Ask the Expert

Wisconsin State Farmer
A gray tree frog take refuge in the blossoms of a daylily.

Q: My bluebirds are still nesting, is this normal? 

A: Yes, bluebird families will continue to nest and raise do broods as long as warm weather and food availability remain. Some bluebird pairs will produce 3-4 broods in a single year.

Q: How long should I keep my hummingbird feeders up?

A: Hummingbird feeders can be kept up well into fall if you are still seeing the birds. Many hummingbirds come through late. Additionally, several western species of hummingbirds wonder east during the late fall, often showing up in Wisconsin in December and January. Believe it or not! 

Contrary to what you may have heard, hummingbirds are not dependent upon our feeders alone for their survival and will move on when conditions force them to.

Q: Should I trim back the flowers on my hostas? 

A: This is a personal choice for ornamental purposes. I prefer to leave the flowering stems in tact as hummingbirds love these beautiful blooms. 

Q: Can I start a new garden of lettuces and sugar snap peas now?

A: Sowing seeds of cool weather crops in late August and early September is a great way to enjoy a whole new bounty of lettuce, radishes, spinach and more. They'll be ready by mid to late October.  

Q: My joe-pye weed gets so tall. Is there a way to keep it shorter and still enjoy its beautiful flowers? 

A: You can keep joe-pye weed manageable by trimming back the growing stems through about July 4th.