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An Ounce of Prevention

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An Ounce of Prevention

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 10:39 am

On another thread someone had asked about preventing bugs, and I shared a bit about what I learned while flat on my back last year due to a back injury, and the bugs finished my entire garden I might add. Thought it might be more easily found here if someone was looking. Here is the link to that thread.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6023-how-to-keep-away-the-pests#53253

After all an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 11:59 am

Another good pest prevention is birds, yes birds.
http://yardener.com/YardenersPlantHelper/MakingForAHealthyYardEcology/AttractingBirdsToTheYard

I've seen it with my own eyes, put nets up around fruits, and let them roam the rest of the garden. A birdbath and some seed will get you started, they will go for the worms in your garden if you have those two handy. They may get some of your tomatoes, but again if you have seeds and water, they will be more likely to go for the worms instead of your tomatoes.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  Old Hippie on 4/4/2011, 5:02 pm

We are trying desperately to attract more birds to our yard. We would like to have a greater diversity of wildlife in our yard, even if we are within city limits. DH made a really nice feeder and he has plans to use an old satellite dish as a bird bath. Hopefully, those two things will help like you say. Not sure if we will be able to get the pond in this year or not to attract frogs, etc. We both enjoy watching the wildlife and the benefit of them eating bugs etc, is a bonus. Our only problem is the neighbourhood cats that roam around. I really hate it when they get the birds.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/4/2011, 5:07 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:Another good pest prevention is birds, yes birds.
http://yardener.com/YardenersPlantHelper/MakingForAHealthyYardEcology/AttractingBirdsToTheYard

I've seen it with my own eyes, put nets up around fruits, and let them roam the rest of the garden. A birdbath and some seed will get you started, they will go for the worms in your garden if you have those two handy. They may get some of your tomatoes, but again if you have seeds and water, they will be more likely to go for the worms instead of your tomatoes.

The single most important factor to attracting a WIDE diversity of birds to your yard is: A birdbath!! Yes, fresh water will bring in not only seed eaters, but your insect eaters, too! Swallows, Martins, Pheobes, Warblers, generally could care less about a sunflower feeder, but man o man do they love their buggies.

Gwynn, get that DH to hang a small dish bath a touch higher than the cats can reach. That will provide a little extra comfort for the tweeters.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  WolfHeart on 4/4/2011, 5:38 pm

Water is the number one thing to increase diversity in your backyard. I would also suggest that id you want insect eating warblers and their like, start feeding meal worms. You can also put out a wider variety of seed types. Nothing with red milo, nothing this far north uses it for feed. I might suggest safflower a wide variety of the seed eaters will eat it and the black birds will stay away from it. I would also spread millet under your feeders for all the ground feeding seed eaters. Suet for any picadaes (woodpeckers) you have in the area. whole peanuts for blue jays and corn for squirrels. Whew, I think that covers it basically.

As for the cats start asking you neighbors to keep them indoors, a recent study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology suggests that house cats cause 80% of bird fatalities in urban settings. here is a link to a recently published article from the journal of ornithology. The Article

Honestly I LOVE birds and get excited whenever the conversation turns towards our feathered friends. I am a certified bird bander, worked for Wild Birds Unlimited, and go birding every chance I get. So if you have questions PM me and I would love to help you out.

John

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 5:57 pm

Until you get your pond, try burying tuna cans in a bed here and there, especally under things like sumer squash, and keep them full, toads will hide in the plants and have water. Also I took a terra cotta pot and busted a part of one side out, turned it upside down and stuck it in my flower bed next to my Morning Glories, where the lizards like to hang out. I'm not paying $20 for a toad home.
http://www.gardensalive.com/product.asp?pn=3354&ss=toad

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  Old Hippie on 4/4/2011, 6:12 pm

@WolfHeart wrote:
As for the cats start asking you neighbors to keep them indoors, a recent study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology suggests that house cats cause 80% of bird fatalities in urban settings. here is a link to a recently published article from the journal of ornithology. The Article

Honestly I LOVE birds and get excited whenever the conversation turns towards our feathered friends. I am a certified bird bander, worked for Wild Birds Unlimited, and go birding every chance I get. So if you have questions PM me and I would love to help you out.

John

Thanks for the input John. You bet, I will be in touch with you about birds. We are in central British Columbia so most of the birds we have will be different from your area. My DH wants to build a bat house as well. The snow is not quite all gone in the city but there is still lots at higher elevations and in the woods. Migrating birds are returning so I am putting out nesting material as well as food for them. Spring is so late and many of the lakes are still frozen. On the weekend just outside of town we saw some Canada geese sitting on the ice on a pond looking all confused. LOL!

Many of the cats that are wandering around are feral cats. Our local SPCA policy of taking feral cats, spaying or neutering them, giving them shots and releasing them back into the wild drives me crazy. A number of years ago we had hummingbirds nesting in our back yard and the cats got at the nest. I was furious. We had spent weeks watching them.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  Old Hippie on 4/4/2011, 6:14 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:Until you get your pond, try burying tuna cans in a bed here and there, especally under things like sumer squash, and keep them full, toads will hide in the plants and have water. Also I took a terra cotta pot and busted a part of one side out, turned it upside down and stuck it in my flower bed next to my Morning Glories, where the lizards like to hang out. I'm not paying $20 for a toad home.

And you KNOW it goes without saying that I wouldn''t pay that either. Thanks for the link.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 6:34 pm

Something else I questioned the sanity of the purchaser was something I saw at Lowe's. Right below the Purple Martin house, the big community kind, were single homes for $10. They were birdhouse gourds-come on, seriously? Just grow you a few of those, hand them to dry for the winter, paint them in the spring, and tie them to some trees. $10 per gourd, boy I need to plant some and sell them for martin homes.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  WolfHeart on 4/4/2011, 6:37 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:Something else I questioned the sanity of the purchaser was something I saw at Lowe's. Right below the Purple Martin house, the big community kind, were single homes for $10. They were birdhouse gourds-come on, seriously? Just grow you a few of those, hand them to dry for the winter, paint them in the spring, and tie them to some trees. $10 per gourd, boy I need to plant some and sell them for martin homes.

hmmmm.....I can now garden and provide homes for the birdies. cheers cheers cheers

Time to find a place to grow gourds....


for Martins though, you need to put many singles closely together as they are colony nesters. the single gourd was more likely for house wren or sparrows.

I love spring!

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 6:45 pm

They based it on the size of the hole for entry, you may very well be right, just passing it along.

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Re: An Ounce of Prevention

Post  Old Hippie on 4/4/2011, 7:18 pm

Are there ANY birds that actually USE those gourd houses?

Wolfheart, the problem we have with the bird bath, is that any place that we mount it higher than cats can get to, I need a ladder to clean it. I read that it should be cleaned at least once or twice a week, if not daily.

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