newsletter





Have you LIKED our Facebook page yet? Martha Washington Garden Club Bucks County.  Please share these events.


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UPCOMING GARDEN CLUB EVENTS

July, August 2015



Have you LIKED our Facebook page yet? Martha Washington Garden Club Bucks County.  Please share these events.


________________________________________________


UPCOMING GARDEN CLUB EVENTS


Hortulus Farm, Garden and Museum Tour,  Wednesday, July 8th 10:am,  car pool from Masonic Hall at 9:15.  or meet us there.  $20.00.     Lunch on our own following Tour at app. 1PM.  Wear comfortable shoes, sun screen or hat.  Complete info. available on Google-  Hortulus Farm and Garden. http://www.hortulusfarm.com


Please respond ASAP by e-mail or 215-493-8148


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Wanted-    A small 10x10 room to rent for MWGC  supplies.  We would like to keep our possessions together,


Equipment, records and supplies. Please let me know if you may have a room.  Ruth Logan 215-493-8148


____________________________________________________


Monarch Festival!


July 11 and 12. Come and enjoy the magic . 400 Butterflies , raffles, music, arts, crafts , butterfly tattoos, fun for the entire family. Tour the butterfly house and learn what you can do to help attract more butterflies to your yard.


LIKE us on Facebook  Butterfly House at Churchville Nature Center


Butterfly house at Churchville Nature Center , 501 Churchville Lane, Churchville, PA .  11 AM - 3 PM. An amazing Butterfly Experience.  www.churchvillenaturecenter.org


 


Churchville Nature Center Butterfly House


is looking for volunteers who love butterflies. Stommy Blauth, director of the Butterfly House, can use volunteers interested in caring for, raising , feeding, and working with these delightful creatures. If you have some time in June- Sept, call or Email Stommy for details.


slblauth@co.bucks.pa.us   917 923 8558


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Hello Everyone.  An early alert about our upcoming standard flower show "Under the BIG TOP".  Anyone can enter.   If interested, schedules will be available at our June thru July meetings and by request. Our show covers the entire 1,000 square feet of St. Ephram's facility. Visitors are very welcome to enjoy the show.   If you have any questions, please call or email me.  Keep cool!


Marie


856-866-9163


eccmbc@aol.com


            The circus is coming to town!  Sponsored by the Trevose Horticultural Society their annual standard flower show “Under the BIG TOP" will be staged on Friday, August 28 from 4 to 8 PM and Saturday, August 29 from 10 AM to 5 PM at their new location at St. Ephrem Catholic Church, 5400 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA.  The public is cordially invited; admission is free. Non-members are welcome to enter.  However, advanced registration is required for competitive design entries.  Contact the Advance Registration Chair at 215-322-4154 prior to August 2, 2015.


            The festive theme is artistically expressed throughout the Artistic Design Division.  Staged on a pedestal, "Balancing Act" is a National Garden Club (NGC) Stabile design style implying motion, while "Elephant Walk", an NGC Synergistic design style, requires three or more containers.  A creative design "Master of the Rings" suggests an imaginative approach.  The traditional circus march "Stars and Stripes Forever" features the relationship of shapes, forms and colors.  The entrant is challenged to express themselves in an NGC one-place setting Capsule-Functional Table design "Be a Clown" themed to a child's birthday party.  Magic is the inspiration for the 8" small design "All Smoke and Mirrors" using designer's choice of plant material; however, only dried is permitted in the 3" miniature "Contortionist."  In the artistic craft class, "Plate Spinning", the entrant must decorate a plain white plate with all natural plant material.  Pre-registration is required by August 2.  Contact 215-322-4154.


           The horticultural schedule offers a variety of competitive classes for area green-thumbs, including annuals, perennials, bulbs, roses, evergreen and flowering branches and a collection of cut specimens.  The "Annual Introductions" classes must include recently marketed varieties of flowers and vegetables offered in 2015.  "Object Manipulation" is the theme of the special seed-grown challenge classes that include Ferry Morse 'Giant Scarlet Flame' Zinnia, a potted plant of 'Tip Top Apricot' Nasturtium and 'Cashflow' summer squash, both produced by Pinetree.  Children are encouraged to enter their seed-grown specimens of Pinetree's 'Bush Bean Tendergreen' beans in the "Flea Circus" category.  Entrants may also compete in sections for foliage and flowering container-grown plants, including porch boxes and newly added dish gardens, as well as herbs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.


            Children aged 14 and under may compete in the Junior Division, which includes cut specimen classes in horticulture for vegetables, flowers, and herbs.  A creative design class, “Cat Capers” inspires the younger generation to create their own version of a critter composed of all natural plant materials.


            Several informative displays focus on broadening the public’s environmental awareness.  Coordinated by Debbie Mahon, President of the Hulmeville Garden Club, the conservation exhibit "Totally Tomatoes" features insightful information on growing, problem solving and selecting companion plants.  This tomato primer includes a history and fun facts, a display of potted tomatoes with herbs and a handout of tomato varieties listing their specific colors, flavors and sizes. 


            Show Chairperson, Karen Wychock of Warrington answers the questions:  What makes a show a standard flower show? What system is used to distinguish a first place winner from a second place winner?  Her educational exhibit, "And the Winner is..."  will educate the viewer on the rules associated with a National Garden Club standard flower show.


            Similar to the elephant in a three ring circus, the elephant ear plant (Colocasia) provides a bold tropical effect in nearly any landscape setting.  In fact, these plants are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage, which is reminiscent of elephant ears.  Karen Wychock's exhibit "The Elephant in the Room" will explain how to plant, grow, care for and store these incredible bulbs in your garden.


            For further information or copies of the show schedule, please contact the Show Chairperson at 215-460-8853.


____________________________________________________________________


"Exploring Creative Design" will be the featured program at the monthly meeting of the Trevose Horticultural Society on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 7:00PM at their new meeting location, Bensalem Senior Center, 1850 Byberry Road, Bensalem, PA.


 


“Exploring Creative Design"


            In anticipation of our annual flower show "Under the BIG TOP" guest speakers, Patricia Wolanski of Collegeville and Susan Irwin of Lower Gwynedd will demonstrate three different National Garden Club (NGC) artistic design types.  In addition to reviewing the basics of floral design they will create Synergestic, Stabile and Function Capsule Table design styles in accordance with NGC guidelines.  Novices as well as more experienced flower arrangers will learn some new artistic techniques from two accomplished, creative and talented designers.  A selection of completed designs will be available for raffle.


            An Accredited NGC Judge, Patricia Wolanski has been a member of the Norristown Garden Club for 34 years and has served as past President.  Her many design awards that include the Philadelphia International Flower Show can be attributed to her avid interest in flower arranging and her attendance in design workshops.  Pat has conducted floral workshops for hospital patients and floral jewelry design workshops for her garden club.  She earned degrees in both Health Science and Management and Registered Nursing.


            A passionate floral designer with a degree in art, Susan Irwin is an Accredited NGC Judge and a member of the Norristown Garden Club since 1993.  She is a member of the Ikebana International Philadelphia Chapter and has completed the Longwood Certificate of Merit in Floral Design.  A competitor in many area shows, including the Philadelphia International Flower Show, Susan also conducts workshops for her garden club.


______________________________________________________________________


Learn the Benefits of Planting Native Plants with Master Gardener, Heidi Shriver. It will be held on July 22 at 7 pm at the Bristol Township Senior Center Building, 2501 Bath Road, Bristol, PA. Gino's Nursery of Wrightstown has donated several plants as door prizes.


Heidi has worked at Peace Valley Nature Center as a Teacher Naturalist for 15 years and has been a Master Gardener since 2007, focusing on native plants, pollinators and gardening for pollinators.


The program is sponsored by the Bristol Township Environmental Advisory Council and Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown.


Registration suggested. Seminar is free to all. Contact Ellen Miller at ellenmiller24@comcast.net


 


_______________________________________________________


Middletown Grange  fair  Aug  12- Aug  16  in Newtown just off Rte 413.


The Grange Fair is always lots of fun,  Save the date


http://www.middletowngrangefair.org/


___________________________________________________
 Our garden club  could use some help at the Arts and Crafts for the residents of Langhorne Gardens Nursing Home. Can you come out at 2:30 for an hour or so to help us make some  crafts? We meet at 2:30 at the Langhorne gardens Nursing Home , just off Lincoln Highway at
350 Manor Ave, Langhorne, PA 19047. Please call Betsy Miller if you can help us out at 215-493-5835. The volunteers meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month to help the residents with an arts and crafts program. The residents are a delightful group and appreciate all the fun we provide to them.


__________________________________________________


CONNECT WITH THE BUCKS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS!

Research-based information for good home gardening practices from the Bucks County Master Gardeners.    Be sure to visit our blog and “like” us on Facebook for the latest news!


http://buckscountymastergardeners.blogspot.com/


https://www.facebook.com/buckscountymastergardeners


NEW!  See our “Ask a Master Gardener” column in the Upper Bucks Free Press


http://ubfp.org/


April 2015 issue – page 11
March 2015 issue – page 19


Penn State offers many FREE eBooks and Online Guides for homeowners.  Visit these websites for more information and a list of publications.http://ento.psu.edu/extension/free-ebooks


http://ento.psu.edu/extension/on-line-guides


________________________________________________


 


 


Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. —Thich Nhat Hanh



  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to  sah215@yahoo.com


 


  ______________________________________________________________________


From Penn State


Disease Update: Where Are Those Fire Blight Strikes Coming From?


Conditions have been optimal for canker blight: leftover fire blight cankers continue to grow and bacteria move within the tree to growing areas causing shoot blight. Shoot blight is also occurring to those who experienced blossom blight, as well. Leafhoppers are active and will cause wounds in growing shoot tips, creating entry points for bacteria to enter. Pruning blighted areas and managing insects are the best methods for control.


In the last couple of weeks, fire blight symptoms have been showing up and questions have been rolling in: I didn't have blossom blight, where did the shoot blight come from?  I haven't experienced hail, where did the shoot blight come from?  I've never had fire blight, where did the shoot blight come from?  This season, Mother Nature has provided excellent conditions (again) to illustrate the importance of those overwintering fire blight cankers... If you've been asking yourself the above questions, the answer is: from cankers left in the tree.  Look closely, I'm sure you'll be able to find them... In some cases, I have seen blossom blight and the characteristic shoot blight that surrounds the blighted area; however, I'm seeing more shoots wilting and dying as a result of cankers leftover in the trees: this is canker blight.  What is canker blight and how do the shoots die a result of it?  Let's review...


A review about the importance of cankers and canker blight


Canker blight is often a head scratcher and, consequently, grossly underestimated for its ability to cause damage in the orchard. Canker blight develops due to renewed activity by the bacteria at the margins of overwintering cankers from the previous season and occurs regularly every year where the disease is established. In other words, if cankers are left in your trees, you can count on canker blight. The first symptom can be detected by cutting into the bark at the canker margin where you will see a narrow zone of water-soaked green or diffuse brown tissue at the margin between the necrotic tissue of the canker and the surrounding healthy bark. The bacteria move systemically from the canker into nearby growing, succulent vegetative tissue. Often times, water sprouts close to active canker sites will develop a distinct yellow to orange color and begin to wilt. Canker blight symptoms are often overlooked because of their similarity to the more familiar shoot tip (shoot blight) infections that occur later. Another distinct feature is canker blight "shoot blight" will appear as if the infection is starting from the base of the shoot, as opposed to the shoot tip, which is characteristic of typical shoot blight. In years when blossom infection events do not occur or have been well controlled, active canker sites serve as the primary source of bacteria for a continuing epidemic of secondary shoot blight infections that can lead to major limb, fruit and tree losses. Such sources of bacteria can also be important for new orchards with no history of fire blight when they occur in older, surrounding orchards from which the bacteria can be moved into young orchards by wind, blowing rain and certain insect species.


In contrast to characteristic "shoot blight"...


Shoot tip infections are incited on the youngest 2-3 tender, un-expanded leaves at the tips of vegetative shoots. The symptoms of these shoot tip infections differ from those of the systemically invaded shoots associated with canker blight in that the shoot tips are usually still green (not yellow to orange) when they wilt. The significance of these infections are twofold: 1) they tend to progress downward rapidly, often invading and destroying larger supporting limbs; and 2) as bacteria becomes abundant in the orchard, leaf surfaces are colonized by the bacteria (arriving from earlier blossom infections, active cankers or young shoots systemically invaded by bacteria from nearby cankers), but cause no harm so long as they remain on the surface and there is no injury. Unfortunately, injury can easily occur. When potato leafhoppers feed on shoot tips, they will cause damage, thereby creating an entry for the bacteria to enter the plant. A more likely factor for injury is wind, and it does not necessarily need to be high winds associated with storms. Research has shown clear evidence that the simple damage to leaf hairs along the midrib of pear leaves provides suitable wounds for the bacteria to enter and to incite infections leading to typical shoot blight symptoms. Thus, the greatest number of shoot tip infections can occur during days with gusty winds that might cause a whipping type injury to shoot tip leaves, an event that is, unfortunately, all too common in the temperate climates where apples and pears are grown.


Are there management options?


If you are experiencing "shoot blight" AND you know you have overwintering cankers in your trees, the only management option is to prune out the affected parts of the trees.  There are no topical spray applications you can use to control this version of shoot blight: the infection is coming from inside the tree and not outside.  Once terminal bud set occurs, the tree stops growing and the bacteria stop moving within the tree.  The shoot blight as a result of canker blight should stop.  However, a lot of damage and establishment of more cankers can develop between now and terminal bud set.


The 4-1-1 for cutting out infections


  • Do not cut out infections during wet weather since bacteria move via water.
  • Cut out active infections early - before necrosis develops (limits the spread of bacteria).
  • Pruning is most effective when incidence is low.
  • Focus on salvaging tree structure and young high density plantings when incidence is high.
  • Avoid excessive cutting since this stimulates secondary shoot growth.
  • Bacteria can invade healthy tissue up to ~3 feet in advance of visible symptoms, which makes tool sterilization not effective
  • Practice the ugly stub method: cut 6 -12 inches below the margin of visible infection and remove later during winter pruning.
  • Bacteria can live very well outside the plant and, to be certain you are getting rid of all sources of bacteria, it best to burn infected tissue that has been removed from the tree.


Managing insects are important


All of those infected shoots and cankers are oozing like crazy right now.  Consequently, a lot of bacteria are hanging around the tree just biding their time until an opening presents itself. Since insects can cause wounds, which are entry points for the bacteria, be sure to control piercing-sucking insects, such as aphids, leafhoppers, and pear psylla.


 



            For further information or copies of the show schedule, please contact the Show Chairperson at 215-460-8853.


____________________________________________________________________


"Exploring Creative Design" will be the featured program at the monthly meeting of the Trevose Horticultural Society on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 7:00PM at their new meeting location, Bensalem Senior Center, 1850 Byberry Road, Bensalem, PA.


 


“Exploring Creative Design"


            In anticipation of our annual flower show "Under the BIG TOP" guest speakers, Patricia Wolanski of Collegeville and Susan Irwin of Lower Gwynedd will demonstrate three different National Garden Club (NGC) artistic design types.  In addition to reviewing the basics of floral design they will create Synergestic, Stabile and Function Capsule Table design styles in accordance with NGC guidelines.  Novices as well as more experienced flower arrangers will learn some new artistic techniques from two accomplished, creative and talented designers.  A selection of completed designs will be available for raffle.


            An Accredited NGC Judge, Patricia Wolanski has been a member of the Norristown Garden Club for 34 years and has served as past President.  Her many design awards that include the Philadelphia International Flower Show can be attributed to her avid interest in flower arranging and her attendance in design workshops.  Pat has conducted floral workshops for hospital patients and floral jewelry design workshops for her garden club.  She earned degrees in both Health Science and Management and Registered Nursing.


            A passionate floral designer with a degree in art, Susan Irwin is an Accredited NGC Judge and a member of the Norristown Garden Club since 1993.  She is a member of the Ikebana International Philadelphia Chapter and has completed the Longwood Certificate of Merit in Floral Design.  A competitor in many area shows, including the Philadelphia International Flower Show, Susan also conducts workshops for her garden club.


______________________________________________________________________


Learn the Benefits of Planting Native Plants with Master Gardener, Heidi Shriver. It will be held on July 22 at 7 pm at the Bristol Township Senior Center Building, 2501 Bath Road, Bristol, PA. Gino's Nursery of Wrightstown has donated several plants as door prizes.


Heidi has worked at Peace Valley Nature Center as a Teacher Naturalist for 15 years and has been a Master Gardener since 2007, focusing on native plants, pollinators and gardening for pollinators.


The program is sponsored by the Bristol Township Environmental Advisory Council and Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown.


Registration suggested. Seminar is free to all. Contact Ellen Miller at ellenmiller24@comcast.net


 


_______________________________________________________


Middletown Grange  fair  Aug  12- Aug  16  in Newtown just off Rte 413.


The Grange Fair is always lots of fun,  Save the date


http://www.middletowngrangefair.org/


___________________________________________________
 Our garden club  could use some help at the Arts and Crafts for the residents of Langhorne Gardens Nursing Home. Can you come out at 2:30 for an hour or so to help us make some  crafts? We meet at 2:30 at the Langhorne gardens Nursing Home , just off Lincoln Highway at
350 Manor Ave, Langhorne, PA 19047. Please call Betsy Miller if you can help us out at 215-493-5835. The volunteers meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month to help the residents with an arts and crafts program. The residents are a delightful group and appreciate all the fun we provide to them.


__________________________________________________


CONNECT WITH THE BUCKS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS!

Research-based information for good home gardening practices from the Bucks County Master Gardeners.    Be sure to visit our blog and “like” us on Facebook for the latest news!


http://buckscountymastergardeners.blogspot.com/


https://www.facebook.com/buckscountymastergardeners


NEW!  See our “Ask a Master Gardener” column in the Upper Bucks Free Press


http://ubfp.org/


April 2015 issue – page 11
March 2015 issue – page 19


Penn State offers many FREE eBooks and Online Guides for homeowners.  Visit these websites for more information and a list of publications.http://ento.psu.edu/extension/free-ebooks


http://ento.psu.edu/extension/on-line-guides


________________________________________________


 


 


Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. —Thich Nhat Hanh



  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to  sah215@yahoo.com


 


  ______________________________________________________________________


From Penn State


Disease Update: Where Are Those Fire Blight Strikes Coming From?


Conditions have been optimal for canker blight: leftover fire blight cankers continue to grow and bacteria move within the tree to growing areas causing shoot blight. Shoot blight is also occurring to those who experienced blossom blight, as well. Leafhoppers are active and will cause wounds in growing shoot tips, creating entry points for bacteria to enter. Pruning blighted areas and managing insects are the best methods for control.


In the last couple of weeks, fire blight symptoms have been showing up and questions have been rolling in: I didn't have blossom blight, where did the shoot blight come from?  I haven't experienced hail, where did the shoot blight come from?  I've never had fire blight, where did the shoot blight come from?  This season, Mother Nature has provided excellent conditions (again) to illustrate the importance of those overwintering fire blight cankers... If you've been asking yourself the above questions, the answer is: from cankers left in the tree.  Look closely, I'm sure you'll be able to find them... In some cases, I have seen blossom blight and the characteristic shoot blight that surrounds the blighted area; however, I'm seeing more shoots wilting and dying as a result of cankers leftover in the trees: this is canker blight.  What is canker blight and how do the shoots die a result of it?  Let's review...


A review about the importance of cankers and canker blight


Canker blight is often a head scratcher and, consequently, grossly underestimated for its ability to cause damage in the orchard. Canker blight develops due to renewed activity by the bacteria at the margins of overwintering cankers from the previous season and occurs regularly every year where the disease is established. In other words, if cankers are left in your trees, you can count on canker blight. The first symptom can be detected by cutting into the bark at the canker margin where you will see a narrow zone of water-soaked green or diffuse brown tissue at the margin between the necrotic tissue of the canker and the surrounding healthy bark. The bacteria move systemically from the canker into nearby growing, succulent vegetative tissue. Often times, water sprouts close to active canker sites will develop a distinct yellow to orange color and begin to wilt. Canker blight symptoms are often overlooked because of their similarity to the more familiar shoot tip (shoot blight) infections that occur later. Another distinct feature is canker blight "shoot blight" will appear as if the infection is starting from the base of the shoot, as opposed to the shoot tip, which is characteristic of typical shoot blight. In years when blossom infection events do not occur or have been well controlled, active canker sites serve as the primary source of bacteria for a continuing epidemic of secondary shoot blight infections that can lead to major limb, fruit and tree losses. Such sources of bacteria can also be important for new orchards with no history of fire blight when they occur in older, surrounding orchards from which the bacteria can be moved into young orchards by wind, blowing rain and certain insect species.


In contrast to characteristic "shoot blight"...


Shoot tip infections are incited on the youngest 2-3 tender, un-expanded leaves at the tips of vegetative shoots. The symptoms of these shoot tip infections differ from those of the systemically invaded shoots associated with canker blight in that the shoot tips are usually still green (not yellow to orange) when they wilt. The significance of these infections are twofold: 1) they tend to progress downward rapidly, often invading and destroying larger supporting limbs; and 2) as bacteria becomes abundant in the orchard, leaf surfaces are colonized by the bacteria (arriving from earlier blossom infections, active cankers or young shoots systemically invaded by bacteria from nearby cankers), but cause no harm so long as they remain on the surface and there is no injury. Unfortunately, injury can easily occur. When potato leafhoppers feed on shoot tips, they will cause damage, thereby creating an entry for the bacteria to enter the plant. A more likely factor for injury is wind, and it does not necessarily need to be high winds associated with storms. Research has shown clear evidence that the simple damage to leaf hairs along the midrib of pear leaves provides suitable wounds for the bacteria to enter and to incite infections leading to typical shoot blight symptoms. Thus, the greatest number of shoot tip infections can occur during days with gusty winds that might cause a whipping type injury to shoot tip leaves, an event that is, unfortunately, all too common in the temperate climates where apples and pears are grown.


Are there management options?


If you are experiencing "shoot blight" AND you know you have overwintering cankers in your trees, the only management option is to prune out the affected parts of the trees.  There are no topical spray applications you can use to control this version of shoot blight: the infection is coming from inside the tree and not outside.  Once terminal bud set occurs, the tree stops growing and the bacteria stop moving within the tree.  The shoot blight as a result of canker blight should stop.  However, a lot of damage and establishment of more cankers can develop between now and terminal bud set.


The 4-1-1 for cutting out infections


  • Do not cut out infections during wet weather since bacteria move via water.
  • Cut out active infections early - before necrosis develops (limits the spread of bacteria).
  • Pruning is most effective when incidence is low.
  • Focus on salvaging tree structure and young high density plantings when incidence is high.
  • Avoid excessive cutting since this stimulates secondary shoot growth.
  • Bacteria can invade healthy tissue up to ~3 feet in advance of visible symptoms, which makes tool sterilization not effective
  • Practice the ugly stub method: cut 6 -12 inches below the margin of visible infection and remove later during winter pruning.
  • Bacteria can live very well outside the plant and, to be certain you are getting rid of all sources of bacteria, it best to burn infected tissue that has been removed from the tree.


Managing insects are important


All of those infected shoots and cankers are oozing like crazy right now.  Consequently, a lot of bacteria are hanging around the tree just biding their time until an opening presents itself. Since insects can cause wounds, which are entry points for the bacteria, be sure to control piercing-sucking insects, such as aphids, leafhoppers, and pear psylla.




MOLDY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS ARE DEADLY

I had not heard about this deadly fungal infection Hummingbirds can get from moldy nectar feeders until I came upon this article from Audubon . PLEASE SHARE !

Maintaining a Hummingbird Feeder
essential information
Proper care of hummingbird feeders requires a significant commitment on your part. Before you start feeding hummingbirds, make sure you will be able to spend the requisite time. If you do not follow the instructions below, visitors to your feeders could leave with a serious and deadly fungus infection This infection causes the tongue to swell, making it impossible for an afflicted hummingbird to eat. Ultimately, it will die of starvation, slowly and painfully. A mother can pass this infection on to her babies; they will die of starvation also.

What hummingbirds eat: The typical hummingbird diet consists of small, soft-bodied insects (aphids, gnats, small spiders, tiny fruit flies, etc.) and nectar from flowers. Natural nectar is mostly sucrose. When you put up a feeder, you are providing quick, dependable access to a form of sucrose. Although "artificial nectar "is not nutritious, supplementing a hummingbird's diet with sugar water from a feeder can give it vital, renewed energy to continue searching for nutritious food. When natural nectar sources (flowers) are not readily availabilities, sucrose from feeders may aid survival.

Selection of a Feeder: A feeder should not have unreachable areas. Be sure that all interior surfaces can be cleaned with a bottlebrush. (Brushes come in a range of sizes; purchase ones designed for small areas, like the insides of baby bottles.) Keep brushes clean by rinsing in hot water. Never use soap or chemicals to clean a bottlebrush or a feeder.

How to make feeder food: Boil sufficient fresh water in a clean saucepan that has no food or soap residue in it. After the water is cooled to a temperature that is safe to handle, measure out the appropriate amount (example: four cups of bottled water) into a clean glass or stainless steel container. Add one part sugar (one cup) to this container and mix thoroughly until all sugar granules are dissolved. Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature before pouring it into a feeder. The mixture must always be four parts boiled water to one part sugar. Boil the water before mixing, evaporation may alter the ratio of sugar to water. Too little sugar will not provide the necessary calories; too much sugar can harm the liver and kidneys of hummingbirds.

Use only granulated white cane sugar and fresh water. Store bought hummingbird food contains preservatives; avoid it. Never use honey which is fatal to hummingbirds; do not use food coloring, artificial sweeteners or other forms of sugar. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature before hanging the feeder.

Feeder location and care: Hang the feeder in a shady area. Sun will cause rapid spoilage of the sugar solution. Select a spot that is safe from cats and other predators. If you put a feeder close to a reflective window, hummingbirds might fly into the glass.

The feeder must be emptied and thoroughly washed in hot water (but not hot enough to damage plastic parts) according to the following schedule: in cool weather (below 60 degrees F), clean and refill with fresh sugar water after three days,. In warmer weather, the feeder must be cleaned after two days. In hot weather (above 80 degrees F), daily cleaning might be necessary, Use a bottlebrush to scrub all surfaces. Rinse completely, making sure that every speck of foreign material is washed away. If the feeder contains removable plastic feeding flowers, these must be taken out and scrubbed as well. Hummingbirds put their tongues into a feeder to drink; sugar water is conducive to the growth of pathogens. If there is mold, slimy accumulation or cloudy water in a feeder, hummingbirds can die from using the feeder. Follow this rule: both the sugar solution and the feeder must be so fresh and clean that you would drink the contents yourself.

If you accept the commitment to properly maintain a feeder, you will be helping hummingbirds, perhaps extending their lives. In turn, they will express appreciation by entertaining you with their colorful presence, amusing chatter and remarkable aerial displays. But, if you can't maintain a feeder properly, you will be doing great harm by hanging one. Instead, offer flowers (fuchsias in hanging baskets, shrimp bush, sage, etc.) which will attract them without the work of feeder maintenance.

 

_________________________________________________

Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. —Thich Nhat Hanh


  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to  sah215@yahoo.com

 

  

 

 







  


 


 







 

                           
 

 





 



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  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to  sah215@yahoo.com
 

 


 


 


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215 493 8148 for info on any of our events









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Ċ
Jeremy Parry,
Feb 20, 2015, 4:45 AM
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