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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Have an edge when attracting hummingbirds


Hummingbirds will return to the same feeder year after year; hopefully that’s a feeder in your yard. So be sure to put a feeder in roughly the same location every year (you can add others elsewhere, of course).
Sometimes, giving your “feeder appeal” a little boost will help. Hang a colorful flower basket nearby! Fill it with vibrant red, orange and yellows. For the north Texas area, we recommend lantana or verbena. Or you could fasten about a foot of brightly-colored ribbon to the feeder itself.  Some feeders even have a hook for hanging a basket underneath. Once hummingbirds find your feeder -- they are hooked for years to come!

 LADYBUGS AND SO ON…    Just one domestic ladybug will eat as many as 50 aphids a day (aphids are small green bugs that can kill plants in a few days, and reproduce like crazy). Sometimes called lady-beetles, these beneficial insects control most bug problems (The Asian ladybug can sometimes be a nuisance, though).  Also beneficial, the larvae of the green lacewing devour thrips, spider mites, and whiteflies. We’ve used beneficial nematodes at home for years to control fleas in the dogs’ area. Put beneficial insects out at sunset so they can hide, and before hungry birds can get them.


Owen Yost, in addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, whos worked in north Texas for over 30 years.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at