At this time of year, we gardeners are always a little bit nervous as we go away on holiday. There’s a concern that our sheds and garages may be suitable targets for thieves. I say this because only the other week, a couple of my garden sheds were broken into. It drives you mad!
If you add up the cost of a lot of the things that are in our sheds and garages, like hand tools and lawn mowers, there’s quite a considerable amount of value invested there.
But there are a few simple steps that you can take to make sure your outhouses, summer houses, shed and garages are secure.
Security lighting that goes on and off is a good way to deter burglars and these days, you don’t have to re-wire the whole house to fit it. I went out and bought some sensor-activated solar-powered lights with no wires at all—there’s just two screws on the sides to fit them in place and away you go.
The ones I’ve bought have two settings, so you can decide whether to have a dim light switch on for an extended time or a very bright light for about 15 seconds. I’ve opted for the latter settings as it’s the switching on and off of lights as would-be burglars move in the garden that most puts them off.
I’ve positioned a security light above all of my sheds and garages now, in the hopes of deterring future robbers and alerting me to their presence should they come knocking in future.
Securing a decent shed lock is an important step in protecting your gardening equipment, but it’s not just the lock itself that matters but the bracket too. You can buy brackets that you put a bolt through into your shed. These are better because they prevent thieves from using a spade or a crowbar to wrench the bracket itself away from your shed.
Once you have a decent bracket, you will also want to invest in a solid lock as well. You can buy locks from B&Q that are resistant to cutting with bolt cutters which will stop thieves from being able to cut the lock off easily using loppers.
To be extra safe, I’ve installed two locks on each of my sheds—one at waist height and one at chin height—as, visually, extra locks will deter burglars.
Another great tip is to lock the larger items in your shed to one another using bike locks. I lock my push bike to my lawn mower and my lawn mower to my leaf shredder. Having them all connected makes them more difficult to steal even once thieves have made it past your lights and external shed locks, so it’s worth the extra hassle it creates of having to unlock equipment each time you want to use it. It’s a small price to pay for the added peace of mind this extra measure gives you.
You can buy battery-operated shed alarms that are very simple to install. I bought some online which go inside the shed and will sound when someone opens the door. Mine comes with a little remote control which allows you to push a button to arm the system and to push another button to disarm it when you need to get into your own shed.
They work in much the same way as locking and unlocking your car using a key fob. You can also get keypad operated ones so that you don’t have to carry a remote around with you. Simple, easy to use and highly effective.
If you go the whole hog, you can install proper security cameras and keep an eye on your outhouses with an app. Alternatively, you could put up fake cameras to deter burglars as most won’t know the difference.
Be careful not to leave out any tools in your garden that thieves could use to help them. Spades, forks and ladders should be properly locked away when you’re not using them. Protect your home itself by making sure you have secure windows and doors. Personally, I have Everest windows with a GrabLock system to make them extra secure.
Finally, get your hands on a special UV pen and label your equipment with your postcode. On the off chance that a thief manages to steal something from you, the police will be able to identify it as yours should they come across it.
Follow this advice to protect your garden equipment and give yourself extra peace of mind while on your summer holidays this year.
Want your outbuilding or shed to be extra-safe when you go away on holiday this year? Well look no further that the Response Shed & Garage Alarm. Quick to install and easy to use, this alarm will deter thieves without deterring you!
Its features include a 4 digit keypad, pre-wired door contact and a panic alarm feature, making it the perfect security feature for any shed or garage.
Use washing up liquid
along with sugar in the palm of your hand to
wash away garden grime.
The sugar will scrub even the
toughest of dirt
off your hands.
My mint has gone straggly and started to flower. What should I do?
It’s always best with herbs like mint, parsley and oregano to cut them back regularly.
This encourages more growth from the base, fresher foliage and a tighter plant.
So, cut your mint back to about half its current size and it will recover.
Can I use leftover house paint to stain my garden fences?
It’s always best to use professional exterior wood treatments for fences, such as those by Protek or Sadolin, because they’re designed specially for the conditions that you’ll find in your garden.
Most specialist garden paints are made to withstand direct UV light from the sun as well as an algaecide and will last far better than leftover house paint outside.