Feeding birds allows you to enjoy them now from inside. And when spring arrives, it means you have encouraged them to look for dinner in your yard. Eating insects, weed seeds and adding interest to your landscape is how they will repay you this spring and summer. To further your own education on who is in your yard, purchase a bird guide book (such as Sibley’s or Audubon) and keep it handy by a window.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Think about your houseplants from their point of view: Your home is warm but there is little humidity, and sometimes hot air blows over you. The sunlight coming through the windows is very weak in February. You may be left in the hands of plant sitters who over-water or under-water and forget to give you a quarter turn every week so you don’t start to lean into the window, where you could get frostbite.
If you are responsible for the plants in your house, remember they need care, especially in winter. Give your plants a shower in the sink or tub to remove dust and grime that lands on leaves, spray them weekly or set them on pebbles with water below the pot to increase humidity in your home. Water only sparingly until growth begins again. And for plant’s sake, don’t fertilize until they have more sun (or artificial light) to make use of fertilizer.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Now is the time to do your pruning of any plant that does NOT flower in the spring. Trees and shrubs are dormant, meaning the cold weather and short days have shut down many of their activities. (Don’t think of your plants as active? They are when they are growing leaves and new branches, setting flowers, making fruit or employing their defenses against insects and disease!)
Pruning now allows the wounds to dry and begin the healing process before spring begins. Use common sense when pruning. Never prune above your head; think where that branch is likely to fall. Always wear heavy gloves to protect your fingers. Use only sharp tools, they will make the work faster, easier and less tiring. And never prune while standing on a ladder, that’s for professionals.
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Clear snow around small trees to make it harder for rodents to eat the bark. On a warm day (about 40 degrees), spray deer repellents on the evergreens that the deer eat. As they get hungrier, deer become less fussy about what’s on the menu, but a mouthful of repellent may send them to another area.