Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Don't forget the birds

 AT this time of year berried crops, country hedges and other food sources have become scarce.

A bird table will attract lots of birds, including local thrushes and blackbirds, especially if you provide protein and energy rich foods like peanuts and a small dish filled with water. It is important to continue to feed the birds right through the winter.

Other jobs to be getting on with around the garden include, planting bare root and root-balled plants such as thorn quicks, privet and oak as weather conditions permit.

Terracotta pots and containers may be vulnerable to frost damage so it would be advisable to empty them and store under cover. Alternatively, they can be wrapped in sacking until the risk of frost has passed.

This is a good time to mend garden structures and tools. Replace broken stakes and ties on trees, point up broken paving, stone walls and concrete paths.

Repair damaged fences, posts and pergolas as they need to be secure enough to withstand strong winds.

Always keep the glasshouse clean and tidy. Clear out all the plants and give the glass, benches, floors etc. a good scrub down, removing algae, moss and debris, which will harbour many pests if left until the spring.

Throughout the growing seasons dead or diseased plants in the garden need rooting out and discarded. Burning is a quick and easy way of disposing of combustible waste materials.

An open bonfire or incinerator is the ideal way of turning waste quickly into ash, which is both easily handled and easy to incorporate into the soil. There are several type of garden incinerators available including the wire mesh, dustbin and collapsible wire cage.

No well-kept garden can afford to be without one.