Category Archives: Winter

Looking after our bees

A worldwide decline in bee populations is ringing alarm bells as fears grow over how our food will be pollinated if bees die out. According to the British Beekeepers’ Association, a third of our food is dependent on pollination by bees, with up to 70 crops in the UK relying on bees for successful pollination. However, bee-keepers across Europe have reported winter colony losses in excess of 50% in recent years – a figure that is causing widespread concern among wildlife experts.

There are a host of factors blamed for bee decline, including pesticide use, climate change, a parasitic mite called varroa that attacks bee colonies, and habitat loss (the UK has lost more than 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1940s).

ecofective offer a range of Child, Pet and Bee Safe plant care products for gardeners who want to attract more bees into gardens in a bid to safeguard the future of these vital pollinators.

Top ecofective bee safe products

ecofective® Bug + Mildew Control is a ready-to-use formula that provides fast-acting control of a wide range of pests, including whitefly, blackfly, red spider mite and mealybug, while taking care of powdery mildew by washing away spores. The clever formulation, which is safe to use around bees, pets and children, also provides plants with nutrients for healthy growth and uses a physical mode of action which stops plant pests in their tracks, preventing bugs from moving and being able to feed. A key advantage of ecofective® Bug + Mildew Control’s physical mode of action is that plant pests will not become resistant to the formula. And no harvest interval is required, meaning that home-grown produce can be eaten within hours of application.

Gardeners can also use ecofective® Rose Defender to protect the nation’s favourite flower from attack without any worries about harming bees. The ready-to-use product’s 3-in-1 defender technology controls bugs, powdery mildew and provides nutrients for vibrant, healthy roses, while the pesticide-free formulation is safe to use around bees, children and pets.

ecofective® Houseplant Defender, which is perfect for indoor plants but can also be used on flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables in the garden, is another bee-friendly product in the ecofective stable that’s safe to use around bees. The ready-to-use pesticide-free spray gives excellent control of pests including whitefly, aphid, red spider mite, mealybug, scale and psyllid, while the formula provides foliar nourishment to encourage healthy, vibrant houseplants. It stimulates the development of more flowers, too.

To view the complete range of bee safe products click here.

The big garden clean…getting ready for spring!

The start of the year always brings that rush of excitement – the knowledge that spring is on its way, and with it the opportunity to get back out into the garden. We have a number of tasks that we need to be getting on with, although it feels like it’s more a case of dodging the cold and wet weather.

It’s time to tidy up the garden. We’re keen to be as green as we can be, so we recycle as much as possible – and the rest goes onto the compost heap. This year, we’re looking to use our apple tree prunings as plant supports in the borders, and we’ve also donated some to a neighbour whose children have rabbits – you can give rabbits fresh twigs and branches to chew on once in a while and apple is safe for them. We never deadhead winter bedding too early or sweep away all the leaves, as these provide a haven for insects during the cold times.

When we had people round over Christmas, they spilled out onto the decking outside our house, and we realised just how slippery it had become due to a build-up of algae. We’ve tackled this with the ecofective® Path, Patio and Decking Cleaner, which has shown impressive results within just days of application. Mix it to three parts water and apply – we decided to use a paint brush as our decking hasn’t had much maintenance over recent years. It is possible to spray it on, and let it do its work. There’s no scrubbing required, you just apply it and wait to see the results – in days. We could soon see the impact, as the cleaner worked on removing the covering of slippery algae.

We’ve also used it to clean the outside of our shed, and also on our greenhouse. With minimal impact on the environment, it meets our requirement to be green and can also be used all year round – even when it’s as cold as it is now!

Now we have more light getting into the greenhouse, this weekend’s tasks include sowing some snapdragons, chillies and lettuces. Because it’s still a little early for these, we’re giving them a boost with ecofective® Rootplus 3in1, which helps the strong development of root systems, reduces the need for watering and also includes fertiliser to help growth. Whats more, this product is child and pet safe, as is the Path Patio and Decking Cleaner when dry. Now bring on spring!