Mid-Atlantic

June, 2012
Regional Report

Leave Some Insects for Hummingbirds to Eat

Yes, hummingbirds do feed on nectar. They also like small insects. Hummers feed their young small insects. Adult hummers get protein from mosquitoes, spiders, thrips, gnats and other arthropods.

Have a Birdbath for Birds and Hummingbirds

A birdbath with fresh water will attract our feathered friends as long as the water is not frozen. To encourage hummingbirds, put some flat rocks in the bath to give the tiny birds a place to bathe. Hummers also like to fly through spraying water.

Root Out Weeds

Weeding carelessly is wasting time and energy. Do it right the first time. Reach low and pull the weed out at ground level, including the root. Dig out resistant pokeweed and thistle roots. Rooting out weeds reduces chances of their resurrection. I'm finding gardens where people have pulled off weed tops, leaving bare-looking stems. Those purple perillas, dandelions, thistles, and bindweed will likely return stronger than ever.

Do Not Transplant During or Before Hot Weather

Digging up and replanting is a shock to the perennial, annual, or shrub being transplanted. So help the plant along. Transplant in the cool part of the day and ahead of a stretch of cooler weather. That will mean less stress on the plant. Don't transplant when the temperature is predicted to be in the high 80s or 90s in the days following transplanting.

Water, Water, Water New Plantings

Summer's on! Plants want to survive and thrive. Help them by watering deeply and often, especially new plantings, container gardens, and transplants. All are putting out new roots and leaves, which takes lots of energy. Just as we feel and do better when well-hydrated, so will our gardens and newly planted favorites.

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