Know It. Grow It.
AUTUMN & WINTER
During the colder months be sure to put out food and water daily. In severe weather this can be done twice a day in the morning and early afternoon.
Birds require foods high in fat and energy during the winter months to help maintain their fat reserves. Fat balls are a great option and can be brought in the shop.
Never allow uneaten foods to accumulate around the feeder as you may attract unwanted pests.
Once you have established a feeding routine, try not to change it as the birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden accordingly.
Sit back and enjoy watching your feathered friends!
SPRING & SUMMER
During the summer birds require high protein foods, especially while they are moulting. It is essential to keep the feed and feeder clean, otherwise feeding birds may do more harm than good.
Some good foods include:
Black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins, and currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, waxworms, and seed mixtures (without loose peanuts).
Avoid using peanuts, fat, and bread since these can be choking hazard if adult birds feed them to their nestlings.
Avoid using soaked or tinned pet foods as these may attract unwanted pests.
Home-made fat balls can go soft and rancid in warm summer weather and should be avoided. However, commercially produced fat balls are suitable for summer feeding, but be sure to discard them after 2 weeks and wash the feeder well.
Food shortages can occur at any time. If this happens during the breeding season, extra food on your bird table can make a big difference to the survival of young birds.
Birds will breed when most food is available. Blackbirds and thrushes feed on earthworms, and tits and chaffinches on caterpillars. If the weather turns cold or wet during the spring and summer there may be a severe shortage of these insects, and if it is exceptionally dry the soil will be too hard for earthworms.
At Henleaze Garden Shop we sell mealworms, which make a tasty snack for these birds and will help sustain them through any food shortages.
BRINGING WILDLIFE TO YOUR GARDEN
HOW YOU CAN HELP
When you brush your pets, pin the excess fur to a clothes line for birds to use as a cosy insulator in their nests!
Provide fresh, clean water all year; particularly during exceptionally hot or freezing weather.
Feed birds throughout the year. They will quickly learn that your garden is a regular source of food.
Only feed birds food that is recommended for them. If you are unsure what food is suitable you can speak to our staff in store.
To encourage hedgehogs, leave areas of the garden wild, with piles of leaves and logs, and lots of nooks and crannies for hiding. These make a perfect nest, as well as being the natural surroundings for the beetles, caterpillars, and worms that hedgehogs love to eat.
Making an artificial home can be as simple as placing a piece of board against a wall, or you can buy a purpose-built hedgehog house.
SPACE TO MOVE
Hedgehogs are generally nocturnal and in a single night can travel up to one mile.
To help them on their way, try cutting holes in your fences, removing bricks from walls, or digging tunnels under the garden boundary (with the consent of your neighbours, of course!). Hedgehogs can travel through gaps as small as 13x13cm, so these gaps don't need to be large.
Alternatively, swapping your wall or fencing for native hedgerows provides a route in and out of your garden, as well as shelter for a range of wildlife.
Supplementing a hedgehog's natural diet by leaving out food and fresh water is a great way to encourage local hogs into your garden. Leave out foods like tinned dog or cat food and cat biscuits or crushed dog biscuits. Good quality, specialist hedgehog food can be bought from wildlife food suppliers.
Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl. Bread should also be avoided as it's low in nutrients.
Remember to check the food and water bowls in the morning and top them up with fresh water, and remove any uneaten food. Replace with fresh food in the evening.
To discourage any diseases spreading from hedgehog to hedgehog, wash the bowl each morning with hot soapy water.
Hedgehogs are known to be a little clumsy and can easily fall into uncovered drains or holes in your garden. To prevent this, cover holes or check them every day to make sure no hedgehogs have become trapped.
Place bricks or stones at the side of ponds, or create a sloped section around the edge, to give hedgehogs a way to climb out if they fall in.
Check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where they might be resting. Hedgehogs also like to rest in compost heaps, so these should be checked first for any nesting hogs before forking over.