WSAZ - John Marra - Headlines

Landscape Chores Before The Snow Flies

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Let me revisit a discussion I previously had about planting hardy or some people call winter mums. Plant them as soon as they become available at your favorite garden center but lets mention about pruning.

Once the top portion gets killed from a hard freeze, prune them down to about two inches from the ground and cover them with an inch or two of loose mulch. As for pruning during the growing season and a way to get better flowering, give them about a 2-inch rounded haircut once around May 15th, June 15th and the last around July 15th.

Lets touch now on what to do with your hummingbird feeders going into late summer. If you are a hummingbird lover, you know they will take off to all parts south about the 20th of September. I mention the 20th but it could be a few days before or a few days after. In any case, they try to consume as much food as possible before their flight to Central America.

Matter of fact, it is said they lose as much as 2/3 of their body weight before they touch down in the tropics so you can see why its necessary to keep the feeder full until about the last of September.

Don't worry about keeping hummingbirds in your landscape if you leave the feeder up say after October 1st. Their biological clock will send them on their way no matter how long your feeder is left up.

Last comment, don't forget to take the feeder down and wash it out especially with a vinegar and water solution before putting it away for the winter.


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