Hanging baskets can truly enhance the look of a property. When attached to a house wall or dotted around the garden, they can overflow with flowers brightening up the entire space. But, not only are they attractive to look at but they are an ideal location for birds to build nests.
Nearly all gardeners welcome birds into their little garden haven. Most of us even try to attract them with bird food. What many gardeners do not want is to see, however, are their stunning flower displays flattened by a bird’s nest.
Hanging baskets bring versatility to any garden. You can grow just about anything inside them from flowers to tomatoes.
The problem is, birds don’t see these hanging displays as art. They simply see them as an opportunity for a new home. Luckily, there are ways to protect your hanging basket’s flowers as well as the birds that try to nest in them.
There are a few choices you can choose from and we are going to discuss each one today. It’s time to get your hanging baskets back!
Are birds a problem?
Seeing a mother and father bird fly back and forth to a nest to feed their young is a beautiful sight to behold. Even if they have made a cozy nest in your hanging basket, it can be tempting to leave them there.
If you’re happy with this, then do just that. But, as you’re reading this article, we can guess that you’re not as easy with the birds ruining your floral displays.
Birds can be problematic in a few ways. The first is when you’re growing vegetables or fruit in your baskets. Birds will see this as an open target and swoop down to steal the produce as it grows. Therefore, you never get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The second problem is when they make a nest in the hanging basket. This can destroy your flowers, fruits, or veggies and leave a huge mess afterward. While many people grow these plants in hanging baskets to attract birds for nesting, the majority are not so keen.
Birds can also be quite noisy, especially in the early hours. Therefore, if a hanging basket is outside your bedroom window, you will know very soon that birds are nesting.
So, how do you keep birds away from your hanging baskets? Let’s find out.
Methods for Bird Proofing Your Hanging Baskets
The number one method is prevention. Don’t wait until they have nested. Begin by finding a more appealing place to nest and try to attract the birds to this space. You can build or purchase a birdhouse or nesting boxes. Place these around your property so the birds leave your baskets alone.
The reason hanging baskets are a great place to nest is their height. They are high enough from predators on the ground. However, larger birds can still swoop in and steal the eggs or chicks. By building a birdhouse with a roof, the birds are protected from all angles.
Fine Wire Mesh
Another method is to wrap wire meshing around the hanging basket when planting your fruits, flowers, or vegetables. A light wire mesh such as this will prevent any birds from accessing the basket.
CDs and Streamers
One proven way of keeping birds away from your plants is to set up CDs or streamers in your garden. Anything that reflects sunlight will do. Hang strings of CDs or streamers along the edges of your basket.
These bright reflections will keep the birds away but this is a little fiddly to do so it’s not everyone’s first choice.
Using fake decoys are a great way of scaring birds away from your hanging baskets. The best decoys are ones that look like predators such as a fake snake or owl. When the birds see this, they will feel under threat and fly to a safer location elsewhere.
This fake owl from YOFIT even scares us away so there is no doubt it will do the trick with the birds hanging around your baskets.
What if birds are already nesting in your hanging baskets?
Even when you take preventative measures, determined birds may still make a nest in your hanging baskets. If this is the case, there are some ways of dealing with them.
Bamboo or Canes
You can use small bamboo canes or flower sticks to stop birds from landing on your hanging baskets. These can be cut and placed around the edge of your baskets. This will prevent birds and other animals from landing and loitering in your precious flowers.
Move the Hanging Basket
Contrary to popular belief, it is safe to move a nest, even with the young inside. Early research suggested that the parents would stop feeding their young if the nest was moved but this has been found to be untrue.
However, you must check with your state’s law. It is illegal to move an active nest in some regions that contain a native species.
If it is safe to do so, you can carefully remove the nest and place it at a nearby location. For instance, put a similar basket next to the original one and simply place the nest inside. This can be another preventive measure as you could place two baskets together at all times.
One should have moss in it for nests and the other can just have flowers, fruits, or vegetables. The birds will choose the moss-filled basket on most occasions.
Citrus Oil Covered Cotton Balls
One lesser-known method is to soak cotton balls in citrus oil. Leave the cotton balls in the hanging basket and the scent of the citrus will deter most birds.
As you can see, there are a range of ways to prevent birds from making a new home in your hanging baskets. Using one of these methods or a combination will help leave your hanging baskets blooming all year round.