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Birds, perches, compost, natural propagation… natures way.  RSS feed

 
Daniel Palacios
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I had an idea on how to spread more plants without cultivation. Start with tomatoes or blueberries, or strawberry. Build compost piles in areas where you want a new berry, or fruit plant. I choose this type because the way it is spread iin nature, it needs a mammal or a bird to digest the outer stuff of the seed and provides a little fertilizer when spreading seed. Anyway, add a perch above compost pile, and when the birds eat the berry or fruit it will spread the seed around the farm naturally. Perch can be moved when new blueberry bush or strawberry plant appears. I believe this will give the blueberry the best advantage because it is started from seed in the ground naturally. Any inputs or criticism accepted. I have have not tried this but i have found seeds propagating under areas where birds perch and i think just setting this up by person, and composting also would increase chance of new plants.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I think that this is a "zone 4" idea. You won't have any control to speak of over what the birds plant for you, or when, but if you were doing some clearing of a spot in zone 4 and had debris as a by product, it could be the start of one of these piles.

I forget where I saw it, but there is a somewhat related technique for bringing birds to parts of your garden where you may be having a bug problem, and it's about the easiest trick I've ever seen. You just put a four foot stick in the ground, giving a bird a convenient perch to look for insects in the area. Presto, bug control and fertilizer!
 
Daniel Palacios
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okay. I thought of this when i saw plant group sprouted up around with a strawberry and this came to mind. Maybe one could encourage fruit or other offerings, or maybe one could simply pull out the "weeds" from this pile. I have not gone as far north as Zone 4 but yeah.. i wanted to express the idea and see if anyone had any similar experience or ideas. Thanks for the comment.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I've had bird feeders that got moved about once or twice a week...spread the wealth.

Always some volunteers showing up where it had been the previous week.
I had a blue jay that would take peanuts out of my hand (and then go hide them).
I had dozens of peanut plants popping up all over the yard.

 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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I have tall stakes up around my field in various places for attracting birds. We call our place Fieldsong Farm for a reason!

I don't expect to control what the birds plant, it's often something I don't want like Russian olive or Rosa multiflora. I am interested in encouraging them for their appetite for insects and also because they can spread beneficial soil life like nematodes with their feet! Plus, a little guano is good for fertility.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1274
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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Daniel Palacios wrote:... I have not gone as far north as Zone 4 but yeah...


Hi Daniel, I think it was referring to permaculture zones, where zone 4 means the area of your property that is away from the house and needs very little maintenance.

The drawbacks I can imagine to this are 1) there would be a lot of other plants growing in the same place so your desired plants might get smothered and die, and 2) if you want to weed them and protect them, you might not recognise them, so you have to be sure you can recognise a blueberry seedling, or whatever.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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Yes, I meant Perma culture zone 4, where you go infrequently and do a few organized long term things that won't require frequent attention.
This idea seems suited to that area, where you build your compost pile, set your perch, and come back for a look once every couple of months.
 
Rick Roman
pollinator
Posts: 442
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Inspired decades ago by the animated film "the man who planted trees". I collected buckets of acorns and black walnuts from the largest, healthiest trees I could find. My goal was to diversify a young, mostly maple and ash forest near my homestead. I planted many nuts just to find out the squirrels and other critters dug them up for food. Yes, I did try to protect them with mesh, cages, etc. It didn't stop those hungry squirrels. A whole lotta work for nothing. So, I watched the squirrels bury their nut cache at different times of the season and learned that they know just how to plant an acorn, by rolling it in to the ground, on its side, at the correct depth for optimum germination. So, for the last several years I've been collecting then dumping bucket loads of different types of acorn, at different times of the year, spring, summer and fall for the squirrels to do the planting for me. Yes, squirrels have excellent GPS like memories on where they plant their nut cache, but they do forget some. Now I have hundreds of little oak trees growing in this woodland. I hope in decades I will have a surplus of hardwood and acorns. Plus, plenty of food for the forest critters keeping them away from other nut producing plants like my prized hazelnuts.
 
Daniel Palacios
Posts: 26
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Very nice, using natures friends as our helpers!
 
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