Does Females’ Dog Urine Cause More Brown Lawn Spots Than Males?

dog rocksThere is a common perception that female dog urine causes more lawn burn marks than male dogs. While not all female dogs’ urine cause burn marks and while a fair number of male dogs’ urine does, there is a higher tendency for female dogs’ pee to ruin lawns far more than when male dogs urinate.

Many people wonder if it has something to do with the different physical makeup of the genders. But, in fact, it’s not what’s on the inside that makes a difference…it’s actually how the different genders urinate that is the answer to this question.

What this mystery ultimately boils down to is the way in which female dogs pee: they squat and urinate in one place, which can create a pool of urine. On the other hand, male dogs tend to wander around the lawn and pee in a variety of spots, with smaller concentrated amounts in each location. Even the fact that male dogs lift their leg to pee helps spread the urine around a broader area, which minimizes the damage to the grass.

before-1Also keep in mind that the size of dog makes a difference. If you have a large dog, regardless of whether they are male or female, they are going to have a larger volume of pee than a small dog. Although, you will find that most young male puppies will squat to pee and this can cause more damage to the lawn that expected. Male dogs tend to learn to lift their leg to pee when they are around a year old, and this behaviour is not affected whether or when they are neutered. Some male dogs will always squat to pee, which would affect the concentration of urine leading to more burn marks, but this is rarely the case.

For both male and female dogs, the cause behind the burn marks in your lawn is largely due to the high amount of nitrogen in dog urine. Some nitrogen can be healthy for your lawn, but too much in a concentrated area causes a burn effect in the same way that too much fertilizer would damage your grass. It all comes down to how much nitrogen is in your dog’s urine and how concentrated the areas are where your dog tends to go pee. While gender has something to do with this, there are certainly more factors at play than simply whether you have a female dog.

Regardless of whether you have a male or female dog, Dog Rocks works to eliminate dog burn marks naturally. Simply by placing your Dog Rocks in your dog’s water bowl, the rocks remove ammonia, tin, nitrogen and other impurities from your dog’s water naturally. What this means is that, when your dog goes pee outside, his or her urine acts to hydrate the grass rather than burn it with excess nitrogen. If you’d like to learn more about how Dog Rocks work, check out our FAQ section here.

Dog Rocks are completely safe for both your female and male dogs and work as effectively with dogs of both genders. Even though your female dog will still be squatting to pee and leaving larger, concentrated pools of liquid, the pee will have a lower number of nitrates. This means that while you use Dog Rocks, your dog’s urine will help contribute to your grass’ growth!

Many other solutions are costly, time-consuming, or potentially risk the health of your dog. Be cautious of remedies that work to lower the pH level of your dog’s urine, as this may not be safe for your dog, and isn’t as effective as a nitrogen-reducing solution, such as Dog Rocks.

Whether you have a female or male dog, Dog Rocks is a safe, effective, and reliable solution for lawn burn marks due to your dog’s urine. Instead of investing time and money in other attempts to bring your grass back to life, simply place your Dog Rocks in your dog’s water and leave the rest up to nature!

Santa Runners join Greeningers to kick off the festive season in style!

greenfingersThis weekend saw thousands of festive fundraisers from across the country donning Santa suits and running in support hundreds of Charities.

Greenfingers Charity was joined on the London Santa Run by members of Kew Green Hotels as well as representatives from the world of Horticulture.

At 10am we gathered in London’s Victoria Park and by mid morning the park was a sea of red as a flurry of Santas took to the 5k and 10k courses in support of their chosen charities.

We would like to thank all the Santas who ran in support of Greenfingers, it was lovely to meet you all and soak in the festive atmosphere together.

greenfingers-santa-imageWe would like to say a particular well done to Polly Kitson of Kew Green Hotels who not only traveled all the way from the Spirit Health Club in Leeds to join us on the run but then pushed herself to take on the 10k course – amazing!

Congratulations to all our runners on completing the run in very respectable times and thank you all for your fab fundraising efforts. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!


rhs malvernBBC Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins hosted a workshop with budding gardeners of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire ahead of RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s School Gardens Challenge. Primary school children from across the counties immersed themselves in an action packed day of inspiring advice and guidance from the children’s television favourite. These aspiring young gardeners will now prepare their designs over the coming months in readiness for the leading event’s School Gardens Challenge in May.

Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties, said: “We are deeply passionate about engaging the next generation of gardeners in the amazing world of horticulture. RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s School Gardens challenge is a great introduction and allows children to see their designs stand on the same stage as the country’s finest RHS medal winning designers. We never cease to be amazed by the creativity and imagination school children bring to the School Gardens Challenge. Their designs are a real highlight of the show and always receive rave reviews from our visitors. We can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring and have no doubt the designs will be just as glorious.”

RHS Malvern Spring Festival is one of the only RHS Shows in the UK to have a collection of Show Gardens designed and built entirely by young people. This year sees over 12 schools and education groups from across the three counties taking part.

Each group will create gardeners on the all-new theme of ‘Space’. The 2017 theme celebrates the 350th anniversary of Isaac Newton’s groundbreaking discovery of gravity, alongside the 60th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik.

chris-collins-and-school-childrenChris Collins enters his third year as School Gardens Champion. He said: “I’m delighted to be taking up the post as School Gardens Champion for my third year. RHS Malvern Spring Festival is really paving the way for introducing gardening into the curriculum and the School Gardens Challenge is a fantastic way to take education outside of the classroom. I can’t wait to be involved for another year and see the variety of designs come to life.”

Worcestershire School’s that rolled up their sleeve and took part in the workshop included: Regency High School, Bromsgrove School, Cradley School, Stanley Road Primary School, Franche Community Primary School, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Beoley First School, Malvern Wells Primary School, and St Joseph’s Primary School. From Gloucestershire, schools that took part included The Ridge Academy, and Bredon School.

Building of the school Show Gardens will commence at the end of April and will take approximately one weeks to build. RHS experts will then judge the gardens on Wednesday 10 May, ahead of the show opening to the public the following day. Following record numbers in 2016, over 100,000 people are expected to descend on the Three Counties Showground for this year’s event.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. For more information and full winners details from 2016, please call 01684 584900 or visit

SBM Life Science Recruits New Territory Manager for the South East

sbmFollowing the completion on 5 October of its acquisition of Bayer Garden, SBM Développement is beginning the initial phase of its investment into the new UK business by recruiting two new executives; a full-time sales representative for the South East and a new brand manager.

“Our vision for the new business is to become a worldwide leader for home and garden solutions, offering an innovative portfolio that will meet the evolving expectations of our customers,” explained Darren Brown, Head of SBM Life Science Limited.  “To realise this ambitious vision in the UK & Ireland market we will be increasing investment into our organisation to ensure we have the right resources and talent to expand”.

“Growing our current business through developing our existing market leading brands – Baby Bio®, Phostrogen®, Toprose and Provado® – as well as leveraging the products and brands currently within the SBM stable will be core elements of our future growth.   As a result, we are expanding our marketing function by recruiting a new Brand Manager to help us drive growth momentum”.


Andy Reffold

“It is equally essential for the new business to further strengthen our collaborative relationships with our garden centre partners.  As a firm commitment to this increased focus we are recruiting a full-time SBM sales representative dedicated to the South East region.”

Andy Reffold, in post from 5 December, has joined SBM Life Science from The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.  He brings with him a wealth of expertise and market knowledge, as well as excellent contacts in the South East.
Andy will be working with garden centres on opportunities with SBM Life Science’s existing marketing leading brands including Baby Bio®, Phostrogen®, Toprose and Provado®.  He will also leverage the products and brands currently within the SBM stable as they are developed and introduced to the UK market.
He will report into Scott Williams, SBM Life Science’s National Salesforce Channel Manager UK & Ireland.
“Our vision for SBM Life Science is to become a worldwide leader for home and garden solutions, offering an innovative portfolio that will meet the evolving expectations of our customers,” explained Darren Brown, Head of SBM Life Science Limited.
“We’re delighted to welcome Andy into our team to help us realise this vision.  2017 is going to be an exciting season for our business as we capitalise on the opportunity ahead of the new business and we’re looking forward to Andy being an integral part of that process.”

HTA Board Changes and HTA/GCA tree planting

hta 2016HTA members representing all sectors of the industry attended the association’s Annual General Meeting which took place today (6 December 2016) at the HTA’s Horticulture House in Chilton, Oxfordshire.

At the meeting the following appointments were ratified. Adam Taylor from Taylors Bulbs, who joined the Board in September, was elected as Vice President until the 2017 AGM. Alex Vick, HTA Finance Director and GIMA President Chris Ramsden from Hozelock were appointed to the Board.

The following Board members stood down from their roles.

Caroline Owen from Scotsdales Garden Centres and David Norman from Abercorn Garden Centre who have both served on the Board since 2007 and prior to that on the Finance and Management Committee. Caroline will continue as the chair of the HTA Marketing Committee.

Mark Pearson who has served on the Board for 4 years and assisted the HTA this year with the new property purchase.

Ian Ashton from Lowaters who has served since 2007.

Adam Frost who has served on the Board for a second term.

HTA President Adam Wigglesworth comments, “We are delighted to welcome Adam, Alex and Chris to the Board. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to those Board members who have stood down – HTA has been incredibly fortunate to have had such generous support.” This was echoed by HTA Chief Executive Carol Paris who added her thanks for their guidance and time provided over the years.

Following the AGM there were presentations about Brexit and the changing political landscape (from Mark Glover of Newington Communications) and the impact that it potentially has on consumer behaviour (from Josh McBain of the Foresight Factory). Speaking about the work that is being done to help raise awareness of horticulture through the All Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group (APPGHG) Mark encouraged all to help make the voice of horticulture heard by contacting your local MP directly. Josh spoke about the ‘power of precariousness’ amongst consumers with decline in trust in authority figures, worries about future financial security for the younger generation and continuing uncertainty all playing on people’s minds.

agm_hta_gca_tree_plantingThe morning concluded with a joint tree planting between the HTA (Carol Paris and Adam Wigglesworth) and GCA (Iain Wylie and Julian Winfield) cementing the relationship between the two organisations. Following a networking lunch members also received a tour of the building and the facilities available to them.

Ann-Marie Powell appointed a Patron of Greenfingers Charity

greenfingersGreenfingers Charity is delighted to announce that Ann-Marie Powell has agreed to be a Patron and to promote the fund-raising work needed to create and build therapeutic and peaceful gardens in the grounds of children’s hospices.

Speaking at the annual Awards lunch of the Garden Media Guild at the Savoy she said, “I couldn’t be more happy to officially hold the title of Patron for a charity that I know does such fabulous work for children with life-limiting conditions. I’ll be putting in plenty of serious effort into my work with this wonderful charity, but also promise lots of energy, laughter and fun along the way.”

Welcoming Ann-Marie to the ever-growing fold of gardening people working on behalf of Greenfingers Charity, its Chairman John Ashley said, “We certainly couldn’t have appointed a more enthusiastic advocate for our work and fund-raising initiatives. Ann-Marie is everything I want in a Patron, especially her winning smile that is totally irresistible.”

Anne- Marie Powell (right) is welcomed as a Patron of Greenfingers Charity by Chairman John Ashley and Head of Fundraising & Communications Linda Petrons.

Anne- Marie Powell (right) is welcomed as a Patron of Greenfingers Charity by Chairman John Ashley and Head of Fundraising & Communications Linda Petrons.

Ann-Marie Powell is a garden designer who has worked closely with Greenfingers Charity, Macmillan, the British Heart Foundation and the Royal Horticultural Society. Next year she promises to host a summer Garden Tea Party in aid of Greenfingers Charity to support their work of building gardens in Children’s Hospices.

Call To Action

GCAThe GCA Annual Conference is off to St Andrews on 22nd January to 25th January 2017.  The annual charity event ‘Greenfingers Challenge Trophy’, in aid of Greenfingers, will take place on Sunday January 22nd.  2016 saw £11k raised for the charity…let’s raise that and more in 2017!

The Cabbages represent the suppliers in the gardening industry and it is anticipated that these will sponsor the PINS.   The Pansies represent garden centres, and will sponsor the TEES due to their incredible knowledge of tea and coffee!   Woodlodge have kindly agreed to supply all sporting material, so no need for you to bring your own clubs!  There are 18 holes and sponsorship starts at £250 per hole and other sponsorship opportunities are available. Each team will consist of 4 people (2 x Cabbages and 2 x Pansies).

golf-imageDress code will be golfing attire and there will be prizes for the best dressed golfer, as well as for the lowest score, and of course the prestigious team award.

As you can imagine, with Woodlodge organising the event, this will be no ordinary game of golf, think unusual and fun ….be prepared to smile your way around this course!!!

Guy Topping, from Barton Range Garden Centres, will be taking charge of the Pansies and Ian Flounders of Woodlodge, is picking up the reins from Danny Adamson and is calling on all suppliers and garden centres to sponsor a hole and book their teams in to join in the fun.

Ian, who recently rowed across the Irish Sea (St Georges’s Channel) to raise money for Greenfingers, states ” I am absolutely delighted and thrilled to be heading the Cabbages at this prestigious and fun filled annual competition, which is all in aid of the Greenfingers charity.”

Once the day has come to a conclusion, a light hearted quiz is to be billed as ” THE TOPPING SHOW LIVE” a once a year must in the evening of ‘phenomenon, ridicule and cunning ways to part with your cash for our amazing charity’ hosted by Mr Guy Topping and his beautiful assistant Carol, where we hope competitors and candidates alike will join in the jollities!

Tickets for the evening meal cost £60 and booking is via telephone on 01244 952170.  Or click the link here

So even if you are below par, bunker up folks, because this looks set to be a jigger of a good time!!

For more information and sponsorship opportunities please contact Ian Flounders on email  telephone 07917425966


squires logo 2013Have you got your Christmas jumper yet? Friday 16th December is national “Christmas Jumper Day”, and employees from Squire’s Garden Centres are ready for it! They have a great selection of cosy knits, with adult jumpers from £14.99 and children’s jumpers from £12.99. You can also buy some rather fetching hats from just £5.99.

Oh and don’t forget your dog too. Get your pooch a gorgeous festive coat (from £7.99), fun Santa hat (£3.99) or even a pair of doggie reindeer antlers (£3.99) from Squire’s.


Celebrating Success at the Hillier Awards 2016

hillier 2013On Sunday 27th November, we held our Hillier Garden Centres Awards Evening at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton.

The annual event is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate all the hard work that people at Hillier and our key suppliers put into the business.

Compering the evening was Andrew West, Hillier Head of Purchasing. Awards presenters included Hillier’s Director of Garden Centres Chris Francis, company President John Hillier and Chairman Robert Hillier. Accolades given included Best Garden Centre, Manager of the Year and Employee of the Year.

Congratulations to everyone who won and to all who have put so much effort in over the last year. We are very proud of the Hillier team.

Full List of Winners:

Contractor of the year: MJT Landscapes

Plantarea of the year: Newbury (up 24%)

Plant category supplier of the year: Meon Valley Nurseries

Garden Shop of the year: Botley (up 27%)

Gardening category supplier of the year: Westland

Home category supplier of the year: Bramblecrest

Restaurant of the year: Sunningdale (up 20% like-for-like)

Garden centre Head Office employee of the year: Gill Mayo

Garden centre Manager of the year: Paul White (Botley)

Overall garden centre of the year: Eastbourne

Garden centre employee of the year: Steve Harrison

HTA supporting the industry with new event launch alongside National Plant Show

hta 2016With supporting UK Horticulture at the heart of everything the HTA does, listening to our members and the industry is key, and the HTA is continuously staying in touch with its members to identify and deal with key garden issues and opportunities.

Seven years ago the HTA launched the National Plant Show at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry to support our Growers and give them the right show at the right time of the year for them to do business. The event is now a staple date in the horticultural calendar and to enhance this offering and give a platform to even more of the industry the HTA will be introducing the co-located HTA Nursery Supply Show.

Running as a separate exhibition in hall 3 at Stoneleigh alongside the HTA National Plant Show on the 20th and 21stJune 2017 the HTA Nursery Supply Show will give even more to our visitors by both enabling them to buy plants but to also look at the critical elements that support plant sales, nursery retail and garden centres.

Along with the National Plant Show this enhancement aims to be the number one show in UK for plants and nursery suppliers. The premier buying event for Garden Retailers, Retail Nurseries and Growers.

The exhibition will follow the back to basics formula of the National Plant Show to allow the product to do the talking with the same low cost stand options for exhibitors to ensure the event is affordable for all.

Visitors can expect to see a range of suppliers from labelling and product information companies, substrate and growing media through to display benching, potting machinery and everything in between.

More details on the free to attend event will come with the official launch in January 2017 when booking for exhibitors will open.

Commenting on the new show, HTA President Adam Wigglesworth from Aylett Nurseries said,

“I am delighted that with the new event, alongside the National Plant Show, there will be an opportunity for visitors to see suppliers with products that help us sell more plants. I hope that the efficiency of having this event next door will make our visitors’ days even more productive and worthwhile and be an exciting addition to a landmark event.”

Geoff Caesar from The Bransford Webbs Plant Company said,

“As an exhibitor at the National Plant Show since the very beginning we believe this exciting new development will provide even more reasons for both growers and retailers to visit the show. The new Nursery Supply Show will provide numerous opportunities to support the production and sale of plants in the UK and help build the strength of the British nursery and garden centre industry.”

Neil Gray from Melcourt said,

“The Nursery Supply Show running alongside the National Plant show offers a real opportunity to showcase UK horticulture through the supply chain of plants. We are looking forward to the opportunity to speaking to our existing customers and potential new customer about Melcourt products that serve both the retail and professional markets.”

For more details please contact the events team at