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Helping your Garden Wildlife this Summer

Robin Tomatito26-Dreamstime.com

If you enjoy your garden wildlife then here’s some tips to help and encourage them this summer:

 Birds need access to clean water. Many of us regularly feed the garden birds but in summer it is just as important to provide a constant supply of fresh water. In hot weather birds will quickly become dehydrated and their natural water sources, such as streams and puddles, will dry out. As well as needing to drink birds will enjoy bathing in hot weather as this will enable them to reduce their body temperature.  If you don’t have a fancy birdbath, then any shallow container will do the job just as well. Birds aren’t fussy! Of course other creatures, such as hedgehogs, will also be grateful for a place to drink.

Deadhead. Regularly removing faded blooms will encourage your plants to continue flowering. In turn this will prolong the availability of nectar and pollen for garden wildlife such as bees, butterflies and other welcome insects.

Ramshorn snail

Keep ponds free of debris. Rotting plant material will pollute the water so is best removed. This includes dead waterlily leaves and pond weed. Once you’ve pulled it from the pond leave it on the side for a while to allow any creatures to head back into the water. Adding some algae eating Ramshorn snails to the pond will also keep it clean.  If you want a true wildlife pond, then sorry but you will need to resist the urge to add goldfish as they will simply eat other forms of garden wildlife.

Step away from the chemicals.  Avoid using pesticides, etc. unless absolutely necessary. There are many organic alternatives available that will cause no harm to wildlife.

Create a log pile. A few stacked logs left to decompose in a corner of the garden will provide food and shelter for a wide range of insects.

Don’t be too tidy! A pristine garden will not provide the shelter and cover that wildlife needs. A great excuse to reduce the amount of mowing, strimming and clipping and just enjoy sitting in the garden. Anyone for a G&T?

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