The Blue Jay

moon phase Week of 10/28/2001 Best days to transplant or graft

There are only a few more weeks before the ground freezes hard and the time for planting hardy bulbs has passed. If you still want to put some tulips, garlic, daylilies and irises in the ground thereís still time, but not much.

The Blue Jay

Itís also time to dig those bulbs that arenít hardy. Dahlias, gladiolas and canna lilies canít take a hard freeze and will die and turn mushy if they are not dug soon. Like most bulbs, they should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place.

Now that the frost has zapped the scarlet runner beans, the warm sun will dry them quickly. If you want to save the beans for next summerís planting, now is the time to harvest them. I simply drop the dry pods into a brown shopping bag and store them in a cool dry place. The flowers of the scarlet runner beans will provide food for next yearís hummingbirds, moths, butterflies and bees.

The blue jays are coming to the bird feeder in search of black sunflower seeds. They are notorious for picking up as many as they can at one time, then flying off and hiding them for future use. I donít see them as greedy, just doing what they do. Even so, eight or ten jays can clean the feeders off in no time so I do a few things to distract them and keep them busy. I like to put out several ears of corn here and there. The blue jay now has to work a little harder to get a crop full of seed.

It takes a jay about a minute to pick up and swallow 80 sunflower seeds. The kernels of corn are bigger and it may take a little longer to pluck 20 of them from the cob.

I also like to take a mixture of cracked corn and sunflower seed and sprinkle it around the ground near the feeders. The jays now have to kick around in the leaves to find the seed.

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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