Every gardener always has problems with two things, weeds and pests. And, if you are like me you do not like to pour a lot of chemicals on your food. So, a simple solution is to encourage birds to your garden by putting out bird feeders with food that the birds like to eat. While the birds are there they will look for insects in your garden, too. Not a bad deal.
I have been feeding birds for several years now and it seems that the longer we extend this relationship the fewer pests I have in the garden. I, also, feel that using good organic growing practices helps over the years. There are fewer problems in my garden now than when first starting.
To get started attracting your little feathered helpers you only need a couple of simple items… bird feeders and bird seed. Let’s gab a bit about what you will need to get started right.
- Bird feeders – what type of feeders and where to put them.
- Bird seed – the right seed for the right bird.
You can just hang up about anything that will hold food, but to get the job done right and to help you attract the birds you want you need to know where and what type of feeder to use.
The type of bird feeder you use is determined by the kind of seed you feed. Larger seeds like black oil sunflower and mixed seeds can be fed in a hopper type feeder or a tube feeder.
For small seed, like thistle seed, there are mesh feeders.
By attracting a variety of birds you will get a more complete coverage of your garden with pest fighters. Towhees will scratch on the ground to look for bugs. The warblers will catch insects in flight. Some birds mainly eat insects and worms, like the blue bird.
So, it is wise to put out a couple of different feeders and use different types of seed to get a better coverage of pest catchers. Some birds like to feed closer to the ground, others like a bush close by to perch on and others like to stay close to a tree.
The black oil sunflower seed is the most popular food from a poll of birds we know. A wide variety of seed and bug eaters will flock to your sunflower seed feeders. One of the side benefits of feeding sunflower seed is the seed dropped in your garden will make a prettier garden. Titmice, chickadees, cardinals and many others will come to your sunflower feeders.
A mixed bird seed is popular with many small and larger birds. Almost every store that sells bird food has a mix of different grains. I tend to stay away from the ones with whole corn. It seems that the corn draws the riffraff, like the black birds, starlings and, of course, the squirrels. To keep squirrels out of your feeders you may want to use a squirrel resistant feeder. They can be a real problem in some areas.
To attract smaller birds, like the finches, try thistle seed. I recommend using Nyjer seed, as it is heat treated to kill germination. This prevents it from sprouting and becoming a nuisance.
The above couple of quick tips should help you rid your garden of one of the things that bothers you the most, pesky pests. Birds can be a big help with the bugs and can be a joy to watch as they come and go around your backyard.
Thanks & Happy Gardening!