National Nest Box Week starts on St Valentine’s Day; a suitable day to remember to provide homes for birds in the vegetable garden.
National Nest Box Week encourages everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance:
- conservation of our breeding birds
TopVeg has made 9 nest boxes to put up in the vegetable garden and the surrounding area. They are different shapes and sizes in order to attract different species of birds, because birds are territorial. Robins, for example, do not like to have another family of Robins on their patch.
Click this link for plans for making a nest box which are on the British Trust for Ornithology site.
The BTO have also produced a book called the Nest Box Guide which can be obtained from Amazon by clicking the link:
Help the birds in your garden by starting to make a nest box on Valentine’s Day!
The vegetable garden is looking festive. Snow is on the ground and the garden is full of revelers! Crowds of birds are on the bird table, the guinea fowl are on the ground picking up the scraps; three Roe deer have just popped their heads up from the sprout patch and another is removing the leaves from the strawberries.
When our strawberries finished fruiting at the end of July, we trimmed all the old leaves off to remove all signs of disease. It is a hygiene thing – the crowns are left in tact, and fresh, new green leaves appear. Last year the deer ate all the new growth off the strawberries in January – I covered them over to save them from the deer – fed the strawberry plants liberally- and we had a heavy crop. This year, once the snow has gone, (and the spirit of Christmas is not telling me that the deer must have something to eat) I will cover the strawberries with netting, and keep the deer off. Meanwhile I will keep an eye out to make sure the deer are not damaging the crowns.
The same thing applies to the Brussels sprouts. As long as the deer are only munching leaves, I will leave them to it. But if they start on the sprout buttons (our Christmas Dinner), the Brussels sprouts will have to be fenced off too.
The leeks and root crops are safe from our visitors, being well covered by the snow. Luckily I covered the beetroot and Christmas potatoes with a sheet before it snowed – so the animals cannot reach them but we hope the frost has not got down and spoilt the crop.
I love seeing so much activity in the vegetable garden. The birds and deer are so busy there, enjoying the Christmas holidays and making merry!
The festive spirit is causing us to break the rules. Return on effort is our priority, & we always make sure that every ounce of effort has an edible outcome – usually for us! But these are exceptional circumstances in the vegetable garden, particularly at this festive time. Happy Christmas to you all!
Rainfall in the TopVeg garden in April 2010 was 18ml
January 2010 was 57 ml
February 2010 was 59.5ml
March 2010 was 26.5ml
Rainfall in the TopVeg garden in 2009 was 518.75
The annual rainfall in the TopVeg Garden:
The rainfall in April 2010 in the TopVeg garden (18) was higher than last year (7), what was yours?