Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...
Over half of adults in the UK feed birds in their garden – and lots more have nest boxes for birds. But if you want to encourage bird life in your garden, then there are four questions you should ask: What should I feed them?
There are a whole host of different types of bird seed and mixes. Different food will attract different birds – small seeds like millet will attract house sparrows and finches; blackbirds love dog food; live mealworms will be popular with robins and blue tits and may even attract other insect-eating birds like pied wagtails.
What shouldn’t I feed them?
You should never give milk to birds; a bird’s gut is not designed to digest milk and it could kill it. Other foods to avoid include dead worms; cooked porridge oats; dry biscuits or mouldy food. If you have a problem with foxes, cats or rodents, fresh foods may need to be avoided.
How should I feed them?
You can buy a whole variety of bird tables and steel mesh feeders (NB the latter is the only safe way to offer nuts to wild birds). If you have discerning birds, you may wish to consider this luxury XXL Bird Feeder, which is made of solid wood and has a genuine moss roof. More forgiving birds will be happy if you make your own unique bird feeder to hang from a tree or a bracket or a wall – making your own is also a fun activity to do with children.
How do I prevent disease?
Make sure that you clean and wash feeders regularly – and move them to prevent droppings accumulating underneath.
And here's finally a song from the great Mr E... because he likes birds!