Garden Jobs For July
During July your garden should be looking at its best and full of colour and gorgeous scents. You should be seeing summer-visiting birds from other continents such as warblers, house martins, swifts and swallows and you may also hear barn owls hooting at night. Insects will be in abundance providing a natural food supply for parent birds to feed their young.
Many fledglings will be out and about and competition for food will be fierce so make sure you keep your feeders and bird table topped up. If you’re not squeamish try putting out some live bird food such as mealworms which will provide a great source of energy for growing chicks.
Don’t put out peanuts or large chunks of food as baby birds can choke on them. Safe foods include wild bird seed mixes (but check that they don’t contain nuts or dog biscuits), black sunflower seeds, grated cheese, sultanas, soft fruit like apples and pears and oatmeal. You could also make or buy a ready made fat feeder.
You may need to put out smaller amounts of food more often as it can go off more quickly in the heat so check your bird table regularly and remove any food dropped on the floor that can attract vermin.
Water is especially important in the summer months so invest in a bird bath or use an upturned dustbin lid or large dish. A solar powered bird bath with a fountain is ideal as it keeps the water running which prevents the build up of algae and is environmentally friendly.
Be careful when you are trimming shrubs and bushes that you do not disturb nests and if possible leave a patch of long grass which provides some shelter from the heat.
If your roses produce hips then leave them when deadheading for birds to eat and leave any seedheads on flowers. If you have an abundance of seeds such as sunflower seeds you could start collecting them for later in the year.
Birds may also start to eat your ripening fruit and berries – it’s up to you whether you want to let them but if you do cover your trees with netting make sure that it is not made of material that birds can get caught in. You could try using fine tulle as an alternative.