‘Don’t add potatoes to compost’ – Monty Don shares tip to prevent rats getting in gardens

Gardeners' World: Monty Don gives advice on compost heaps

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Pests are a nuisance, especially as they can destroy your plants and deter other wildlife from coming into your garden. Rats are one of the most common pests in British gardens. What small steps can you do to prevent them from running around your garden?

Many experts have shared tips on how to prevent rats from your garden.

There are many small steps you can implement into your garden routine to help keep rats away.

Monty Don is a gardening expert who is best known for his role on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World.

On the show, Monty advises viewers on how to get the most out of their gardens.

On an episode of the popular programme earlier this year, Monty shared a tip with audiences on how to prevent rats from coming into your garden.

There are many gardening tasks that can attract rats, and you might be doing them without realising.

One of these is to do with compost heaps, Monty explained.

The gardening expert highlighted the importance of avoiding throwing certain foods into a compost, as these may attract rats.

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Monty said: “Because compost is made by material being digested, by bacteria and fungi and nematodes and the worms and beetles and bugs, you make it work like a recipe that you know just works and works overtime.

“So let’s look at it like a recipe.

“First thing are your ingredients. You can add almost anything that’s lived to a compost heap.

“But don’t add meat, fats or cooked material,” Monty added.

“Particularly cooked starches like potato or rice or pasta.

“The main reason for that, is not that it won’t decompose because it will in time, but it will so more slowly.

“It will attract rodents. You will get rats.

“Almost everything else from the garden and the house can go on.”

Another good tip is to put chicken wire underneath your compost to prevent rats accessing it.

You can turn it regularly, but bear in mind that other wildlife uses compost heaps too.

Unlike mice, rats can’t survive without water, therefore removing water sources from your garden could deter rats.

Remove dripping taps, secure drains, and add baffles to drainpipes.

If your rat manifestation is serious, it might be worth controlling the creatures.

To do this, contact your local council or a professional pest controller for advice.

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