Birds love vegetables growing in your garden. They love your flowers, shrubs, and trees. Attracting birds to your garden isn’t hard to do.
In fact, attracting wildlife to your vegetable garden and backyard living space can create an inviting space for all creatures to live together.
But how do you create a vegetable garden space that benefits the birds and your plants?
This is a common struggle with most gardeners, fighting birds from popping tomatoes and stealing corn seeds as soon as they are planted. But it doesn’t have to be a problem.
When you plant your vegetable garden and any garden space it’s always so important to realize that you’re adding to the natural environment. When you plant your garden, consider the important concepts of permaculture.
Permaculture is designing a garden space the way nature would intend so that everything works in favor of each other, and ultimately thrives.
What does this mean for birds and your vegetable garden?
In this post we’ll look at when it’s a good time to attract birds to your vegetable garden and how and when to protect your crops so that there is a symbiotic relationship where both the the gardener and the birds thrive.
Are birds good for your vegetable garden?
Yes. Birds, no matter the species, love to eat insects and bugs when the garden comes to life. In the spring and summer months, a garden is an active place for growth and natural activity. Even into the fall season birds look forward to harvest season when seeds, nuts, and fruit are readily available for their diet.
The vegetable plants growing in your garden, either planted by seed or as seedlings are just babies.
They are at risk of harm from both the birds, slugs, aphids, and other bugs and insects that can harm the growth of the plant.
As the vegetable plants grow, these pests the slugs, spiders, and insects will become a larger problem such as eating the leaves and greens off plants and or the fruit of the vegetable plant.
So with these creatures, along with the weather, potentially causing havoc on your garden, why would birds be good for your vegetable garden?
The birds will help keep your insect population down during the peak of gardening season which will really help with the growth of your vegetables.
I suggest you plan your vegetable garden and knowing that birds are most likely going to cause some problem.
Then you can consider how you can attract them to seek these benefits and yet protect your young plants during the spring and fully developed plants during the ripening and harvest stages of your garden.
Should you attract birds to your vegetable garden?
Attracting birds to your garden is a great idea when planning to keep insects at bay. There are several ways you can attract birds to your vegetable garden.
The first is by planting native plants and evergreens as part of your landscape to provide food and shelter for nesting year-round. Crab apple or other late harvest apple tree variety is a great way to encourage birds to be regular visitors.
During the gardening months, provide birdseed and or suet feeders for birds and water baths to keep birds fed and happy while keeping your insect population down.
How do you protect my vegetable garden from birds?
Once you’ve attracted birds to your property year round it’s time to plan for protecting your vegetable garden crops.
If growing your vegetable garden in a greenhouse, shutting the door and venting the windows will keep birds at bay.
If you have raised beds and a fenced-in garden like most gardeners, stringing bird netting above or wire mesh around plants can be helpful. Just be cautious that you use bird netting as other materials like fishing line may cause the bird harm.
Better solutions include hanging items that sway and move in your gardens such as streamers or decorations.
Hanging CD’s in the garden to refract like has also been known to really help deter the birds from your garden
Birds may be thirsty if entering your garden after watering or rainfall, so try having a rain bath always available as well as a bird feeder.
How to keep birds from eating garden plants?
Be strategic and have fun with keeping birds from eating your garden plants.
For example, be prepared before the vegetables and fruit have produced you can trick the birds by setting out decoys such as painted rocks in the shape and appearance of strawberries so the birds quickly learn that those strawberries aren’t real fruit.
That way when the strawberries are ready to be eaten and harvested the birds will have been tricked into thinking they can’t eat them.
When you think of any children’s storybook about a farm, there’s always a scarecrow. This traditional tactic is a great way to keep birds away from your vegetable garden the same as it works to keep the birds away from the farmers field.
Just think, when you’re in your garden do the birds come in or around you? If not, then having a scarecrow replace you in the garden might just work. Have a look at What Scare Birds.
The most obvious way to keep birds from eating your garden plants is to give them something better, easier, and more accessible to eat.
Bird feeders are a great way to do this. By making birdseed and suet readily available birds will be attracted to your backyard and garden area but probably won’t be bothered to eat the produce you are growing.
Bird feeders are great to introduce to your backyard in the late fall or winter when birds have to look harder for food and higher protein sources.
Make your own peanut butter pinecone feeder, dehydrate orange rinds in bowls and fill with seed.
This way, birds will become part of your backyard’s natural habitat, eat the bugs in your garden and avoid that precious fruit.
Birds don’t like the smell of garlic or cayenne pepper. Try making your own diy bird repellent spray with chili and cayenne powder, vinegar and water.
Will a bird feeder keep birds out of my garden?
A bird feeder is the simplest and easiest way to attract birds away from your garden to somewhere else in your backyard. If that doesn’t keep the birds out, then try planting other flowers or bushes that you don’t mind sacrificing.
Which bird feeder attracts most birds?
Bird feeders when filled with seed and suet can attract wild birds and provide them with an extra food source but it may be raided by local squirrels and other critters.
From tube feeders, hopper feeders, ground feeders, suet feeders, and more the options are endless for bought style bird feeders.
Then you have to consider all the fun and creative ones that add décor and style to your backyard as well.
For the purpose of attracting birds to your backyard, tube feeders are a great option for attracting small birds.
Birds will be attracted to your feeder not by scent but by sight. So it’s important that no matter what feeder style you decide upon, that it is placed near the ground to attract ground-feeding birds.
But make sure that it’s high enough and hung to keep deer raccoons and other critters away.
Do birds eat from feeders at night?
It’s important to note when the birds are eating from your feeder. The type of your feeder might be for specific birds or the suet and bird seed you are offering to them.
At the end of the day, dusk is the best time for attracting nocturnal birds, and dawn is the best time to attract the diurnal birds.
Your best bet is to provide enough seeds for the day from morning to night and remove them in the evening if raccoons or other rodents are causing havoc.
How long does it take for birds to find bird feeder?
It depends on your local landscape and how the landscape already provides food and a home for birds.
Sometimes it will take up several months for birds to discover your bird feeder. Make sure birdseed is the right blend and type for your area.
Birds can cause complete disaster for your vegetable garden, but with careful planning and some creativity, it’s possible to work with the birds to create a thriving vegetable garden and ecosystem for the natural birds in your area.