Ask the Expert

Wisconsin State Farmer
Tufted Titmouse enjoy many of the same foods that other songbirds do.

Q: I have a tufted titmouse coming to my feeder. What should I feed it?

A: These amazing little songbirds, in the chickadee family, will eat much the same food as their close relatives. Black oil sunflower seed and most other quality mixes are fine. They will also feed off of suet cakes.

Q: I've seen a red hosta offered for sale in a garden catalog. Is this too good to be true?

A: As long as you are aware that the "red" is simply a slight wash of color over portions of the leaf, you will not be disappointed. I have seen many misleading marketing photos showing a solid, wine red leaf. This is unlikely. This hosta, named First Blush, is the first widely marketed red leaved hosta. Others are sure to follow that will see a vast improvement in the color and appearance of the leaf.

Q: When should I prune my lilacs?

A: For the best bloom, prune lilacs shortly after bloom is complete in spring and early summer.

Q: When do I need to put my poinsettia in the closet?

A: It is not necessary to do so unless you want to better your chances of a beautiful Christmas "bloom." Many people grow poinsettias year round, enjoying their beauty throughout all four seasons. The traditional dark period is from about October 1 until Thanksgiving.