Recently, I noticed that the male Golden finches have turned a vibrant yellow. This signals the start of the courting season, and the attracting of a mate.
Birdhouses, ideally, should be placed outside well in advance of the start of the mating season. This gives the birds time to check out potential nesting sites. You can keep your birdhouses up all year, taking them down to be cleaned at the end of the season and rehung. The houses will serve as shelters during inclement weather.
Like us, birds have varying preference in their choice of homes. Size of the house, style, along with the location and neighborhood, will influence the birds decision to choose a birdhouse or not. Birds do not like their house to sway, so they should be securely fastened. Place your birdhouses in areas that will shelter them from bad weather and all day direct sun. Provide nesting material, water and a food source near your boxes.
If you have not put up your birdhouses, it may not be to late. Some species of birds have more then one brood each season (up to three). For others, bad weather may have delayed their nesting. Destruction of the first nest may signal a restart to the nesting process.
If you have not already done so, pull back the mulch around your garlic, to expose the new shoots. Fertilize with a fish emulsion. Spring is the time to water your garlic. You will want to keep the moisture in the soil fairly consistent, watering when the top 2 inches is dry (about every 3-5 days). Watering encourages full size bulb formation, but over watering may hinder curing, reduce the shelf life and encourage mold. Garlic does not compete well with weeds.