VIT accepts the NWAC card

If you have the right plants in the garden, you will quickly greet feathered guests. A hobby gardener reveals how easy it is to attract birds.

Melsungen - Maria Beier (70) can often only shake her head when she looks at the gardens in the neighborhood. Gravel, English lawn, no flowering plants. In her garden in Röhrenfurth, a district of Melsungen, things are different.

The former biology teacher at the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule and board member of the Naturschutzbund (Nabu) Schwalm-Eder knows exactly how to attract birds and insects into the garden. Hedges and shrubs provide birds with nesting space. “But also protection,” says Maria Beier - for example on windy days.

This is how birds get into the garden: they need shelter and food

Birds like diversity. Conifers (thuja) offer protection, but not food. That is why it is better to plant a mixed hedge. The cornel, for example, provides food for insects in spring, just like the aronia berry. Lilacs can also be added to the hedge. "It's all in the mix," says Maria Beier. According to the Nature Conservation Union, the snowball is also a good hedge plant. It offers plenty of flowers for insects and later berries that birds love.

Flowering plants from spring to autumn, that is the motto in Maria Beier's garden. For example, daffodils, violets, lungwort and lesser celandine are currently the first food for insects in their garden. And where there are insects, there are birds too. When it comes to celandine, the former biology teacher likes to try it herself. "As a salad, it is very rich in vitamins and delicious."

Birds enjoy fruit in the garden

Birds, insects and amateur gardeners also benefit from fruit trees. The 70-year-old harvests the apples that remain on the tree before winter and throws them into the planting around the edges. "They'll get the birds then."

Beier relies on perennials in the bed. Columbines, cranesbills and lady's mantle, for example. Herbs are also very popular with insects. “But then you have to let them bloom of course.” Very important: even in autumn, insects still need food. "Many forget to make sure that there are still flowering plants in autumn," the senior citizen knows. Chrysanthemums are highly recommended. Incidentally, Maria Beier has several insect hotels.

Birds in the garden also need insects for food

Maria Beier regularly mulches her bed with grass clippings. “That promotes life in the soil.” Blackbirds and robins are happy about insects in the soil. Beier also uses the cut and finely chopped stems for mulching. "That weathers very quickly."

By the way, Beier does not cut back the perennials until spring. Insects use the dried up inflorescences and the arid undergrowth to overwinter. Plants like thistles shouldn't be cut too early either. Because the goldfinch is happy about the seeds. Faded sunflowers attract grain-eaters like the grosbeak.

Birds in the garden need protein for rearing - and not pesticides

In spring, when the birds are breeding, they can be easily reached under their plumage with some protein-rich food. “There aren't that many insects anymore, the supply is very scarce,” says Maria Beier. In garden centers you can also buy dried mealworms and insects. “This can really help the animals during the breeding season. They need proteins for rearing. "

Anyone who handles pesticides in their own garden to combat pests also destroys the food of the songbirds. Maria Beier relies on natural helpers: “I had tons of aphids on my red elder,” she says. So she simply ordered ladybird larvae on the Internet and placed them on the plant. “All the aphids were gone in a very short time.” Even after a year, the effect persisted. “And everything in a natural way,” says the former teacher.

This is how birds get on the balcony: hobby gardener gives tips

If you don't have a garden, but only a balcony, you can do a lot there with the right plants for insects and thus also for the birds, says Beier. Early bloomers in pots and window boxes not only look pretty, but also provide the important first food for insects.

After flowering, you can either dry the bulbs and store them for the next year or simply set them a little deeper in the pot and replant the soil above. The herb of the onion plant must, however, look out and dry off. The plant draws nutrients from it so that it will bloom again next year. For the summer, for example, you can also sow flower seed mixtures in the tubs.

Perennial perennials can also be planted in pots. However, overwintering is difficult, says Maria Beier. Because in the pot the plants do not withstand frost well. It is best to hibernate indoors. The perennials then also have to be watered regularly. (Carolin Hartung)

Siskins, goldfinches, greenfinches - they all belong to the finch birds that regularly fly to feeding grounds. A bird protection officer gives tips so that the birds do not get sick.


Carolin Hartung

born 1988 in Kassel. 2014-2016 traineeship at HNA, since July 2016 editor in the local editorial office in Melsungen

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