Suet feeders attract a variety of wild birds
Q: We have Carolina wrens in our yard, but they never seem to come to our bird feeder. Is there any seed that will attract them?
A: No, wrens are insect eaters. They will sometimes visit blocks of suet hung from a branch or placed on a tree trunk. Purchase a suet feeder and several blocks of suet at your favorite wild birdseed supplier. Sometimes there is even a suet block that includes insects embedded in the suet. The plain suet, orange flavored and berry flavored also work. In addition to wrens, you will attract chickadees, jays, starlings, titmice, mockingbirds, and even some warblers.
Q: Is there any way we can keep our lawn green all year? We don’t like the brown color.
A: You can overseed Bermuda grass with rye or fescue but that will mean that you may have to irrigate and mow all winter. Visit plantanswers.com and search for “overseeding” for more information.
Q: What can we plant in the vegetable garden now that our tomatoes froze?
A: Plant onion, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, and cabbage transplants.
Q: Is it too late to plant a new shade tree?
A: No, it is still a great time to plant a new tree. Consider live oak, Texas red oak, Mexican white oak, Chinese pistache, bur oak, chinkapin oak, cedar elm, or Mexican sycamore.
Q: Our New Year’s resolution is to make our Bermuda grass lawn look like a golf course. What would we have to do?
A: I sent you a year round lawn care guide that describes the irrigation, mowing, fertilization, aeration, pest control, and other work that would be involved. Frequent mowing at 1 inch is one of the major requirements.
For anyone else that wants the lawn care instructions bulletin, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Dr. Calvin Finch
Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center
9350 S. Presa
San Antonio, TX 78223
Q: To produce tomatoes from seed for our spring garden, when would we have to plant the seed in the house?
A: It takes about six weeks to produce a sturdy transplant, so plant your seed on or about Feb. 1.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center at Texas A&M-San Antonio. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, email him at email@example.com.