Ask the Expert

Wisconsin State Farmer
The eastern bluebird is especially fond of mealworms as well as suet filled with berries.

Q: What should I feed bluebirds that have started coming to my bird bath?

A: Bluebirds are especially fond of mealworms, found at most garden centers and bird feeding supply stores, as well as suet that includes berries and fruit.

Q: Any tips on putting my garden to bed in the fall?

A: The best and easiest thing you can do for your garden beds is to remove all plant material, then simply apply a generous layer (4 to 6 inches) of fresh home compost from your compost pile each fall. It is not necessary to till it in. Top dress the beds and let Mother Nature do the rest over the winter season. Plant material from your garden should be composted unless diseased, then remove from your property and dispose of at your local landfill or appropriate yard waste location. 

Q: How do I keep cedar waxwings out of my fruit trees?

A: There are many varieties of tree and shrub coverings to keep birds away from ripening fruit. Hanging easy to find items, especially shiny ones that move easily in the wind are also effective. This can be garden spinners, mobiles, aluminum pie tins or mirrored ornaments. 

Q: My lilac is blooming again. Is this normal? Will it still bloom in spring? 

A: Many newer varieties of lilacs are rebloomers, often putting on a second show in late summer and fall. This does not affect their spring bloom.