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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Plants that Bird Love

Perennials. When selecting showy perennials, consider their seed production and their appeal to hummingbirds for nectar. Some perennials good for birdseed are columbine (Aquilegia), zones 3-10; coreopsis (Coreopsis), zones 3-10; purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), zones 3-10; California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), zones 8-10; and goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), zones 3-10. These are hummingbird favorites: columbine, zones 3-10; red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), zones 5-10; cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), zones 2-9; bee balm (Monarda didyma), zones 4-10; penstemon (Penstemon), zones 3-10, depending on species; orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), zones 3-10; and salvia (Salvia), zones 5-10, depending on species.

Skyline Trees (taller than 50 feet). In a large backyard, you may be fortunate to have space for a skyline tree. These provide a canopy of food and shelter: American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), zone 6; black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), zone 5; black cherry (Prunus serotina), zones 4-8; and white oak (Quercus alba), zone 5.

Annuals. Choose annuals with abundant seeds, especially those in the sunflower family, to lure songbirds such as goldfinches and house finches. Let the flowers stay on the plants to set seeds.

Among the bird-feeding annuals that flourish throughout the country in summer gardens are ageratum, amaranth (Amaranthus), China aster (Callistephus chinensis), basket flower (Centaurea americana), bachelor’s-button (Centaurea cyanus), calendula, celosia, coreopsis, cosmos, sunflower (Helianthus annus), sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), marigold (Tagetes erecta), Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia), and zinnia.

Large Trees (25 to 50 feet tall). Plant these large trees for cover and fruit: common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), zones 2-9; cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli), zone 5; common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), zone 5; red mulberry (Morus rubra), zone 6; sassafras (Sassafras albidum), zones 5-8; American mountain ash (Sorbus americana), zones 3-8; and coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), attractive for acorns, zone 9.

Small Shrubs (up to 10 feet tall). Small shrubs are useful in multilevel plantings as a transition from ground covers to trees. These provide both food and cover: Inkberry (Ilex glabra), zones 5-9; fruit-bearing junipers (Juniperus), zone 3, depending on species; northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), zone 2; common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), zones 3-8; currant and gooseberry (Ribes), zone 2, depending on species; wild rose (Rosa virginiana), zones 4-9; and coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus), zones 3-9.

Hedges. Hedges furnish both food and protective cover, including nesting places. Birds prefer informal, unclipped hedges with fruit. Choose plants that form attractive shapes naturally so you won’t have to prune frequently. When you do prune, wait until after the fruit has been eaten.

Check the shrub list, above, for plants to use in hedges. A mix of several types of shrubs in a hedgerow is more effective than using one type of plant for the entire hedge.

Needle-Leafed Evergreens. Large con provide year-round cover, buffering winter cold and summer heat. They also provide seed and create nesting places. Some of the best are arborvitae (Thuja), hemlocks (Tsuga), firs (Abies), spruces (Picea), and pines (Pinus). Berry-producing junipers (Juniperus) also attract, feed, and shelter birds.

Small Trees and Large Shrubs (up to 25 feet tall). For bird-attracting fruit, plant the following: serviceberry (Amelanchier), zone 3, depending on species; hawthorn (Crataegus), zone 5; desert olive (Forestiera neomexicana), zone 7; dogwood (Cornus), zone 2, depending on species; toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), zone 8;holly (Ilex); juniper; sargent crabapple (Malus sargentii), zones 4-8; American plum (Prunus americana), zone 6;American elderberry (Sambucas canadensis), zones 4-9; Sitka moutain ash (Sorbus sitchensis), zone 5; andviburnum (Viburnum), zone 2, depending on species.

Vines. Clusters of tangled vines provide hiding and nesting places for birds. Depending on the variety, they also provide nectar, fruits, seeds, and insects. Two hummingbird favorites are trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), hardy to zone 5, and trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), hardy to zone 4. Vines attractive for fruit includesupplejack (Berchemia scandens), zone 6; Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), zone 4; and grape (Vitis), zone 3, depending on species.

Ground Covers. Low ground covers enliven the floor of the bird garden while providing bird food and cover. Choose from these low-growers (less than 12 inches high): bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), zones 2-8; wild strawberry (Fragaria), zone 5; wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), zone 4; and cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), zones 2-6.

Brambles. This is a large genus (Rubus) of usually thorny shrubs, including raspberries and blackberries. Many native brambles are popular fruit crops, and their prickly, dense growth provides protection and nesting places for a variety of birds including indigo buntings, cardinals, yellow warblers, towhees, and sparrows.

Other Habitat Features

Dead Trees. Retain a standing dead tree if it’s not in danger of falling. Snags, as they are called, provide nesting cavities for birds such as woodpeckers.

Ponds. In addition to providing water for birds, a small garden pond is excellent habitat for aquatic plants and other wildlife, including frogs and turtles. Locate the pond about 5 to 15 feet from protective cover.

Brush Piles. Birds and other wildlife will seek cover, food, and sometimes nesting places in a brush pile. Instead of hauling off your tree trimmings, create a brush pile (mixed with rocks and stones) in an out-of-sight corner of your property.

Meadows. A meadow of annual and perennial wildflowers, low-growing shrubs, and native grasses is a certain bird lure.

Planting Hedges Tips

The vast majority of us consider our yards and patio nurseries an expansion of our homes, and we search for asylum and protection there.

Plants can make living dividers, which can be particularly imperative in neighborhoods where homes are near one another. Whether you can sit tight years for the screen to develop set up, or require a screen immediately, you have numerous alternatives. For best results, take after these means:

Devices and Materials

Books

Drawing materials

Evaluate your requirements. Is it accurate to say that you are searching for living wall for year-round security, or only for occasional screening? What amount of support would you be able to oversee? Do you need a blend of plants with multiseason interest (blossoms, evolving foliage, winter shading, organic product), a formal cut fence, or pruned plants for convenient screening? What is your base tallness necessity? What amount of cash would you be able to put resources into this undertaking?

Survey the site. Assess the region as far as measurements, sun and shade introduction, soil sort and seepage, and vicinity to underground components, for example, gas and water lines. Converse with your neighbors to alarm them about your goals, and ensure the undertaking works for them, as well.

Choosing plants. Once you have information about the site, you can decide what kind of plants will thrive there and meet your needs. When your desire is for immediate results, only a fence or a substantial investment in mature plants and landscaping will do the trick.

Mixed plantings of evergreen and deciduous shrubs provide interest in many seasons.

Deciduous plants provide more shade in summer but allow light to reach your yard in winter.

Fruiting trees, bushes, and vines provide snacks for you and the birds and for your neighbors.

Tall potted plants make a fast portable screen around a pool, patio, or deck.

Clumping bamboo and ornamental grasses grow quickly and lend an exotic air.

Annual vines grow quickly up a trellis. Perennial vines can climb an arbor or trellis, or soften a fence.

Watering Lawn using This Helpful Tips

Gardens ought to be watered as they need it, however by what means would you be able to tell? You can tell initially in the event that you know the signs.

As a garden dries out, the foliage withers – the pieces of sod twist or overlay. When this happens, there will be an unobtrusive shading change from rich green to a dull blue-green. A second sign is loss of “ricochet.” Walk over the grass in the morning. On the off chance that your impressions stay for more than a few moments, the grass isn’t springing back and it’s the ideal opportunity for watering.

When you do water, water sufficiently long to permit the water to absorb beneath the root zone. Shallow watering empowers shallow root development, which implies it will be liable to dry spell harm and require always visit waterings. Shallow watering likewise permits weeds to build up at the surface.

It will take around an inch of water to enter 6 to 8 inches into the dirt. Set out shallow jars in the sprinkler territory to quantify.

The best time to water is early in the morning. There is usually less wind, temperatures are moderate, and there is less chance for diseases to get established.

Watering in the afternoon is the worst from the point of view of water conservation. Up to half the water can evaporate in the air or on the ground during the hot part of the day.

Where there are water shortages, night watering and other restrictions often control the schedule. In these areas, do not apply nitrogen fertilizer, keep the grass taller than normal, and if you do get a shower, think about watering during the rain to reduce evaporation and penetrate 6 to 8 inches into the soil. Most passing showers do not provide the full inch of rain needed for deep watering.

You can improve your lawn’s efficiency by removing thatch and aerating your lawn. Compacted soil and thatch prevent water penetration.