Frances Tophill gives advice on growing a Prima Donna hop plant

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Attracting more wildlife to your garden not only increases biodiversity, but also reduces the number of pests in your garden. Insects and birds can be used instead of pesticides to prevent slugs and other nuisances from damaging your plants.

Frances Tophill shared her best tips with on how to turn your garden into a wildlife haven.

This, in turn, will get rid of pests from your garden in a natural way, without damaging other plants or harmless creatures.

Frances said one of the easiest ways to attract more wildlife to your garden is by first attracting insects.

“If you get the insect life healthy, you’ll generally bring in other bigger wildlife,” the garden expert explained.

“Getting the worm population up involves not really digging the soil, and leaving things like leaves that have fallen on the ground where they are, so you can build a nice healthy soil microbiome.

“And then that will get the insects numbers up, and letting the grass grow a bit longer will get the beetle numbers up.

“So, you build this hug reserve. Then the birds come in to eat the insects and then the frogs come in to eat them too.”

Frances also advised building an “insect house” with “piles of sticks, or stones, bricks, or pinecones”.

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“You can get bamboo canes and cut them up and put them together,” the presenter added.

Frances went on to mention the benefits of attracting insects and other creatures to your garden.

You are not only helping to protect British wildlife by doing so, but you are also decreasing the chances of having pests in your garden.

Frances explained gardeners usually use pesticides to get rid of slugs and other pests because they eat the plants or the vegetables growing in their gardens, but insects can do the same job as a pesticide.

The garden expert said: “In veg growing we often use a lot of pesticides because other animals can eat our veg.

“But if we have all these other insects, they eat the pests.

“And so, we don’t have to use any pesticides on the crop and we have a much more balanced system.”

Frances added that “you’ll get better veg” if you have more wildlife in your garden.

To attract birds to the garden, Frances said “there are loads of things you can do”.

She continued: “Getting bird nesting boxes is one key thing.

“Contact people like the RSPB in your local area and they’ll be able to advise you on what particular bird species is struggling in your area, and you can get a birdbox specifically for those species and provide them with nesting spaces.

“Hedging is also really important for birds – places they can hid away from cats and dogs.

“So if you get sort of spiky, prickly hedgerows, that can be really really helpful.”

Frances added that bird baths and bird feeders are “really important as well”.

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