Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hummingbirds and Seedlings

It's that time of year again. Time to put out the hummingbird feeders. Two years ago I saw a hummingbird nectaring on one of my tulips. Now the feeders go out when they are about to open. This is my Jewel window feeder. Pricey and never used. I still put it up...wishful thinking. The little hummers prefer the cheap $4 Walmart feeders. I have three hanging on the clothesline. One in the center as the "beckon" to hopefully draw their attention. The other two are close to the holly branches. They seem to prefer the safety of the branches nearby. You can also seem my new mini-orchard planted over the Fall. I added the new strawberry bed, the center circle, just a few weeks ago. Planted with Winona strawberries.
I started my seedlings later this season. Here are my zinnia and cosmos (on the back left). I decided to pinch (cut) back the zinnia to just above a set of leaves to promote branching. They were growing into the lights and getting pretty tall on a single stem. I've never pinched them before, but it only took a few days to see the new branches starting. These are red Oklahoma zinnia.
From left to right, here are my Citrus Mix marigolds from Burpee, a Sungold tomato in the front (started 3/22), and a taller Fat 'N Sassy pepper on the right (started 2/14). The tomatoes are much smaller than this time last season, but the three week later start makes them much more manageable. My smaller tomatoes caught up in no time in previous seasons, so I don't feel the need for a really early start with these fast growers.
I'm not one to waste anything, so I took my zinnia cuttings and planted them in my seed starter mix. They are inside a popsicle container place within a Ziploc to keep up the humidity. I couldn't find my rooting hormone, so we'll see what happens. I love experimenting with my plants. I'll keep you posted on the results.
Happy gardening!


  1. Hiya Kim! I live in the same neck of the woods as well and I had a lot of success with these window feeders last year!:

    I happy to see that you have your feeders up too! It's time! :) I had a regular feeder just like your window feeder but I don't think the hummers liked that red see through plastic for some reason. They always went to my window feeders first. I'm trying a "Hummzinger" this year.

  2. I never thought to pinch zinnias to make them bushier, thanks for the tip!

    Down in Arizona, the hummingbirds always were drawn to the red metal flower on my porch frog!

  3. Oh your new orchard is going to be great! That's a great idea to put the strawberry patch in the middle!