Ask the Contractor: Attract hummingbirds with these tips

We are recent transplants to Prescott and the area that we moved from was a thriving megalopolis metropolis for hummingbirds, which we enjoyed immensely. Please share some tips on how we can attract these lovely and fun birds to our yard. P.S.: We are thrilled to be living in Prescott.

— Mark and Susie, Prescott.

Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures that can live in almost any location if they like it and if they find it worth living; places where they can get food, water, and shelter. The tiny size and their fun activities are interesting to see and enjoy. Hummingbirds can be attracted to our gardens if the environment of the garden is blooming, colorful, and provides what they need, again, food, water and shelter.

Here are some of the best ways to attract hummingbirds to our gardens:

• Fill your garden and yard with native plant species. Choosing native plants that hummingbirds love is a great source of attracting them to our gardens. But too many hummingbirds in a garden, in one location will not work well for attraction. You need to have some different species of plants with bright colors in various locations. Hummingbirds love bright colored plants.

• Plant the flowers for continuous blooming. While planning your garden for attracting hummingbirds, you have to plants species with different blooming periods. These species bloom at different times and make the garden blooming all the time. This will make hummingbirds attracted toward the garden.

• Tie a bright colored piece of cloth to an oak tree. They are attracted toward the bright colors. So, if you are seeking to attract hummingbirds at your place, make use of bright colored clothes and materials that make the garden look blooming.

• Use painted plastic flower feeders in the garden. If the plastic flowers that act as the feeder in your garden fade in their color or get dullness in the color, paint or purchase new ones. If you feel like the feeder gets old enough to remove, immediately remove it and replace it with a new durable and heavy feeder with a bright color so that birds can get attracted easily. The new feeders used must be easy to clean. If you haven’t replaced your feeder yet, go and get it replaced with a new one.

• Have some spiderwebs in your garden. Hummingbirds also get attracted toward

spiderwebs. So, if you have any spiderweb in the garden, don’t get rid of it. All this is done only to attract the hummingbirds.

Did you know that some hummingbirds migrate enormous distances every year, following the cycles of the flowers and insects they depend upon for food? These little hummers fly from as far south as Central America to as far north as Canada and Alaska. On their way, they may pause in your yard, looking for a safe place to eat and rest.

Hummingbirds are part of a network of pollinators that account for the propagation and survival of 75 percent of flowering plants. A full one third of the food we harvest depends on pollinators. Hummingbirds and other migratory birds also contribute additional essential services of controlling insect populations, dispersing seeds, and providing the aesthetic and emotional benefits we all enjoy. But the populations of pollinators and migratory birds are in decline due to the loss of habitat as a result of urban development.

Hummingbirds do not have the senses to smell. The flowers that attract them have little fragrance or even no fragrances. They get attracted towards the flowers by seeing their bright colors and not their fragrances.

A great many of us use coffee in the morning to get us going. If you use a coffee pot to brew your coffee then you have grounds left over. You can use them in your garden to help in many different ways. Below are listed some of the uses we have found for coffee grounds.

  1. Grow Blue Hydrangeas

Add grounds to the soil and it will help your hydrangeas grow a vibrant blue. This is because coffee grounds add acidity; this helps the plant absorb aluminum, which makes the flower blue.

  1. Keep Pests Out of Your Garden

You may enjoy waking up to the smell of coffee, but pets (especially cats) don’t find the odor so great. Simply sprinkle some coffee grounds around where you don’t want pets to tread. If slugs and snails are your garden pests, sprinkle coffee grounds as a barrier. As the grounds dry it will create a barrier that slugs will not crawl over.

  1. Speed Up Compost

When making compost, don’t forget to add coffee grounds. Some people actually use the grounds in compost piles in place of manure. Especially with high-carbon items like leaves and straw, it actually speeds up the composting process. Coffee is a good source of nitrogen for compost and the pH of grounds is pretty close to neutral.

  1. Repel bugs And Mosquitoes

While you’re outside enjoying the summer evening, set out bowls of coffee grounds to keep bugs away. You can even sprinkle the grounds around your sitting areas to keep mosquitoes away. They will even repel your neighbor’s cat, too.

  1. Fortify Plants

You can also add grounds to the soil for a better soil structure. Be aware that stronger coffee can be more acidic. But, when you use recycled or used coffee grounds most of the acid has left the grounds and is in the coffee. Try using additional nitrogen fertilizer with coffee grounds. The grounds boost microorganisms in the soil to break down the coffee. This process will also use nitrogen in the soil, so it’s a good idea to add a little nitrogen.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130 AM/99.9 FM or 95.5 FM or the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and so much more.