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5 top gardening tips for January and February

January 5, 2024
Charlotte Bartleet-Cross

5 top gardening tips to help birds in January and February

‘New year, new me!’ A sentiment we see echoed with the dawn of a new year, but what about new year, new opportunities? January and February provide the perfect time to get gardens in order, and provide new sources of food, water, and shelter for our beloved songbirds. Use our below tips to get on top of things in the new year, and provide your garden birds with the best start.

1. Continue Providing Food: As natural food sources remain scarce, maintain your bird feeders with a variety of foods like seeds, suet, and mealworms. Consider offering different types of feeders to accommodate various bird species and their feeding preferences. You could also offer fruits and berries such as apples, pears, and dried fruits on feeding stations or by hanging them in mesh bags. These offerings can attract a wider range of bird species, including thrushes, blackbirds, and starlings.

2. Plant trees and early-blooming flowers: We are still in that perfect window to plant trees like beech, ash, elder and common oak. Make sure to get the trees in the ground before the end of February for their best chance. You could also consider planting hardy geraniums, snowdrops in the green or cosmos in February, and there are a variety of different vegetables that can get off to a flying start if you plant early.

3. Clean Bird Boxes: If you have nesting boxes in your garden and you haven’t had a chance, now is your last time to clean them out before the breeding season begins. Remove old nesting materials and sanitize the boxes to prevent the spread of diseases.

4. Recycle your Christmas tree and try mulching: You can provide additional shelter by leaving your old Christmas tree as a windbreak in your garden. Alternatively, you could shred the tree for mulch, or use your compost to help keep your soils healthy.

5. Pruning: Prune away any diseased or dying branches and leaves to protect your plants. Don’t use any plant material that may be diseased as compost. If you prune your other plants that are healthy to help their growth, consider leaving the pruned branches as shelter for wildlife.

By taking these steps in your garden during January and February, you'll continue to offer vital support to songbirds during the winter months when resources can be limited. Your efforts will contribute to the health and well-being of these birds as they navigate the challenges of the season and set them up for success.


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