The Allotment and Garden Area: How to attract birds

We are in the height of summer here on our allotment and garden. The plants are doing well with the salad crops producing lots of leaves for our meals and the peas are flowering too. The bees and other insects are doing their part by pollinating the plants, but we are trying to reduce the Slug population! The birds have started to be more prolific in our area and I have managed to watch quite a few out of the window and on the balcony recently! We have a family of black birds near our house too in a nearby tree so we see them scooting past the living room window every now and then! So I thought I would do a little post as it seemed the season to write a bit about wild birds in the garden and allotment.

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There are many benefits of having and attracting birds to the garden or allotment.

  1. For instance, they act as a natural way of deterring and preventing pests on your plants. They eat many insects such as Aphids and slugs so they can help your crops to thrive!
  2. They add interest to the garden with their antics and colourful characters
  3. The cost of attracting birds to your garden will be much cheaper to reduce the insect population than having to buy expensive pesticides and pest deterrents to use on your garden.

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But what are the best ways of attracting birds into the garden or allotment?

  • Having lots of protection from the elements for them. So lots of trees and bushes for them to perch in and take shelter in. This is particularly key in cold or hot conditions.
  • Providing some shelter from predators. For instance, cats, stoats and other predators can reduce a bird population vastly. Bird boxes set at a high enough and unreachable location is ideal. We have to have our birds nest well out of the reach of our cat Podge!
  • Water, ensure there is a constant supply either moving water such as a stream or put a bird bath in your garden. Make sure it is fresh and cleaned regularly.
  • Make a suitable habitat for them – hedgerows are great for this, and installing nest boxes will also encourage birds to your garden.
  • Provide a good food supply for the birds. Insects in your garden will attract birds but the presence of birds will help you in keeping pests off your crops! Additionally, providing a good supply of bird seed in your garden is a great idea. Take a look at http://www.gardenhealth.com/bird-care for a good selection of suppliers of quality birdseed. Ensure your bird feeders are cleaned and refilled regularly. You will find that certain types of bird seed will attract different types of birds, for instance song birds or larger birds.http://www.naturesfeast.co.uk/wild-bird-care/ Has a great selection of bird feed from Peanuts to Sunflower seeds. Fat and Seed Balls are handy to put out in colder weather as they provide the birds with extra energy and help them to build fat reserves. They also have a good selection of bird feeders ranging from simple feeders through to all weather ones.

What ever aspects you choose to add to your garden or allotment to attract birds will help to increase their numbers! : ) I hope we get a bit more variation in our garden and I will be keeping an eye out with my binoculars too!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

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