One of my favorite spots in the back yard spring through fall is this little garden. It features native plants and those that will be attractive to butterflies. It also has a birdbath and seed feeder that we’ve had for years. Every day we can look out onto the property at any give time and watch the birds.
We’ve tried to leave as much of the property as undeveloped as possible. There are songbirds, scrub birds, marsh birds and shore birds that stop over for one reason or another. Part of maintaining a healthy habitat for the birds that live here is to have a fresh source of water. We usually change out the water in the birdbath basin every few days. But even then algae, dead leaves, pine straw and other unruly bits get into the birdbath. Cleaning the birdbath is relative easy with just a few simple steps.
After making sure there are no birds around, empty the birdbath basin.
Next, mix a cleaning solution. I heat 8 cups of water in the microwave and pour into a container. Then I add 1 capful of bleach for every 8 cups of water. We use a natural bleach like Seventh Generation Bleach which is better for the environment. I would not recommend using straight bleach or bleach with chlorine at all.
Pour the cleaning solution into the birdbath.
Cover the birdbath so that birds do not use it while the cleaning solution is in the basin. You don’t want them to get sick. I cover mine with a trash bag for approximately 15 minutes. Depending on how dirty your birdbath is you may have to let it sit covered longer.
After 15 minutes, drain the cleaning solution from the birdbath. This is another reason you don’t want to use straight bleach as it will kill your plants and grass. I wipe out the birdbath basin with a scrubbing cloth or brush. Make sure you wear gloves when scrubbing out the basin because you don’t want the cleaning solution or algae to get on your hands. Using a water hose with a pressure nozzle will help to make cleaning easier too.
I refill and empty the birdbath basin with fresh water at least two additional times just to make extra sure I’ve gotten all of the cleaning solution out before I finally refill and leave for the birds to enjoy.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac we’ll be able to start planting more flowers in a few weeks, which is exciting. We love to spend time outside and I’m hoping this is the year I will finally able to put up my porch swing.
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