Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gardening Ideas

There are 10 plants that are top picks for providing bird seed to your feathered friends. Growing a combination of these flowers will not only be a pleasing sight for the gardener, but provide seeds for the birds from Summer through Fall.

They are:
Autumn Joy Sedum, Black-eyed Susan, Blazing Star, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Goldenrod, Mexican Sunflower, Purple Coneflower, Purple Majesty Millet, and Sunflower.

Our winged friend, the butterfly, will appreciate it if you find a nice sunny spot in your garden for them that is protected from wind. Then give them plants in that area for all their stages of life.

The Caterpillar likes munching on Milkweeds, nettles, violets and passion vines. The adults enjoy drinking the nectar of marigolds, zinnias and daisies. The more variety in your plants, the more variety of butterflies you attract.

After a fine meal, much like a human, the butterfly loves to relax. They prefer to bask in the sun so give them a place to rest... like a brick or paving stone.

Butterflies sip water from small puddles so place a saucer in the garden and put a small branch or rock in it to give them an easy place to land.

The hardy plants of the Prairie

Flowers that grow native in the American prairie endure searing summer heat, extended periods of drought and bone-chilling cold. Prairie flowers also attract birds, butterflies, and pollinator's. Prairie natives have unusually long root systems, some up to 10 feet or more! That's how they survive drought... they can get to subsoil moisture that other plants cannot.

First, determine what your soil type and moisture regime is and then buy the plants for those conditions.

For dry soil and dry climates:
Leadplant, Butterfly weed, Smooth Aster, Cream false Indigo, Purple Prairie clover, Pale purple coneflower, Prairie smoke, Dotted blazing star, Wild lupine, Large flowered beardtongue,Goldenrod, and Bird's-foot violet.
(Amorpha canescens, Asclepias tuberosa, Aster laevis, Baptisia bracteata, Dalea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, Geum triflorum, Liatris punctata, Lupinus perennis, Penstemon grandiflorus, Solidago speciosa, and Viola pedata, respectively)

For Medium soils in Average Rainfall climates:
Nodding pink onion, New England aster, Blue false Indigo, White false Indigo, Shooting star, urple coneflower, Rattlesnake master, Pririe blazing star, Wild Quinine, Yellow coneflower, Royal catchfly and stiff Goldenrod.
(Allium cernuum, Aster novae-angliae, Baptisia australis, Baptisia lactea, Dodecatheon meadia, Echinacea purpurea, Eryngium yuccifolium, Liatris pycnostachya, Parthenium integrifolium, Ratibida pinnata, Silene regia, and Solidago rigida, respectively)

For Moist soils and Moist Climates:
Wild hyacinth, Tall Joe Pye weed, Queen of the Prairie, Bottle gentain, Rose Mallow Dense blazing star, Cardinal Flower, Marsh phlox, Sweet black-eyed Susan, Ohio goldenrod, Tall iron weed, and a Culver's root.
(Camassia scilloides, Eupatorium fistulosum, Filipendula rubra, Gentiana andrewsii, Hibiscus palustris, Liatris spicata, Lobelia cardinalis, Plox glaberrima, Rudbeckia subtomentosa, Solidago ohioensis, Vernonia altissima, and Veronicastrum virginicum, respectively)

Top picks for Prairie grasses are: Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

Some interesting ideas to help your backyard:
1. If slugs and snails are eating your garden, give them some thing to drink to wash it all down. Pour some beer in a saucer, fill the saucer, and put it where the critters appear to be entering the garden. They are attracted to the scent and taste of beer, crawl into the saucer, get drunk and drowned.

2. Bare patches in the lawn? Before putting down the grass seed, place some wet tea bags on the spots and the grass will get green twice as fast. For large spots, try dusting it with powdered iced tea mix and then light water to help it soak into the soil.

3. Reluctant to use chemical fertilizers? Sprinkle powdered Jell-O mix on the plant and flower seeds. The gelatin delivers nitrogen, which speeds sprouting and powers plant growth while the sugar feeds microbes in the soil that produce fertilizing nutrients.

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