeides melissa samuelsis, that is so picky it can only reproduce on eastern lupine. The eastern lupine is rare along with the butterfly itself, because people on the East Coast planted the showier western lupine, Lupinus polyphylus, and the western lupine is quite a bit more aggressive. It begins to take over at the expense of the eastern lupine to the point where now Maine is covered with the exotic lupine and the butterfly and the plant are both locally extinct in the state of Maine.

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The New Hedgerows

The New Hedgerows | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Including hedgerows on your property is an old practice but has new application for today's farmer and gardener.

 

Hedgerows have traditionally been a line of trees and shrubs that define property boundaries, control livestock, and protect crops and livestock from wind.  Today, hedgerows of native plants provide shelter and food for beneficial insects; reduce road noise; provide privacy screens; conserve water; and reduce erosion. 

 

By using native plants in a hedgerow, you are adding plants to your property that are able to survive heat, drought, and wind—the characteristics of a successful hedgerow.  Native plants have very deep roots that allow them to access water deep in the soil; hold the soil in place, thus reducing erosion from water and wind; and stay upright after heavy snow or rainstorms.  Native plants also attract beneficial insects, like ladybugs, bees, and green lacewings.  By growing a variety of native plants that bloom throughout the year, you are providing food for bees all season—before and after your crops have flowered.

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'Apocalyptic' summer for wildlife

'Apocalyptic' summer for wildlife | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

This year's bad weather has proved "almost apocalyptic" for much of the UK's wildlife, the National Trust warned on Monday.

 

Wet weather has hit the breeding attempts of a wide array of wildlife, with puffins drowned in their burrows, sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds struggling to find enough food for their young.

 

At Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, adult terns have been struggling to keep eggs and chicks warm and dry through the relentless wet weather and it could be a year when no common, Arctic or sandwich terns fledge from the site.

 

Puffins on the Farne Islands, managed by the National Trust, have had a catastrophic breeding year, with 90% of burrows lost on Brownsman Island and around half of burrows flooded on the other islands.

 

The cool conditions have also affected bats, in particular lesser and greater horseshoe bats whose pregnancies will have slowed down.

 

Pups will be born underweight and will not get enough nutrition from their mothers to grow enough to go into hibernation, Oates warned.

 

Butterflies, bees, bumblebees, hoverflies and moths are all scarce in the wet conditions. Last week, conservationists said butterflies were facing their worst year ever recorded.

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Garden Problems Caused by Heavy Rain

Garden Problems Caused by Heavy Rain | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Wet summer gardens are something the UK gardener is having to contend with for the first time in a long time. For St Swithin’s Day I thought I would review the summer so far and provide some tips and ideas in case the wet weather continues.

 

Garden Problems Caused by Heavy Rain

 

One off heavy rain runs off before the soil gets a chance to soak through. That is not the problem when rain is as continuous as this year.


Heavy rain can damage young growth with the force of the rain. If rain is accompanied by wind the driving rain can do even more damage.


Rain washes out some of the goodness from the soil and deprives plants of good fertiliser.
Waterlogging of your soil can drown the roots of plants.


Needless to say wet gardens attract snails and slugs.

 

Lush growth has been put on by hedges and plants that would normally stay quite small.

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Slug alert! Invasion of the gastropods

Slug alert! Invasion of the gastropods | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Record rainfall leads to population explosion – and devastation of British gardens.

 

Gardeners and nurseries all over the country are finding that mild weather, punctuated by record levels of rainfall, has caused the population of the greedy gastropods to increase dramatically, and expert horticulturists agree.

 

Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the Royal Horticultural Society, said: "Slugs and snails are a huge problem this year. I cannot remember anything on this scale. The mild winter meant that more eggs survived than usual, which only added to the excellent breeding conditions created by the wet spring and summer."

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Gibby's Garden: List of Good and Bad Compost Ingredients

Gibby's Garden: List of Good and Bad Compost Ingredients | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

What can and cannot go into a compost pile? This question is probably more common than you think and it’s one that I’ve thought about myself. Many gardeners stress about whether or not what they are adding to their compost piles is good, organic and or even safe.

To make things a little easier and less stressful,

 

I consulted Rodale’s “Make Compost in 14 Days” guide and put together a list of compost ingredients that are good, bad and okay in moderation. I wanted to consult the pros and provide you with an excellent and trustworthy reference to ease any composting fears you may have.

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From trollies to otters: trust opens new chapter for Britain's canals and rivers

From trollies to otters: trust opens new chapter for Britain's canals and rivers | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Canal and River Trust hopes that release of projects from government control will encourage volunteers and donations.

 

In addition to managing the waterways, the trust is seeking to improve water vole habitats, reed beds, nesting habitats; create wildflower areas; and establish fruit orchards. The trust has unveiled 50 new projects across the extensive 2,200-mile canal network.

 

Canals run through the heart of many cities, yet they can be tranquil places. An estimated 10 million people visit the waterways and the trust hopes they will invest their time, by volunteering, or with money.

 

Canals have become a vital environment for plants and wildlife, supporting habitats for otters and owls, carp and crayfish. Reed beds – like the ones in Bootle – offer homes to threatened species like reed warblers, reed buntings, grasshopper warblers, otters and kingfishers.

 

Tony Hales, chairman of the trust, says: "In the last 50 years our canals and rivers have been transformed from a national disgrace to a national treasure.

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What Is This Vegetable? Obscure Summer Produce You Should Be Eating - Huffington Post

What Is This Vegetable? Obscure Summer Produce You Should Be Eating - Huffington Post | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

We all have a roster of fruits and veggies that we know and love (or tolerate), but occasionally we're thrown for a loop: what is this oddly colored root? Is that a tomatillo or a type of berry? Farmer's markets, CSA boxes and friends' gardens can all be the source of surprising bounty in summer months.

 

But for every fruit or veggie that you don't encounter, there is a burst of nutrition left unused. As we move deep into summer, don't let all that potential go to waste -- try one of these obscure options for unusual flavor and complete nutrition.

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Sparrow decline linked to urban noise levels

Sparrow decline linked to urban noise levels | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Urban noise limiting communication between parent birds and their chicks may be a key cause of declining sparrow populations, according to new research.

 

A University of Sheffield study found that industrial and traffic noise in urban environments can make it difficult for adult sparrows to hear their young, impairing the chicks' growth as they are less likely to be fed.

 

The RSPB has listed the sparrow as a species of high conservation concern, with the population across the UK declining by 66% between 1970 and 2009. While the latest breeding bird survey found population growths in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, the latter increasing by 87% between 1995 and 2009, England has seen a general drop of 18%. The worst declines have been in the south and east, with London's sparrow count dropping by 69% in the same 14-year period.

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Green Tidings: 11 Common Toxic Ingredients Beauty, Health and Household Items

Green Tidings: 11 Common Toxic Ingredients Beauty, Health and Household Items | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

You may think that the "natural" or "organic" beauty, health or household item you are using is safe.  "Natural" means safe, right?  Wrong.  Hidden in many commonly-used items are very toxic ingredients.

 

Read this list of 11 common toxic ingredients, and look at the ingredients list on all of your beauty, health, and household items to make sure that they don't contain any.

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Insect Galls in Your Landscape or Garden

Insect Galls in Your Landscape or Garden | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Will insect galls damage my trees or shrubs? How do I control insect galls on my plants?

 

Fortunately, with few exceptions, insects galls do not damage trees and shrubs. While they may look unsightly, particularly on specimen trees, most healthy, well-established trees and shrubs will be unaffected by galls in the long run. Heavy gall formations may slow growth.

 

Because the negative impact of galls on plants is largely aesthetic, control measures for galls or gallmaking insects are rarely warranted. Leaf galls will fall off, either with the leaves themselves, or from the leaves once the insect or mite has emerged. Galls on twigs and branches can be pruned out. A gall that has already formed cannot be treated or sprayed to eliminate it. The gall is part of the plant itself.

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Gorgeous Gardens: Tips And Advice To Help You Get There ...

Gorgeous Gardens: Tips And Advice To Help You Get There ... | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Collecting rainwater in buckets not only helps your garden be environmentally conscious, but it can also save money on utility bills. Try this as a money-saving alternative for your garden, and make it completely natural.

 

You need to know some basics related to improving your garden for your family, your business, or simply yourself. With a little research, you can learn exactly what you need, which will keep you from spending money on seeds you can’t use, or unnecessary equipment. ...

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15 Misconceptions Kids Have About Insects

15 Misconceptions Kids Have About Insects | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Children develop their early understanding of insects from books, movies, and the adults in their lives. Unfortunately, insects in works of fiction aren't always portrayed with scientific accuracy, and adults may pass down their own misconceptions about insects. This article outlines fifteen of the most common misconceptions kids have about insects.

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Safe Composting Tips for People With Food Allergies - iVillage

Safe Composting Tips for People With Food Allergies - iVillage | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Composting food waste is safe for people with food allergies if they take some basic precautions, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
In order to compost food safely, people with food allergies must prevent allergen particles from somehow getting inside their body, such as through an open wound or by inhaling fine particles in the air or fumes.


To reduce the risk of exposure to food allergens, AAAAI experts advised that people with food allergies take the following steps while composting:-

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Bring Nature To You With These Gardening Tips | Garden Design ...

Bring Nature To You With These Gardening Tips | Garden Design ... | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Many people are under the impression that gardening is difficult, but it’s actually quite simple if you know exactly what to do. All it takes is a little knowledge for you to have a green thumb of your own. Explore this article to find some helpful tips that can take you to master status in your garden.

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How to clear up the garden after bad weather - Telegraph

How to clear up the garden after bad weather  - Telegraph | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Don’t despair: gales and downpours can wreak havoc on your garden, but prompt action will help ensure the damage is not lasting.

 

How do you put your garden back to rights after a storm? Liz Dobbs has some tips:-

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Turn Tree Leaves Into Compost, Mulch And Organic Fertilizer

Turn Tree Leaves Into Compost, Mulch And Organic Fertilizer | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Tree leaves that fall every autumn make fantastic compost or mulch to feed your garden plants.

 

Tree leaves are the end source of all of the elements a tree’s roots draw from the ground. Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorous, Nitrogen and Ash are found abundantly in leaves (amounts differ depending on the type of tree), and those elements are pretty much the complete food course for your plants. The yearly addition of leaves into your garden beds will eventually create a rich, dark soil with excellent tilth.


There are a number of ways to re-purpose those tree leaves:-

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7 Places in New Zealand with Rich Wildlife and Geography - National Geographic

7 Places in New Zealand with Rich Wildlife and Geography - National Geographic | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

New Zealand is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. The country, which is located southeast of Australia, is full of natural wonders that look essentially as they did thousands of years ago.

 

New Zealand contains an impressive series of national parks and other wilderness areas that are famous for their exquisite natural beauty and abundant, and often unique, wildlife. Here are a few of the more notable locations:

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David Attenborough calls for help as butterflies face worst year ever

David Attenborough calls for help as butterflies face worst year ever | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The Big Butterfly Count, taking place in the worst year on record for the insects, will alert conservationists to species most at risk.

 

As well as count butterflies, Martin Warren, chief executive of Butterfly Conservation, said people could plant wild flowers and grasses in their gardens and called on every park to replace a portion of its mown grass with wild flower meadows to boost butterfly numbers.

 

"I look on mown lawns with horror," said Warren. "Some people may think wild flower meadows look scruffy but I would defy anyone to walk through a wild flower meadow full of butterflies and not find that a wonderful experience."

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Aphids - Control Methods

Aphids - Control Methods | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
In moderate numbers, aphids don't do as much harm to garden plants as one might think. But once you start seeing sooty mold or curled leaves, it's time to act.

 

Control measures:

 

1. Use a strong spray of water to knock aphids from sturdy plants.

2. Attract beneficial insects to your garden. Most predatory insects will feast on aphids when they are present in high numbers.

3. Avoid using broad spectrum pesticides that will kill beneficials along with pests.

4. Don't over fertilize your plants. When you give your aphid-infested plants a nitrogen boost, you're actually boosting aphid reproduction and creating a bigger problem.

5. Keep the garden free of weeds, and check for infested ornamentals near your vegetable garden that might harbor aphids. When possible, prune any heavily infested shoots from plants and destroy them, aphids and all.

6. Apply neem oil, horticultural soap, or horticultural oil when appropriate. These products work on contact, so repeat applications will be necessary. Be sure to get the undersides of leaves where aphids may be hiding.

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New infestation of 'hazardous' moth identified

New infestation of 'hazardous' moth identified | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A new infestation of a non-native moth which is hazardous to human and animal health and trees has been identified, the Forestry Commission has said.

 

The oak processionary moth has been discovered in the West Wickham area of Bromley, south-east London, around nine miles from the nearest known infestations that are part of an established outbreak in west London.

 

The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth, which is thought to have arrived in the UK from the Continent on imported trees, have toxic hairs which can cause itchy skin rashes and eyes and a sore throat in people and affect pet animals.

 

The caterpillars are also a threat to oak trees because they eat the leaves, potentially defoliating the entire tree and leaving it vulnerable to other threats such as disease.

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BBC Nature - a stunning collection of videos from the original Planet Earth series

BBC Nature - a stunning collection of videos from the original Planet Earth series | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough Planet Earth was the ground-breaking series that explored the wild and beautiful parts of our planet like never before.

 

Sit back and keep clicking through this fantastic collection of video highlights from the original series. Highlights include the elusive snow leopard hunt in the mountains of Pakistan, cunning African wild dogs and a great white shark breaching to catch a cape fur seal.

 

Planet Earth took over four years to film and the results prove that every day was well spent. Planet Earth Live had only a few weeks to film their wildlife characters.


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