The very best way to attract birds is to offer them the kinds of foods they would find and consume in nature, and that starts with offering bird-friendly plants.
TREES: Hackberry, White Spruce, White Pine, Red & Sugar Maples, River Birch, Hornbeam, Flowering Crabs, European Spindle Tree (Eastern Wahoo), Pagoda Dogwood, Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Black Hills Spruce, White Spruce, Colorado Spruce, White Pine, English Oak, Regal Prince Oak, Bald Cypress, Ironwood Tree (Hop-Hornbeam), Norway Spruce, Flowering Dogwoods, Sweet Gum, Black Gum, Sassafras, Chokecherry, Japanese Tree Lilac
SHRUBS: Golden Elderberry, Black Lace Elderberry, Serviceberry, Beauty Berry, Western Arborvitae, Hemlock, Button Bush, Cotoneasters, Vernal & Common Witch-Hazel, Red & Yellow Winterberry, Arrow Wood Viburnum, Nanny Berry Viburnum, Black Haw Viburnum, American Cranberry Bush Viburnum, Red Chokeberry, Summer Sweet, Spice Bush, Bayberry, Barberry, Fragrant Sumac, Snowberry, Cardinal Candy Viburnum, Blue Muffin Viburnum, Witherod Viburnum, Black Haw Viburnum, Michael Dodge Linden Viburnum, Winterthur Viburnum, Molly Schroeder Viburnum, Tea Viburnum, Pink Beauty Viburnum, C.A. Hildebrandt’s Wrightii Viburnum, Blueberries, Junipers, Japanese Yew, Eastern Arborvitae, Gray Dogwood, Stag Horn Sumac, Rose of Sharon, Lead Plant (False Indigo), Hollies
GRASSES: Northern Sea Oats Grass, Dallas Blues Switch Grass, North Wind Switch Grass, Flame Grass, Little Zebra Grass, Little Bluestem Grass
The Rock Pile also carries countless PERENNIALS for attracting songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies! Check them out for yourself!
Think spring. What do you think of? I think of warmer weather, rain and all kinds of plants beginning to push through the ground. And since this will be happening soon, there is one precaution you should take before it’s too late for your plants. Use plant supports. Spring staking is always easier and better for your garden plants. Some plants can stand on their own. Others need a helping hand in the form of a stake… sometimes two.. Regardless of the reason for staking, you will easily obtain a healthy neat and tidy garden when using staking methods that are appropriate for your plants. Here are some tips and tricks to staking plants correctly. Follow them and enjoy a beautiful garden all summer long.
1) Do your plants need staking?
If your plant is top heavy, or moves around in the wind or the flowers/fruit lie on the ground, your plant needs staking. For perennials, try to remember from last year. Taller plants like delphiniums and hollyhocks are a must to stake. Strong winds and a hard rain will cause them to flop over and they do not bounce back later on. If you are planting vegetables, there is one veggie that will absolutely need to be staked… the tomato plant. Using a tomato cage will not only help support the plant but also keep the tomatoes out of the dirt.
2) When should you stake plants?
For perennials, stake your plants as early as possible, when they first begin to appear and the dangers of late frosts have passed. Top heavy flowers from bulbs should be staked at planting to avoid the risk of piercing any part of the underground portion of the bulb and damaging it. For tomatoes, let them have a head start of about 8 inches before you stake them. Be careful not to damage the root system when placing the stake.
3) Select the proper stakes for your plants.
Materials such as branches, bamboo, plastic stakes or metal rings (like Link-ups & tomato cages) work well for ease. Good old fashioned wooden stakes will work too but they should be sturdy straight stakes free from splinters. The size of the stake should fit your plant. Not too long, short or thick. The stake should be at least 1 foot higher than the plant before it is set into the ground.
4) Where should you place the stake?
Use a hammer to drive the stake into the ground OUTSIDE the drip line of the plant. Placing the stake inside the drip line will damage the roots.(The drip line is the imaginary circle on the ground that corresponds to the leaf canopy). Drive the stake into the soil so it is slightly lower than the height of the plant.
5) Tie off your plant.
Use covered wire or coated plant ties and attach them loosely ensuring they do not cut into the bark or stem of the plant. Be sure to secure the tie to the stake and not the plant. The tie material should begin at the stake, make a figure 8 and be tied securely to the stake with a knot or twist. You can also use green twine that will blend into your garden and will not damage or cut into the plant. Plants with top heavy flowers such as gladiolus and dahlias should be tied all the way to the top of the flower.
The vigorous growth of many herbaceous perennials and climbers often need a helping hand to prevent them from flopping onto neighboring plants or over the edges of lawn and paths. Putting plant supports in place early means that even the most obvious one can be hidden by the foliage in just a few weeks. After all, looking at a few bare stakes for a short period of time is a lot simpler than having your plants reach full bloom and have the task of trying to tie plants that are too tall running the risk of breaking or bending the tops and trying to fit a full grown plant into a stake.
Water is one of the most important things birders can add to their backyard to attract birds. All bird species need water, and adding one or more water features to your yard will quickly attract feathered friends. Birds need water for two reasons: drinking and preening. Water helps keep a bird’s body cool both from the inside and outside. Water baths can also remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from a bird’s plumage. Offering water in your backyard will attract more birds than just food sources, since birds that would not normally visit feeders can be tempted by water features. Any water is an improvement on a dry backyard, but moving water will attract more birds because the motion catches their eye and they can hear any dripping, sprinkles or splashes. Adding a Water Wiggler dripper, or mister accessory to a standing birdbath adds motion easily. Birdbaths are the fastest, easiest way to add water to your backyard bird habitat. The Rock Pile offers different sizes and styles. Birdbaths come in three basic designs:
- Pedestal: These classic bird baths stand three to four feet above the ground and include a post-style base on an elevated dish. Pedestal bird baths may be plastic, metal, ceramic or concrete and come in varying decorative designs and colors.
- Dish: A simple saucer or shallow bowl can be used for a dish bird bath. Dishes can be used at different heights by being placed on the ground, a fence, patio table, stump or steps. Hanging dishes and models that attach to deck railings are also available.
- Heated: A heated birdbath is essential in colder climates. It takes a great deal of energy to melt snow to drink, and birds willingly visit available water sources all year round. Heater accessories can be added to existing bird baths. Fully heated models are available as well.
For birds to feel comfortable using a bird bath, it should not be more than two or three inches deep. Adding an overturned saucer or level rocks to the center of the bath can add a shallower section or island for birds to use.
Misters are a favorite way for hummingbirds to find water and they will often hover in a mister repeatedly on a hot day. Misters also provide moving water to attract other birds, and if they are properly positioned they will drip into a bird bath for even more motion. Misters may be attached to birdbaths or they can come as separate water features. For the best effect, position the mister in a partially shaded area that has several perches available.
Cleaning Water Features for Birds
Water features will attract the most birds when the water is clean and fresh. Standing water features such as bird baths and dishes should be cleaned often, while moving and flowing water will naturally stay fresher and can be cleaned less frequently.
Attracting birds with water is easy, and there are many simple ways to add fresh water to your backyard to entice birds for a drink or a bath.
It’s that time of year when you need to be thinking of all those visitors that may be coming to your front door. The last thing anyone needs is a slippery sidewalk or drive way.
Trust me; everyone from the mailman to the pizza-delivery guy will be thanking you for a clean walkway.
Try an ice-melter this winter for fewer slips and falls.
Diamond Crystal Winter Melt (50 pound bag for $)
- Rock Salt/Halite (natural mineral)
- Works to 5° Fahrenheit
- Economical & efficient
- High Capacity ice melter
- Helps provide instant traction
- Blend of large and small melting crystals
Peladow (50 pound bag for $)
- Works as low as -25° Fahrenheit
- Premiere snow & ice melter
- Calcium chloride pellets
- Generates heat on contact with snow and ice accelerating the melting process
- Economical because you can use less and melt more.
Mag – High Performance Melter (50 pound bag $)
- Works as low as -13° Fahrenheit
- Magnesium Chloride
- Safer for People, Pets, Concrete & Environment
- Very low toxicity, won’t burn or irritate skin
- Safer for plants – Magnesium is a common ingredient in fertilizers
- Won’t leave powder residue on floors and carpets
Safe-T Pet 8lb Jug $9.99 ea
Here’s a humorous take on the similarities & differences between finches and humans.
Finches: Several male finches will pursue one female finch
Humans: A woman kisses many frogs before she finds her prince
Finches: Finches nest in June, July and August when plants have produced enough seed to incorporate in nests and feeding their young.
Humans: The most popular wedding months are June July & August
Finches: The female finch makes the nest from strands of weeds, vines, downy filaments and caterpillar webbing.
Humans: Most household decorations & room layouts are decided by women.
Finches: Once the nest is built, both male and female Gold finches leave the area. This may give the appearance that they have abandoned the nest. In a few days they both return and the female begins laying eggs. In some cases this can be 2 weeks after nest completion.
Humans: Newlyweds go away on an average of 7-9 days for their honeymoons. Some couples like to start a family right away
Finches: The female lays from 3 to 7 light blue eggs which are incubated for 12 to 14 days. The female may spend ninety five percent of her time incubating the eggs. The male will feed her during this time allowing her to stay on the nest.
Humans: Most women have one baby at a time incubating them for 9 months. She will have strange cravings resulting in asking her husband go out and get her food.
When we first started to carry the Erva Polling System, we knew you would like it. Now many of our customers are enjoying them in their own backyards. If it is time for you to add a new pole or replace an existing one, check out this one. What makes this system so great? It is easy to set up, and you can customize your pole with individual components that make the perfect set-up for your situation.
Start with a tubular steel pole. These black powder coat finished poles are available in two lengths: 6 foot & 5 foot. Secure these poles to a base. Both the twister and the “cat-tail” ground sockets securely sink these poles into the ground while the patio base allows for easy repositioning on your deck or patio. Want an even taller pole? Use a pole extension. Available in 14″ or 20″ lengths, these extenders are ideal for situations where the pole needs to be just a bit taller. Next choose your topper. Whether it’s a 2 hook, 3 hook, 4 hook or mounting flange, we have the topper right for you. The hook toppers feature a decorative finial cover in the center that can be removed to add multiple units.
Now that you have designed your own pole you can choose to keep it simple or add accessories for further function. We highly suggest using a baffle. The wrap around squirrel baffle’s inverted cone shape is effective in making your feeders critter resistant. Have even bigger problems? Use the 8″ cylindrical raccoon baffle! Other accessories include the quick connect coil hanger allowing for an extra hook, the fruit feeder designed to hold four pieces of fruit, or the universal feeder which features a glass dish that is guaranteed not to crack in a freeze and can hold fruit, seed, jelly or mealworms. However you choose to put your pole together or accessorize it, we’re sure that you will be pleased with the Erva Pole System. Stop in the store and see one for yourself.