Question: Should I feed birds in winter, and if so, what should I feed them?
I think you should feed birds all year round! But perhaps, not exactly in the way you might be thinking. This is a more complex topic that most people realize.
Water for Birds
Before you contemplate bird food, make sure to have a clean, unfrozen source of water for overwintering birds. Clean, accessible water is very difficult for birds to find – especially in cold weather. …
Does fall seeding work with native perennials and grasses? I’m in NJ.
Seeding is a very economical way to grow native plants. Although most seeding is typically done in the spring, fall seeding can be quite successful, if you keep a few things in mind.
Not all seeds have the same requirements for germination. Many native seeds need some type of pre-treatment to successfully germinate. Your first order of business is to determine what your particular seeds need. There are excellent guides on the Prairie Moon Nursery website that can help you: How to Germinate Native Seeds and their Cultural Guide….
I hear people talking about common milkweed as invasive. Can native plants be invasive?
No matter where I travel throughout the U.S., I often hear people talk about certain native plants as “invasive” perhaps mentioning plants like Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) or Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) – two plants that can spread extensively by rhizomes and create large stands.
Hmmmm, aren’t those great ecological plants? They certainly are! An extraordinarily large number and variety of pollinators visit these plants and many species of birds eat their seeds….
Is it too late to plant in July? I’m located in PA.
For us plant geeks, it’s never too late to plant (or so we think!). Ideally you want to finish up your planting when the days are warm and the nights are cool. This promotes the best root development and the least stress on plants. When are the ideal times? In the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic, it’s usually mid to late spring, early summer, and early fall.
If you have a busy schedule,…
I live in an apartment with a balcony. What can I plant for pollinators?
Whether you have a balcony, a rooftop, or a patio, you can still plant many pollinator-supporting native plants in containers. It’s best to stick with perennials or small-sized woody plants, since the root volume of larger shrubs and trees may far exceed even the size of a large pot. Whatever you plant, be generous with the size of the container to give plants space to grow above and below the soil level….
My landscaper suggests that I cut back the top of my Sugar Maple to reduce its size. Is this ok?
I suggest that you quickly replace your landscaper and find a qualified arborist. Tree topping is extremely injurious to trees. Unfortunately, it is a very common practice, performed by practitioners who don’t understand trees.
Topping refers to the practice of cutting a mature tree back to a uniform height and/or width, leaving large branch stubs and sizeable wounds. It is also referred to as heading,…
I have a row of White Pines planted by the road in my front yard. This spring they look terrible. Is there anything I can do?
Roadside plantings can be difficult for many reasons. Some of the biggest challenges include the impact of road salts in winter, pollutants from the roadway, infertile soil, and erosion from stormwater runoff.
The past winter was a doozy in much of the country – lots of cold weather, vast amounts of snow, but even worse for plants,…
Is Ipomoea coccinea (Red Morning Glory) beneficial to a wildlife garden in central NC?
Hummingbirds are certainly attracted to the red tubular flowers of Red Morning Glory, and butterflies are also known to visit. But there is a caveat when considering this plant for a wildlife garden. Many sources, including the USDA, consider Ipomoea coccinea to be an introduced, non-native plant which, in addition, has been declared a noxious weed in Arizona and Arkansas. In fact,…
I’m trying to attract Painted Buntings – they used to come to my yard but evidently whatever they liked to eat is no longer growing here.
Thanks for your question. You are fortunate to live in part of the country where you get to see these wonderful birds. Their range in the U.S. is limited to the Southeast and South-Central region. Both populations migrate in the winter, although to different areas. The Southeast population overwinters in Florida and the northern Caribbean;…