- Thistle socks filled with thistle (niger) seed attract goldfinches.
- Suet feeders beckon woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and wrens.
- Safflower seed in a mesh feeder lures titmice, cardinals, and finches.
- A ground-level feeding tray fuels doves, juncos, and native sparrows.
- Purchase hulled birdseed, such as sunflower hearts, to eliminate mess.
- Try safflower seed to discourage squirrels.
- Don't forget that birdseed can attract rodents, from squirrels, to mice, to rats. Store birdseed in tightly sealed, metal containers.
- Provide a winter-proof water source, such as a heated birdbath. If you're installing a heated birdbath on a deck or porch rail, look for models that tilt for easy cleaning. Keeping a water garden full and deiced also gives birds a place to bathe and sip.
- Remove old nesting material from birdhouses. Wear rubber gloves for this chore. To help kill bird parasites and limit disease spread, rinse houses with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
Test Garden Tip: Use caution storing birdseed in a basement or attached garage. Many seeds are infested with pantry moths, which will quickly set up housekeeping in your family's food store.
Continued on page 3: Finish Planting