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‘Hybrid’ oak vs. live oak
Q: You talk about using suet to attract insect-eating birds. In the old days, we used chunks of beef fat for the purpose. Is that as effective as the expensive blocks sold at the feed stores?
A: Birds like both. The blocks at the feed store have seed and/or fruit added so that they also attract seed- and fruit-eating birds.
The most serious insect eaters are starlings, wrens, woodpeckers, warblers, mockingbirds, and kinglets.
Q: Are the “hybrid” live oaks better than the regular live oaks?
A: All live oaks are technically hybrids. They are grown from seed with two parents’ genes and not vegetatively reproduced.
The trees advertised as “hybrids” were grown from the seed of a parent tree that was identified as fast growing and more upright. If you want those characteristics, select a tree marketed as a “hybrid.”
Q: When can I replace my winter-blooming annuals with the summer flowers?
A: Plant zinnias, begonias, coleus, and other hot-weather bloomers in late March through June.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist/director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center, Texas A&M-San Antonio. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Sat. noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sun.
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