Dealing with troublesome turkeys

FIERY SHOW: Kniphofias, above, make a great display.
FIERY SHOW: Kniphofias, above, make a great display.

PERHAPS everyone's least favourite birds, the brush (or bush) turkeys, are having a ball, with all the beautiful autumn leaves, new plantings and fine weather urging them to give us more to do, cleaning up after them.

If you have a property with mature trees, try hanging a couple of bird-feeders out on the branches, provide some good "scratching" material in the form of dropped leaves, with some added birdseed scattered in it, and they'll scratch there all day, leaving the rest of the yard to you.

For smaller vegie beds or flower beds: lay chicken wire on top of the soil, cover it with mulch, and they'll quickly learn they can't scratch there; or surround the bed with knee-high bamboo stakes, attach black cotton to the first, then around each stake a couple of times as you get to it, and when they touch it to get to the garden, it spooks them and it works.


The time to plant is now

While this week's flowers are not blooming at present, it is the time to plant them.

Red Hot Pokers, or Torch Lilies (Kniphofia) are splendid eye-catchers for the garden, and great favourites of nectar-loving birds.

They grow into large clumps, producing long stems of massed small, tubular orange-red and yellow flowers during summer into autumn, and are so easy to grow.

If a friend is sub-dividing, or you see some packets in the garden shops, get some now - see the blue-eared honey-eater enjoying the one pictured.

Topics:  bush turkey flowers gardening lifestyle plants

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