You put the word “bird” and “Vegetables” together and the only story people see are pest control, and numerous ways to keep birds out of their gardens. The story goes on and on, to the point that very few people remember that birds are natural pollinators that can help the growth of flowers and vegetables. They eat up insects that destroy plants and foliage, they have a keen eye for rodents and will help pick them out, they pick out weeds for nest building and feed on natural seeds minimizing weed growth and even their poop can be used as fertilizer.
Birds can actually help your garden in more ways than they can hurt it or destroy it, and they can help you grow your vegetables and improve your garden, but for this to be the case, as a Gardener you need to take certain steps to make use of birds as helpers rather than prevent them as pests. Although not every bird will help in the same way, you need to figure out exactly what kind of help your vegetable needs to grow so you can know how to maximize birds in your garden.
Make Your Garden Habitable
The only to make use of birds in your garden is to make sure its bird tolerant and safe for them. You need to make your garden a pitstop, or a home for garden birds one that they can readily build nests in.
The first reason why a bird stops at a garden is to look for food, they are mostly out searching for food, now when a Jay or Siskin flies across your garden, they often have an eye out for signs of quick food, when you provide feeders with nutrient-rich bird food in them, they are more likely to persist for some time. Providing feeders serves two purposes. One, depending on the kind of food you provide, you can attract any bird that comes across your garden to keep it as a place to stop and look for food and it prevents them from eating your vegetables and seeds. By just making sure your feeders are full at all times, you can keep a bird as a friendly helper
Whether it’s a small sizable puddle down the road or a small lake, it doesn’t matter, all birds need water, so your best choice is to end up installing a birdbath in a position easier for birds to get to and move from at all times. A well-positioned concrete birdbath should be all that you need, it is simplistic and easy to maintain.
Create Nest Boxes or Enable Birds to Create
Your job will be complete if your garden is natural enough for the birds to create nest boxes or take up the ones you set up. Whichever be the case, you need to make them feel at home and safe from predators in your garden. This implies that you need to place nest boxes in places where the line of sight is wide enough for the bird to sight any incoming predators beforehand. You can also opt for planting fruit-bearing trees for them to feed easily.
Once your garden is suitable for birds to live in, then they can start playing their part on the vegetables you grow.
As soon as the birds associate your garden to a place of safety, rest and rejuvenation, where feeders and fruit trees are abounding and birdbaths are available, it becomes natural for them to feast on insects and pests that are intent on laying waste to your produce. At this point, you do not even need to use any pesticide that may be harmful to your crops and flowers, nature’s flying friend will do all the work for you. The same goes for rodents, you will be surprised to see that birds like, kestrels, backyard raptors or even owls will hunt down rodents in your garden like it’s their day job, they will reduce these rodent population including; rats, vole, mice, and squirrels that could normally infest a garden and damage crops. Your vegetables will grow in the best possible way, without attack from pests or rodents.
bees, butterflies, and birds are nature’s natural pollinators when your blooms are pollinated with this trio of helpers you would enjoy more large and colorful flower beds. Your harvest will be plentiful both in your vegetable count, fruit and flowers. Garden pollinators such as; hummingbirds, sunbirds, honey-eaters, and white-eyes among others. Once these birds are welcome in your garden they can help with nature’s job of cross-pollination and seed dispersal. Though it may be a costly strategy, if your garden’s ecosystem is one that lacks insect pollinators then your crops, produce and flowers will greatly benefit from this.
The time the birds spend among your plant will in time turn into a harvest of fertilizers where they would drop their golden nuggets (poop) unto your growing crops which are highly nutritious and beneficial to farm produce. Bird poop is high in phosphorus and nitrogen, two nutrients that are important for the growth of many crops. You can even take this a step further if you have nest boxes in your garden as birds will often leave poop in and around their nests, and when you do the job of cleaning up these nests you can as well gather up their leavings irrespective of how small and put it to good use as fertilizer.
The benefits for your vegetables are numerous when it comes to the presence of birds, they not only play an important role in the ecosystem or add soul and life to your garden they also help your vegetable crops grow in an environment free from most of the pitfalls of modern gardening.