As the pace of growth ramps up with spring well under way, there seems to be much to do in the garden and it can sometimes feel as if there are not enough hours in the day.
While you are out in the garden, look out for birds nesting and feeding for their young.
Birds caring for their young really are the epitome of “busy” at this time of year, collecting food from dawn until dusk. If you think you don’t have enough hours in the day, consider the birds!
Garden birds are happy to visit feeders to sustain themselves, however they only feed live food to their young.
Caterpillars, grubs, aphids and other insects are rich in protein, soft and easy to digest and are the perfect ingredients for a successful brood.
Recent research, although not proven, suggests that feeding adult birds may give them more time to hunt for live food for their nestlings.
By not using insecticides, you will find that birds become a useful ally in your garden and pests only appear for a short time before they are gobbled up.
With no more frosts likely for the year, those who haven’t risked planting frost tender vegies and annual seedlings out can do so now.
It is time to act now to prevent slug and snail damage.
Start with a garden cleanup to reduce snail and slug breeding sites.
Handpicking, just after sunset by torchlight, will reduce the number of snails over time but is less effective for slugs.
Barriers such as crushed eggshells, lime, wood ash, wood shavings and sawdust can be used to protect vulnerable plants.
The best barrier of all is adhesive copper tape, as it works wet or dry.
Slugs and snails will move into home-made traps such as inverted grapefruit halves or pots and can be collected and disposed of each morning.
Use pellets as a last resort as pets may be attracted to them and snail or slugs which have consumed them may be eaten by birds or lizards.
Armidale Garden Club's next meeting will be on November 24 at the Uniting Church Hall. This will be the club’s final meeting for 2016.
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