Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Saturday, July 20, 2013
Leave Swallows' mud nests alone !
Barn Swallows and Cliff Swallows make mud nests
each spring in Texas, to lay eggs and raise a family. The nests are probably still in
place, and often are used as a “home base” for the active, insect-eating birds. (Purple
Martins are a species of swallow, too).Inconveniently, sometimes the nests are built under the eaves of your
house, so rain doesn't wash them away. Wherever they are, it is illegal according to the Migratory Bird Treaty
Act to remove or disturb an active nest by any means - including washing it away with a hose. Best advice:wait ‘til early September.
to do with old coffee grounds I recommend used coffee grounds as
an organic fertilizer. Not only are the grounds organic, but usually are
free. The diluted coffee itself is an excellent organic fertilizer too,
especially for orchids. The grounds also have another important
use. Broadcast the grounds around troubled plants to control slugs, snails
and pill bugs. To run off these pests, use anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs. of old
coffee grounds per 100 square feet.
Coffee grounds contain vital trace minerals and
stimulates the growth of beneficial microbes. At the very least,
save your own coffee grounds at home. Or just ask your local restaurants or
coffee shops to put them in a container you provide.