Q: I planted several milkweed plants on the edge of a butterfly flower garden and some have now despatched up added crops within just the back garden by itself. Will this be a challenge in the back garden alone it there are a variety of them? Or should really I keep them in number?
— Marty, Great Barrington
A: For quite a few a long time I attempted to incorporate prevalent milkweed and swamp milkweed in our butterfly gardens and a pollinator/butterfly patch. Previous summer, I available NatureWatch visitors swamp seedlings. This year, in addition to a scaled-down amount of swamp milkweed that I have kept in manage, popular milkweed has turn out to be a weed that we continually require to preserve in selection. It is a “weed.” This calendar year, I will maintain milkweed flowers seeding below manage and clear away undesirable crops! We are making it possible for a few plants on the peripheral and in a few of “butterfly patches.”
Q: When I was mowing my lawn currently, I discovered my birdhouse, which is on a pole in the yard, has a new hole in the roof. It is about the dimension of a knot in the wood and so my very first considered is that a knot had fallen out, despite the fact that afterwards I commenced to marvel about that. It often appeared that it must get fairly sizzling within that little box on a dazzling summer season working day, with just the one hole on the side for air flow. Now there is added air flow — but also a supply of rain acquiring in. Do you believe I should patch up the new hole, or go away it as is?
— David B., Pittsfield
A: I would place a protect not a plug to go over the “new hole in the roof” or, if you like, elevate a piece of wood to protect the new gap raise say 1/4 inch to permit added air. Right after all, some bluebirds have houses in rotted fence posts or rotted trees that may perhaps let some rain.
As for butterflies coming to our gardens, just not too long ago, the mints are the only vegetation attracting tiger swallowtails to their purple-blue prolific blossoms appropriate now. Soon we will have some others, including monarchs, I hope pretty quickly.
Q: You have prepared about the outrageous worms last yr, and I read through online a short while ago about 15 states owning them. And I want to know extra about them right here, but 1st I would like to about our common ones initially. Perhaps you can [describe] a small about the common garden kinds, and what our robins feed for foodstuff first and one more time produce about the outrageous ones.
— Phil B., Pittsfield
A: Earthworms are all about us, or should really I say, beneath us. Several of us go on the lookout for them except if we are scheduling a fishing vacation. Popular as they are, they have been not often here. In point, the typical earthworm or nightcrawler arrived in The united states with the Pilgrims and early settlers. Most indigenous earthworms experienced died may perhaps quite a few thousands of decades in the past, when North The us was protected in ice.
Most of us have viewed earthworms at a single time or yet another, particularly in the springtime when we have heaps of rain, the floor warms up and robins are quite hungry. Who has not viewed a robin hopping in excess of a garden, turning its head this way and that? It is listening for the seems of a plump worm just down below the floor. The worm is in its tunnel and even nevertheless it does not have ears or listen to as we do, it can experience the sound a robin makes as it hops around the delicate grass! Robins feed on many creatures besides earthworms and many of the following insect larvae or grubs, caterpillars, snails, and other critters observed in the ground. They also take in crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, many beetles, and many other insects. They eat different berries including blueberries before long to ripen and mulberries, and I viewed them eating winterberries by way of the winter months this earlier year. They also try to eat holly, and they like it. They also take in crabapples, and in wilder destinations chokecherries, hawthorn, wild grapes, and other vine fruits.
Numerous earthworms will go deeper into the earth to escape, a handful of will not, and they are the kinds that get caught by the robins.
A worm does not have legs or arms but does have little hairs that aid it move or assistance hold it risk-free in its tunnel. Often, Robin Redbreast doesn’t have to hunt earthworms, in particular following a rain when they can be discovered on major of the moist ground. Individuals use to assume worms arrived out next a major rain so they wouldn’t drown, but that isn’t real. Earthworms do not have lungs to fill with water but get air via their moist, slimy skin.
Look at a worm transfer sometime and you will discover that the pointy close moves ahead. That is its head. You won’t locate any eyes earthworms are blind, but by some means, they can feeling light-weight. They consider to keep away from gentle, and commonly come out of the ground only at night when it is cooler and moister than during the daytime.
There are lots of unique kinds of worms in the entire world, and not all are robin dimension. A person variety from South Africa is above 20 feet extended. A further, located in Australia, is 12 feet very long. Some kinds of earthworms hardly ever get for a longer time than a single inch.
Earthworms are, some say, buddies of farmers, and say they support gardeners mix the soil and make fertilizer for vegetation to use, and of training course, the ridiculous worms, to what I have uncovered, are not mates of anyone’s property or backyard garden!