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Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello August ! It's for the Birds !

Greetings all, and welcome Miss August.  I am sitting here watching the birds outside my home office window. Mitch has put up several plant feeders -nothing fancy - they are actually 6 x 6 inch flat wood mini palettes that you normally use to display air plants.  He used a simple light metal plant hanger, attaching it to the sides rings. One is hung under a very large Bougainvillea tree outside my window, another under the large Almond Tree out back.

We have found that mounds of seeds and sunflower shells are just too messy in the garden, so we pick up very inexpensive Suet squares from the hardware store..cost is usually just around $1.30 and they last a long time. Best of all, the birds love them and the suet contributes to their food supply with nutrients, seeds and hydration.

We have the usual contingent of Blue Jays and Mocking Birds and Cardinals, and once in a while, get an unusual bird which makes me dive into Bird Pics online trying to discover what they are.

We love the birds as they are a great, natural pest control. Yes, they go for small lizards and worms, but they also are great for picking up the errant roaches and various pests that want to do harm to our plants.  Our policy is, we rarely have to spray any type of pest control on our plants - the natural order of Mother Nature and the abundance of diversity in our home garden, serves to keep things in check.

Of course, those lovely large Grasshoppers still show their colorful heads around, and they can defoliate a plant in no time flat, so when we do see them, they are taken care of swiftly. No one likes to squish a bug but truthfully, that's what you have to do. I know some gardeners like to keep a bucket of mild soapy water in which to give them a bath - their last bath, as they saying goes !

A bucket of soapy water is also a great way to deal with the errant snails and slugs that seem to multiply quickly when we have a great deal of rain. It is said that snails and slugs can be beneficial in any garden, as they love to feed on decaying matter, and add fertilizer to the soil.  But, some types can be detrimental to certain plants.  In a typical home garden, they usually won't cause much of a problem, but of course, when we, as an operating nursery, are dependent on keeping our stock foilage looking great, so we do have to address them if they arise to the detriment of the plant.

Many people ask us about our pesticide use on our plants and we are always pleased to say, that it is not a common practice for us. And, if we do have to do some pesticide control, we use organic sprays or sprays that only control the pest, and not hurt the plant.

We have found, the healthier the plant, combined with the healthy balance of a diverse garden lets Mother Nature do her thing, and the plants, the birds and the bugs can live in harmony !

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