| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

The Family Plot — Sept. 25, 2014


Hi, I’m Chris Cooper. Welcome to “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Thanks for joining us. Fall is a great time of year
for bird watching because in addition to birds
we see year-round, many other species are
migrating through the area. Today we’re going to give you
some ideas on making your yard more bird friendly so you
can enjoy the birds of fall. And Mister D is here with tips
on cover crops and dealing with the fall army worm invasion. All that and more
is just ahead on “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South” so stay with us. (female announcer)
This is a production of WKNO-Memphis. Production funding for.. “The Family Plot: Gardening in
the Mid-South” is provided by Good Winds Landscape and Garden
Center, in Germantown since 1943 and continuing to offer its
plants for successful gardening with seven greenhouses
and three acres of plants. Plus, comprehensive
landscape services. [soft music] [theme music] Hi, welcome to
“The Family Plot.” I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today is
Miss Debbie Bruce. Miss Debbie is the owner
of Wild Birds Unlimited. And Mister D is here. Hello! Thank y’all for
being here today. It’s good to be here. Alright, Miss Debbie. Birds! Okay? So, here’s the question. How can we make our
yards more bird friendly? Well, that’s easy. And it’s a lot of fun. Think of your yard as an
ongoing theatre production. Okay? And right now, your
habitat is changing. The scene is changing. And each season,
whether it be spring, fall, whatever, is
going to bring changes. But fall means migration time
is here as it was in the spring. But birds are on the move. Okay. The Mid-South is blessed with
a number of varieties of bird species. Some of them are year-round
residents that live here all year long. And what are some of those? Oh, my goodness. Depending on your habitat,
you would have cardinals, blue jays,
chickadees, tufted titmice, nuthatch, the
woodpecker family, doves, mockingbirds, more. And I just mentioned those
that you might see around your feeding area. Okay. How can we help
prepare birds for migration? Okay. Well, with migration you’re
going to have migrants that are going to pass through your yard
or your habitat while they’re traveling to different areas. They might not stay
with you all season long. But they’re just
passing through. Or you might have birds that are
just returning for the winter. But your stage is changing. So, migration is a very
perilous time for birds, too. Millions and millions of
birds are on the move. But not millions and millions
are going to be successful in getting to their grounds. But you can prepare by enhancing
your hard for those travelers. Pretend that
you’re on a road trip. Okay? Long, hard drive. Alright. And what are the things that you
want to look for at the end of your trip? Food, water and shelter. And the birds are
looking for that, as well. Okay. So, where are the
birds migrating to? Where do they go? Oh, good question. Okay. We are going to be in
to south migration, fall migration. So, the birds that have
gone up to the North America, not just the United States
but farther in to Canada, are going to go back in to
their wintering grounds. Some will move just
down to our area, such as as white
throated sparrow, the white crowned sparrow. But some, such as the warblers
that nested farther in North America, are going to go all
the way down to the neo-tropical area, South America. They’ll have a good time. That sounds good
that time of the year. Doesn’t it? For the winter. Now let’s talk about food. Okay? Because you have some
food displayed here. So, you want to talk a
little bit about that? Yes. When you’re enhancing
your yard for birds, you want to do both
natural and both supplemental. I have brought
supplemental foods. But first, you want to
garden for the birds. Garden for the birds! You want to
garden for the birds. How do we do that? You want to plant things that
are going to produce berries either as a summer crop
or a fall-winter crop. You’re going to want to plant
things that produce fragrance so the bugs come in so your insect
eaters will want to eat those. And you want to leave your
garden a little bit messy. Be a lazy gardener. Don’t clean up. Don’t overdo your cleaning up
because you want to leave those seed heads up so your
finches will come in and eat the robaccia or eat the echinacea
seeds or the basil seeds. You want to leave
things to mimic nature. Because when you stop
and think about it, there’s no one out there
mowing and raking the forests. So, you want to always mimic
nature to bring in nature to your yard. Wow. And then you want to
provide supplemental foods. The supplemental foods will give
the birds help in the fall and winter, of course. But they’re going to pull them
out of the foliage in the trees so you can enjoy watching them. And you want a variety of
feeders and a variety of foods and a variety of levels where
you’re spacing your feeders. Not everyone wants to sit at the
table when they eat just like birds sometimes want to eat low
to the ground or some species like to be up high. So, you want all
different options for them. Okay. I brought a bark butter feeder. And the bark butter feeder is
this little one with the kind of burgundy colored roof. And you’re going to take that
bark butter and press it in to those holes and hang it up high. And with that, your
woodpecker species, your chickadees,
your tufted titmice, they’re going to cling to that
and eat that high fat substance. You can also take the bark
butter and just push it in to the tree bark. That’s how it got it’s name. Or the feeder wtih
the white cylinder. Maybe you have
trouble with squirrels. Squirrels generally do
not like safflower seeds. So, that would be a good
one to place in your habitat. But the house finch and
the cardinals love it. So, that’s an option for you. The one on the bench with the
yellow top is thistle feeder or nyjer feeder. And that’s your
targeting your gold finch, your house finch. In the middle would
be a tube feeder. We have that filled with a
good blend or a choice blend. And you’re targeting all the
seed eating song birds that can perch on that and eat. And that would be for elevation. Your chickadees,
your tufted titmice, your nuthatch. Next to it is the peanut feeder
and that’s one of the favorite feeders in our yard. Birds loves peanuts. It’s a high fat product. They can’t get enough of it. If you have nuthatch, sometimes
you’ll see a nuthatch pull a peanut out and go to a large
tree and stick it in the crevice of the bark. Well, your nuthatch does upside
down when he’s going down the tree. But the woodpeckers like to
come in and take a peanut. And sometimes they’ll hide it
for later in the bark of the tree. But they go up. So, the two are not competing
for their little food storage. They’re kind of
hiding from one another. Wow. How about that? Another natural supplemental
food that is one of the most popular, especially with folks
that feed bluebirds and robins or mockingbirds, but
all the birds love this. It’s your mealworms. It’s a live beetle larvae. And oh my goodness. They love those live mealworms. While we have just
a little time left, Miss Debbie, why do they
like these mealworms so much? Well, in the spring time,
they’re going to use it for their nestlings. But when you think
about it, out in nature, they’re going to look for
caterpillar and other kind of larvae and high protein. High protein. Then the other thing you need to
keep in mind when you’re looking for a safe place if
you’re a bird is water. Water is so important not just
in the hot summer but in the winter, as well. You want a shallow bath. We brought one that has actually
a heater that is embedded in the bath. So, in the winter
time, you have open water. And then, make sure you have a
safe yard just like when you’re finished with your road trip,
you want a safe place to stay. Well, the birds want a safe
place to roost with bushes and trees and shrubs to
hide from predators. And please keep
your cats indoors. Keep cats indoors. We like cats. We have a cat at the shop. But she’s an
indoor bird watcher. Okay. Miss Debbie, thank you for
that wonderful information. That was good. It was. Thank you. You’re so welcome. Thank you. There are a number of gardening
events going on in the next couple of weeks. Here are just a few
that might interest you. [theme music] Alright, Mister D. There’s been a fall army worm
invasion in a couple of counties here. I know I’ve heard Tipton
County, Fayette County, here in Shelby County. So, what do we
need to know about.. You know, I was looking
at these meal worms here. And I’m trying to figure out
a way to catch army worms. If we could catch
those critters, bottle them up, we could
feed them to the birds. One of the first indications of
a fall army worm infestation is a bunch of birds up
there in the yard feeding. If you have a bunch of
birds that fly out there, you better go look right now. Because there’s a reason. Unfortunately, there aren’t
enough birds to eat all the fall army worms. When they hatch out,
the numbers are so huge. They can totally
defoliate a lawn or, you know, a lot of
the agricultural crops. They can really be a problem. So, I guess that’s why
they call them army, fall army worms. Because it’s an army of them. I know a few years ago when
I was a young agent down in Mobile, Alabama I snipped off a
peach tree limb short branch and it had a little disease
on one of the leaves. And I was trying to
figure out what it was. So, I brought it to the office
and I put it on top of a filing cabinet in my
secretary’s office. And I left it there. I came back the next morning. I did not notice that there was
a fall army worm egg mass on one of the leaves. And they hatched overnight. And there was just a covering
of thousands and thousands of little bitty tiny army worms
going from that branch down over the top of the filing cabinet
all the way to the floor and across the floor. I mean it’s just amazing how
many there are in one egg mass. And they’re
gregarious in nature. They feed together and they can
just really do a lot of damage. We’ve got several products on
the market that are listed that will control. Before you get to that Mister
D, it seems like every couple of years we have, you know,
these fall army worm invasions. Because I can remember
a couple of years ago, you know, there were some
invasions here in Shelby County, in Madison County. But yeah, every couple of years. If conditions are right, and I’m
not sure what those conditions are, you’ll have them. I do know I was sitting in the
lab up at Murray State the other day. A call came in and one of my
guys I work with put the caller on speakerphone and he said
there’s a lot of butterflies flying around. What are they? What are these butterflies? There’s lots of them. Little bitty ones flying
around all over the place. I said I don’t know but it’s
probably not a good thing. It was probably a moth flight of
fall army worms is probably what it was. I didn’t see the infestation but
we see a tremendous amount of fall army worms Alright,
let’s get rid of them. Okay, let’s do it. And we’ve got several
things that’ll do the trick. The pyrethrins like
beta-cyfluthrin is a.. And I’m going from
the 2014 Red Book. Imidacloprid is another
product that’s on the list. Gamma-cyhalothrin is a
product that we recommend. Bifenthrin and cyfluthrin as
opposed to beta-cyfluthrin. Both cyfluthrin and
beta-cyfluthrin are recommended. Spinosad is also recommended. And gamma-cyhalothrin,
I’ve already mentioned. And then
GrubEx-chlorantraniliprole. I don’t know if I
pronounced that right. It’s also recommended to
control the army worms. And these products are also
labeled and recommended for cut worm control, too. But I’ve never seen an
infestation of cut worms, you know, heavy enough in a
turf grass that would require spraying. Follow the label as always. And this should do
the trick for you. And the sooner that
you can get out there, if they’re just in one
corner of your yard. I mean they’re not
over the whole yard. You can actually spot
treat and, you know, wipe them out along the
line that they’ve penetrated. You ought to be
able to take them out. Alright. Now let’s
transition to cover crops. Let’s talk a little
bit about cover crops. Okay. It’s a good thing to do. You know, the purpose
of cover crops is to, you know, prevent soil erosion. That’s probably one of the
main things that cover crops do. They prevent leaching and
enhance nutrient availability, which will increase
yields, you know, of your crops next year. They are also beneficial in that
they can help smother weeds. They can become a weed if you
plant the wrong cover crop. So, be sure that you
plant the right cover crop. But they also provide
habitat to critters, you know, in the winter time. And they increase
organic matter in the soil. I’ve already mentioned
it prevents erosion. They also improve infiltration,
soil infiltration because it increases organic matter in
the soil and helps retain water, the water holding
capacity of soil. So, those are all good
things that cover crops do. And, you know, there’s
several that you can plant now. Crimson clover,
several of the clovers. Crimson clover, red
clover, white clover, sweet clover or all
legumes, which are very, very common. And I’ve known farmers, grape
producers of muscadine grapes who planted crimson
clover in between, you know, in
their rows of grapes. And they did not
have to add nitrogen. That legume fixed enough
nitrogen in the soil that you don’t have to add
nitrogen to those fruit crops. So, they can really, really cut
down your nitrogen fertilizer costs. Hairy vetch, Austrian winter pea
are other good legumes that you can put out there. Now there’s some non-legumes
that grow very fast that you can put out there,
such as cereal rye, wheat, you know, hay. If you want to eat
your cover crop, mustards and turnip greens and
things like that make good cover crops. But you can also harvest
the crops and eat them. And tall fescue, you know. You can plant fescue out there. But some of these.. The tall fescue is a perennial. It’ll come back. And some of these are.. Wheat of course is an annual. But most of these, uh, the
planting date is between August the 15th to October 1. So, anytime during
the month of September, you can plant most of these. The seeding rate and
the depth varies on each. I’m just going to
give you a few examples. Crimson Clover you plant about
a pound per 1000 square feet. And you plant it
about a half inch deep. Hairy vetch, about a pound. It needs to be between
one and two inches thick. That’s why you need to be
careful if you mix cover crops. Make sure that a
large seeded cover crop.. You probably need to, if
you want to mix them, to provide a little bit
of diversity out there. You need to, you know, you may
want to plant the large seeded first deeper. And then, go over the top of
the small seeded more shallow. Okay. Thanks for that
information, Mister D. Alright, this is
our Q and A session. And Miss Debbie, you jump
in there with us if you have something to say. Alright. And here’s our first viewer
e-mail and a couple of photos from John. Our ornamental plum tree has
developed a scale on the trunk and limbs. It has begin dropping leaves
early for the past two years. Also, there were few
blossoms this past spring. Is there a treatment you can
recommend to save the tree. We have the tree
there on the screen. What did you think, Mister D? You know, uh, the first thing
I thought of was white peach scale. And white peach scale can.. I don’t think it’s white peach
scale because I think white peach scale would have
already killed that tree. Right. You know, it completely girdles
the tree and will kill it. So, that makes me think that
it’s either San Jose scale or Terrapin scale. They tend to, you know, they
don’t kill the trees quite as quickly as white peach scale. But at this point, this
time of the year really, there’s not a lot that you can
do other than wait until full dormancy. And then, I would go in there
with a good dormant oil spray and spray that tree
really good with that. And then next year, there are
some products that you can use. We do need to identify whether
it’s San Jose or Terrapin. I know with the Terrapin scale
there’s some things that you can use that’s not
recommended for San Jose. And that’s mainly the systemics
like Marathon and Merit, Safari, Flagship, Arena,
Discus and Allectus S-C are also products that are recommended
to Terrapin Scale in addition to the products I’m about to
mention that are recommended for San Jose scale. San Jose, during
the growing season, horticultural oil, also. Again, this is for both
San Jose and Terrapin scale. Horticultural oil will help you
if you put it out there when the crawlers are active. Okay. So, if you wait
until you see a problem, you know, you’re too late. But Diazinon, Sevin,
Carbaryl, Malathion, Orthene, TriStar,
Talus, Dursban, Safari and Distance are all
products out of the 2014 Red Book that are recommended
to control both San Jose and Terrapin scale. And I hope that helps
you out, Mister John. There’s something else
I like to add to it. I do know that ornamental plum
trees have problems with borers. Oh, yeah. And it’s the peach tree borer. So, if you look down there and
you see any frass down on the ground in little
holes, you know, in the trunk towards the
bottom, that could be a borer. There’s the peach tree borer. And there’s also a
lesser peach tree borer, which is up higher. But I do know that ornamental
plum trees have problems with borers. So, yeah. We do need to make sure
we’re out there to find that. And there’s not a lot
that you can treat. There’s only a
couple of products. Dursban and permethrin. And you do that in
June, July, you know, summertime. So, there you have
it, Mister John. Okay, here’s our next
viewer e-mail from Katie. My perennial dropped all its
leaves because of irregular watering and being root
bound in a small pot. It finally sent out
new leaves in September. The second set of leaves is
very light green in color. Should I fertilize the plant? We’re talking about a perennial. This is going to be
late in September. I’d wait. It’s an outside
plant, I’m assuming. Yes. I wouldn’t fertilize it now. No. I would wait for
that Miss Katie. And here’s the second
part of her question. I had a similar problem with an
enormous asclepias incarnata, which is the swamp milk weed. Okay? Which I dug and transplanted
while in full bloom. It continued to bloom for two
weeks but has now dropped 95% of it’s leaves. Then, up came the second set
of leaves that looked pale. I don’t want to encourage
further sprouting at this late date. What should I do? Again, you know,
we’re late in to, you know, in to the season. Mother Nature is taking care. It’s doing some pruning itself. And I’d let Mother Nature keep
on doing the things that need to be done right now. And next spring, you
can go with fertilizer. Yeah, next spring you can
go with the fertilizers. There’s some
Osmocoats or, you know, some of your other, you know,
time released fertilizers you can go with or some all general
purpose fertilizers can work as well. Okay? Something else, too, about this. If you already have a plant
that’s established and you’re trying to transplant it,
that plant is in shock. It goes in to shock. So when it goes in to shock, of
course it’s going to drop its leaves. And you didn’t
get all the roots. You know, there’s no way you
can get all the roots when you transplant one. In summertime when a
plant is in full bloom, it’s not the best
time to transplant. You want to transplant, wait
until the winter time and when they’re pretty much dormant. There you have it. Our next question. Mushrooms have popped up in
my yard after recent rains. Do I need to do
anything to get rid of them? I’ve seen a lot of
mushrooms out there. No big deal. Mechanically remove them
with a broom if you want to. But they’re not.. They’re just doing their thing. Decaying organic material. Organic matter is all that is. It’s no big problem. The next question. My okra pods are tough. Any reason why they’re tough? Are they picking them when
they ought to be picked? I think they might be
picking them too late. Don’t you think so, Miss Debbie? I think so. Yeah, they good woody, They do
if you leave them on there too long. You get about, what? Two? Two inches? Yeah, don’t go
for big okra pods. Small, tender okra pods. Right. And here’s our last question. We definitely
want to get to this, Mister D. I heard Mister D talk about
webworms on a previous show. I had them. I have them in my pecan tree. But they are too high in the
tree for me to do anything about it. Should I be concerned? Not really. I’ve never see
webworms kill a pecan tree. They can kind of make a mess. But, you know, one thing
you may want to try is B-t. It will kill webworms. And you might put some B-t in a
hose end sprayer that you can develop some velocity. And if you can spray that up in
to that tree around that web and get as much of it on
the foliage as you can, if a webworm happens to feed
on that bacillus thurengiensis, it will kill it. It will catch a bad
stomach ache and die. So, you know, you
might want to try that. But it’s not going to
kill your pecan tree. They are very tough. It might stress it a little bit. But pecan trees can
handle fall web worms. Before somebody sent in a
question about using the cider and have the wasps come in. And since we have
Miss Debbie here, you get that web open, you
can let the birds come in. It’s a feeder up high. Well, thank you,
Miss Debbie, Mister D. We’re out of time. Remember, we love
to hear from you. Send us a letter or an e-mail
with your gardening questions. Send your e-mail to
familyplot-at-WKNO-dot-org. The mailing address is:
Family Plot 7151 Cherry Farms Road
Cordova, Tennessee 38016. You can also follow us
on Facebook and Twitter. That’s all we
have time for today. Thanks for watching. I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join
us next time for “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Be safe! [theme music] (female announcer)
Production funding for “The Family Plot: Gardening in
the Mid-South” is provided by Good Winds Landscape and Garden
Center, in Germantown since 1943 and continuing to offer its
plants for successful gardening with seven greenhouses
and three acres of plants. Plus, comprehensive
landscape services. CLOSED CAPTIONING
PROVIDED BY WKNO-MEMPHIS.

Leave a Reply