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Keeping Your Succulent Alive and Happy

Keeping Your Succulent Alive and Happy

By Erna

Succulents are the darlings of contemporary gardening. These beautiful plants have a striking aesthetic unlike anything else in your garden. It’s no mystery why their look captivates trends so easily! The unique beauty of succulents is matched by their habits, which play by different rules than some of your other favourite houseplants. You aren’t alone if you’ve brought home a new succulent, only to have it struggle. Fortunately, the succulent code isn’t hard to crack, and a few guidelines will have your plants thriving in no time. It isn’t hard to have healthy succulents to brighten your home all year – from houseplants to living DIY decoration.

Succulent Rule of Thumb

Green thumb or not, the guidelines for succulent care are simple. You’ll always have the healthiest and most attractive plants if you try to replicate the environment that they are adapted to survive in. Succulents have become super successful at growing in their native, arid habitats. By creating growing conditions they are comfortable with, it’s incredibly easy to keep your succulents looking their best.

Watering

One of the most common succulent problems is also the easiest to fix. A lot of complaints come from people who end up doting on their plants much more than they need to. What succulents actually need is some neglect, so put down the watering can! They won’t like to be on the same watering schedule as your tropical houseplants. When you do water, be thorough. Instead of a small trickle, drench them until water flows out the bottom of the container. This will help to wash accumulated salts out of the soil. You’ll then want to let the soil dry out before you water again. In the summer, you’re aiming for watering once a week. In the winter, your plants will be dormant and only need water about once every two weeks.

Soil

Even the best watering schedule relies on the right soil as a foundation; we are still trying to copy the natural habitat of your succulent. You should aim for something that has great drainage, but isn’t pure sand. Your plant still needs some soil for the nutrients to grow. Our favourite happy medium is peat moss, or a specialized succulent or cactus soil mixed half and half with sand. Too much soil can choke the roots of your plant, but too much sand will starve your plant, so a healthy balance is important. If you don’t think that your soil is a good fit for your succulent, repotting is a simple fix. Take extra care with the delicate roots of your plant as you move them from one medium to another. While succulents certainly don’t need fertilizer to thrive, some prefer it to give their plant an extra boost. A half-dose of all-purpose fertilizer during spring and summer is the best choice to feed your plant without overwhelming the roots.

Location, Location, Location!

Like any of your other plants, your succulent has its preferences for sunshine and temperature to be comfortable. Room temperature is great for your succulent. If you feel like taking your succulent care to the next level, place it close to a window during the winter. The drop in temperature by a few degrees could encourage your plant to bloom in the spring. The more important guideline calls for 6 hours of light a day minimum. This can be a tall order in our dark winter months. Placing your succulent close to an East or North-facing window can squeeze a few extra moments of sunshine into the day. With South or West-facing windows especially, take care to keep your plant a few inches off the glass. The UV rays from the sun are magnified by windows and can give your plant a sunburn, even in the winter. Less than 6 hours of sunlight certainly won’t kill your plant, however, it could cause your plant to stretch, changing the look of the plant that you originally brought home.  

These popular plants are easy to take care of once you know the secrets to meeting their needs. There are so many fun options for things to do with your succulent that are open, once you know what to do! A quick look on Pinterest or Instagram can provide all the inspiration you need – feel free to dream big in your container designs or decorating at home. A happy home includes healthy plants with your own personal flair!

Can We Eat Healthier in Winter?

Can We Eat Healthier in Winter?

By Megan

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon”

– Doug Larson

Comfort Food in the Winter

We’ve had a chilly winter, even by Canadian standards! As the mercury drops, we have a tendency to reach for comfort foods. Looking at the bleak and frigid weather outside, all we want to do is curl up and be cozy! Your body and brain are demanding carbs and fat for warmth, and between the winter darkness and the freezing temperatures, it’s hard to say no to them.

In the winter, we always end up reaching for foods that make us happy quick. It’s unavoidable and not the end of the world, especially when teamed with a hit of extra-healthy nutrients to keep us feeling our best. Microgreens pack more nutrition per pound than any other food you could grow at home! They give you a much-needed energy boost, and their nutrients and vitamins will keep you and your family feeling healthy until spring.

Buying microgreens at the store comes with a price that could make them impractical. Growing your own is cheap and easy, making this a simple way to cheat winter blues! All you need is a South-facing window, a container, some potting soil, and, of course, some seeds.

Our Favourite Grow-At-Home Tricks

Microgreens are common garden plants grown normally but harvested before they’ve matured, so you won’t need to bother with any fancy seed mixes or designer names. Most varieties sprout in 2-5 days, so it doesn’t take long to start reaping the benefits of your microgreens.

The best results will come from common varieties that you’re already familiar with. Look for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, sunflower, cilantro, or chia. If you buy bulk packs and keep the extra seeds in the fridge, you can keep lots of homegrown treats handy, even on the coldest days.

All you’ll need is a container with some drainage. You could use an old container or even repurpose a milk carton.

Mason jars are a popular container for growing – their size and shape make them ideal environments for sprout growth. Avoid anything painted on the inside to keep your seeds and food clean. Add a few inches of soil and you’ll be ready to plant!

Sow your seeds thickly. The guideline is that the seeds should be one seeds’ width from each other. This shouldn’t be a complicated chore, simply sprinkle them on, making sure they don’t pile up anywhere. Cover your seeds with a layer of potting mix that is also the width of the seeds.

Water your improvised garden gently until it comes out the bottom. You’ll want to keep the soil evenly moist for a few weeks as your seeds sprout and grow a few inches. The best time to harvest is when your plants are a few inches high, so you can leave an inch at the bottom (you might even get another crop as a bonus).

Picking Microgreens

There are so many choices for microgreens that there’s an option for every vitamin and nutrient. These little plants can pack up to 40x the nutritional value per pound than their mature plants. If you grow an assortment of varieties you’ll be able to get everything you need to feel healthier in the winter.

If you want Vitamins C, K, and E, some great options that taste great are red cabbage, garnet amaranth, daikon radishes or red radishes. Alfalfa and red wheat are also two of our favourites. Cilantro will give a boost of lutein and beta-carotene for eye and skin health. Arugula tastes delightfully peppery and has a generous serving of calcium. For expecting moms, the folate in chard helps keep pregnancies healthy. For growing microgreens with the kids, Mung Beans are a great choice as they’re easy to grow, and most kids like the taste of them as well.

But if you’re looking for a simple place to start, here at Oakridge Garden Centre, we carry West Coast Organic Sprouting seeds, 100 grams for $3.49, which is a super affordable option for this type of project.

Staying healthy this winter doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead of saying no to every craving for comfort food, try using microgreens to boost your health and immune system. Growing microgreens at home is easy – and a little spot of vibrant green sprouts at home can be quite the winter pick-me-up, as well.

Welcome to the new Oakridge Café

This winter we got to work creating a new space for the café. The idea was to expand on our existing menu and offer an all day dining experience! Along with our Coffee favourites and staple Baked Goods (all made fresh right here at Oakridge!) we have brought in a Breakfast & Lunch/Dinner menu and even a Beer and Wine Bar! Offering fresh-made selections like our Breakfast Panini, Cashew Chicken Wraps and Oakies Sliders – all made with fresh & local ingredients.

We love to support and shop local – which means that we are able to offer some very special products in our store and now also in our Café! We are lucky to have some pretty amazing resources available to us right here in Steinbach – our bread is made in store by our wonderful DeeDee (who is also responsible for all those amazing desserts!) and also brought in from Old Church Bakery. We are also very fortunate to be serving our meat selection from Earls Meat Market, both of these are located on Main street! Our honey comes from local Honey Farmers – and we now offer only local Manitoba Beer!

          


One of the most exciting parts (& our new favourite!) is the Beer and Wine Bar. Now you can have a cold one with your favourite menu item or sip a glass of wine and catch up with friends!




Come in and see all the changes that have happened around here. Now open Monday – Saturdays for breakfast (served from 9am-11am), lunch and dinner (available from 11am – close). We look forward to serving you soon!




Don’t worry – not everything has changed! We still have your favourite coffee available fresh all day!

Choosing The Best Food For Your Winter Birds

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Winter is well upon us!
We have started to feel the effects of the cold and the piles (and piles) of snow we have received this winter have taken a toll – so we can only imagine how these frigid and harsh winters affect our winged friends. For those of us who delight in the spoils of bird watching, there is nothing easier than attracting the birds that tackle our cold Canadian winters to your own yard (and watching them from the comfort and warmth of your home!).

Over the winter a birds natural food source becomes scarce and many of them become reliant on backyard feeders to survive, so offering a high quality and consistent variety of food will be sure to attract visitors all winter long. Birds need a high fat or oil content in their food to give them the energy that they need to outlast the winter, the most popular way of providing this to them is Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, Suet Cakes, Peanuts and a well-balanced quality blend seed never hurts!

Peanuts offer a high calories for many winter birds and are perfect to store outdoors because they wont freeze in your feeders! Mixing peanuts into suet cake is another fabulous way to give the birds a high fat and calorie treat, both of these options you can find right here at Oakridge!
Sun Country Farms says Black Oil Sunflower Seed is “hands down, the favourite choice among most seed eating birds. The high oil content, along with a high fat content, provides instant energy for birds. The shell of the black oil seed is thin and easily broken by birds, even those with small beaks.” Pick up a bag here at Oakridge and check out the other varieties from Sun Country Farm we carry.

Here at Oakridge we have committed to carrying a well-respected and leader in “economically, environmentally and socially sustainable birdseed companies” Sun Country Farms. Learn more about their philosophy and how they are changing the game on virtually emission-less farming, production and even the delivery of their birdseed on their website.

We want to make it easy for you to feed our feathered friends – so we have made sure to provide quality food and even feeders – everything you need is here at Oakridge! Whatever your choice for feeding birds in the wintertime, you can be sure that they will thank you by flocking to your feeders and come springtime will have very loyal visitors who know where to find the best food!

 

Six Days of Christmas Gift Giving

Christmas shopping has begun! Not only can the stress of the busiest shopping season of the year get you down, but sometimes finding the perfect gift for the right person can be the hardest part!
Luckily here at Oakridge we are surrounded by many wonderful things, all that make excellent gifts – to help you out a bit this season we have chosen 6 unique gift ideas for those tough recipients on your list.

imag3102-01Day One
One of the highlights of the holiday season is the wonderful decor and a well placed arrangement can really add Christmas cheer to a room. For the outdoor lover or someone looking to add green to their space (but keep it low maintenance), one of our handcrafted fresh pine and cedar arrangements may be the place to look! We have a wide selection of creative pieces pre-made or you can talk to one of our wonderful staff and they can custom design for that special person. With pricing that fits most budgets there is sure to be a special arrangement for everyone!

Finchberry Soap in Ultra Violet

Finchberry Soap in Ultra Violet

Day Two
This gluten-free, vegan friendly and preservative free bar looks just like a delicious treat! Here in the gift shop we are now happy to offer Finchberry handcrafted soaps! Perfect for the person (maybe a teacher or a hardworking student) on your list who deserves a little extra pampering with these luxury soaps. Not only are these bars a treat for your skin but also a delight on the edge of any bathtub! And bonus that these soaps will keep your bathroom smelling amazing for months!

FitKicks on vacation

FitKicks on vacation

Day Three
Is there a guy on your list that you are having trouble shopping for? For that active living or adventurous man on the go, perfect for travel, exercise, on the beach and water sports – FitKicks will be a hit! “With a pair of mens lightweight FitKicks, available in navy or black, guys will also find it easier to be more active as part of their everyday lives, from taking the stairs to walking to the store, all in comfort and style.” We Carry FitKicks for women as well!

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Day Four
Whether you know a fantastic baker or a cook we have the perfect kitchen accessories to add to any kitchen! If your looking for a little gadget to make life in the kitchen easier or to jazz up some counter space there is something for everyone. Beautiful unique aprons and tea towels to mixing bowls and espresso cups. Anyone your shopping for from the timid to the experienced in the kitchen – we can help you to find the perfect gift!

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Milkhouse Candles in Victorian Christmas, White Cedar & Spice, Peppermint Pine Needle

Day Five
Milkhouse Candle Company proudly boasts the cleanest burning candles on the market. Made without the use of artificial dyes, make these candles the perfect accent to any room. With their wide variety of scents, there is sure to be a perfect match for that special person on your list. For anyone with concerns on what they are burning in their home, these candles are made of pure beeswax and natural soy wax, staying away from the harsh chemicals and carcinogens that many worry about in paraffin candles. Woodsy to sweet treats; there are many scents to choose from to find a favourite!

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Day Six
What better gift to give to someone on your list then the gift of time together! Here at Oakridge we offer many wonderful treats and homemade lunches full of fresh ingredients! Treat someone you love to a coffee date (and maybe sneak in one of our fabulous seasonal cheesecakes) or send them a gift certificate, available in any price denomination, so they can treat themselves! With so much to offer there is sure to be something on their list they will love!

Fall Garden Clean-Up

Did You Know –

  1. Removing plant debris and raking in the fall can greatly reduce the pests and disease that can harm your plants in the over wintering process. Giving your garden beds that quick clean-up can keep them looking good longer into the fall season and will give your plants a better chance of surviving our cold winters!
  2. Don’t throw away those coffee grounds!
    After that fresh morning cup of coffee, don’t dump those coffee grounds into the garbage – use them to nourish your garden! Use them by adding into your compost or work the grounds straight into the soil around your plants.
    The grounds from coffee will benefit your plant in a few different ways – they add organic matter back into the soil and with that improves the aeration and drainage of the soil – and will attract those desired earthworms!
    The grounds will also slightly lower the pH of the soil – and in Manitoba, with our alkaline clay-like soil, that is a wonderful thing! Some of our customers even swear by using coffee grounds to deter slugs around their Hosta plants and also keeps cats from digging in the garden!

So once you’ve cleaned up your garden for the end of the season – throw in those grounds – your plants will thank you!

These are our two recommended steps to do in the fall to make sure that your garden is on its way to a safe and happy sleep for winter and will thrive come spring time!

Growing and Using Herbs

In The Garden

Herbs need a well drained, fertile soil to do their best. Prepare the soil as you would for a vegetable garden. Remove weeds, cultivate, and add organic material or fertilizer to your garden. Most herbs need a sunny location – If you do not have a bright spot, try planting them into patio pots – an advantage to this is that the pots can be brought inside in the fall. You can also place them close to your door for easy access while cooking your favourite dishes. Don’t plant your herbs outside until all the risk of frost has past. Dig a hole slightly bigger then the pot and scratch the root ball to loosen the roots. Place the plant in the hole and water thoroughly with a transplant fertilizer, as this promotes good root growth.

Harvest and Storage 

Herbs can be harvested at any time through the summer months as long as you leave at least one third of the growth behind. When cooking with herbs – the general rule is to use twice as much fresh as dried. If storing herbs for winter, the best time to harvest them is just before they flower – This is when their oil content is highest and peak flavour is reached.
Although there are some perennial herbs, many of the herbs that grow here must be treated as annuals. Some of the herbs can be brought indoors in the fall. Dig up the herb and plant in a pot. Use soil-less planting mix and spray for insects. Once inside, place the herbs where they can get six hours of light each day. Fertilize with each watering and only water once the soil is dry.

Drying Herbs

The traditional way to preserve herbs is to cut their stems and hang them in bunches to dry upside down, here are some other ways that your herbs can be dried:

  1. Wash lightly and hang upside down in a brown paper bag (save your wine bottle bags!) – hanging upside down causes the essential oils to flow from the stems to the leaves where you want them
  2. Wash lightly, place on a cookie sheet (not more then 1″ deep) and dry in 180 degree oven for 2-4 hours
  3. Wash lightly, place on paper towels or a paper plate and microwave for 1-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds
  4. Wash lightly, blot dry, then place in a shallow pan of non-oxidized salt – this will take 2-3 weeks
  5. Wash lightly, place on a cookie sheet and dry in the sun for a week or so
    When the herbs are dry store them in an air tight container. It is best to dry the herbs whole and then crush when using for the maximum flavour

Freezing Herbs

  1. Chop the herbs and place them into ice cube trays, fill with water or olive oil/canola oil and freeze. Put those frozen cubes into freezer bags and they are ready to go when your cooking!
  2. Another way is to place the whole leaves and stems in freezer bags – this way will result in freezer burn faster then if they were in oil or water

Our Favourite Herbs

Parsley
There are three types of parsley: Curled, Plain and Italian. Parsley is easy to grow and can be grown indoors or out. Use the leaves as fresh or dried in all cooking.

Dill
No garden is truly complete without dill. Leaves and flower heads are used in pickles, but also tastes great with new potatoes or carrots, in salads or on fish.

Chives
Chives are also easy to grow. It is easiest to harvest by cutting with scissors. Chives add flavour to soups, salad, egg and cheese dishes.

Thyme
Cooking thyme is best treated as an annual. Thyme needs a lot of sun, and is very easy to dry. Used best in meat dishes or teas.

Mint
There are many different kinds of mint, each having a different flavour. Curled – mild mint with attractive light green curled leaves. Spearmint – Best cooking mint. Excellent with carrots, peas, potatoes, and in mint sauces. Peppermint – Favourite for teas

Oregano
This herb is very attractive when flowering. Used best in tomato sauces and other Italian recipies.

Sage
Most often used in stuffing.

Cilantro
Fresh leaves are essential in Chinese and Mexican dishes. Seeds are used to flavour soups, chili and sauces.

Rosemary
Rosemary is a very popular herb that can be used in various ways. Fresh leaves are appealing in biscuits, dumplings, and poultry stuffing. It can also be used in making shampoos and facial rinses.

Marjoram
Flowers of marjoram attract honey bees and is popularly used to treat upset stomach and headaches.

Basil
Sweet basil is the most popular herb, its used in flavouring most foods.

Tarragon
It’s flavour is suggestive of anise or licorice. It can be added to various dishes including omelettes, poultry, and hollandaise sauce.

Hot Peppers
Used in many Mexican or Chinese foods to give that punch of flavour. Some varieties include Hungarian wax, Jalapeno and Cayenne.

Garlic
Plant this bulb in fall or very early spring. Garlic can be used to flavour a variety of foods and is commonly used in Mexican, Chinese and Greek dishes.

Oakridge Spring and Summer Trends 2017


In conjunction with New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE Fashion Color Report provides a comprehensive overview of fashion designers’ use of color in their spring 2017 collections. This Spring and Summer season has us seeing colours inspired by nature, our top three colour picks for Spring/Summer 2017 (that you will be SURE to see here at Oakridge) include:

 

Niagara 17-4123
A soft blue hue that is very reminiscent of the ever popular this season light denim wash. This colour has cropped up for us in many of the collections we carry – anywhere from the fabulous line of Dex denim pants – to the wonderfully soft Tencel blouse from French Dressing. This shade pairs with almost any colour combination, which makes it on the very top of our Spring/Summer want list!

Pale Dogwood 13-0107
An obvious choice for spring is in the soft pastel hues. This shade of pale pink is unobtrusively subtle – without being overtly “bubblegum” –  it is an easy wear for any lady. Anywhere from accessories (like this beaded necklace from the beautiful Island Import jewelry line) to Soya Concept’s knit sweater that makes perfect transition to spring by pairing with a flowy skirt or white French Dressing capri. This is a colour that we are sure to see many place for all the seasons this 2017.

Kale 18-0107
Typically reserved for fall palettes the army green is going strong this year and is by far one of the standout colours of the spring/summer season. This colour can be treated as a neutral – easily pairs with many colour combinations and when paired with a pastel like Pale Dogwood – can instantly tone down your look. The pale pink and army green is a major combo this season – like our Dex flowy army short and Mystree lace trim tank.

All in the Details
In this Spring/Summer season we have seen a surge in the focus on the details. Whether it is subtle detail like a lace trim or hanging tassel or the more ornate like crochet tops or off the shoulder ruffles – even a plain tank top or t-shirt is dressed up by a peak of lace or a peplum hem.

Denim is IT
Denim is everywhere this Spring and Summer – denim tops, shorts, vests and jackets – denim is the IT piece in your 2017 wardrobe. The focus has been on the lighter side of the denim scale – with jeans leaning towards the softer distressed shades. The undone denim look has become very popular as of late – hems that are let out, distressed washes and of course the ripped look – there is a denim look for everyone!

This season has brought about the massively popular Tencel fabric in many of the styles that we carry here at Oakridge. Described as more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen; Tencel is an eco-friendly, man made fiber from the cellulose of wood pulp. This material is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable – for those of us who are conscious of the contents of our clothing. It is touted as more absorbent then cotton, in turn making it anti-bacterial and excellent for those with sensitive skin.

Growing the Perfect Orchid

Orchids are a beautiful, rewarding exotic flower to have in your home.

There are many types of Orchids – up to 20 different species!

The most common being Phalaenopsis, known as Moth Orchids – due to their shape resembling a moth in flight. If you have a Phalaenopsis Orchid and it starts sprouting leaves instead of a flowers at the end of its spike – You have a very special orchid!  Your orchid is growing a baby and once that baby has 2 or 3 roots and those roots are 3 to 4 inches you can cut it from the stalk and plant it to create a new orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

The Brassia Orchid blooms have elongated petals which gives them a spidery appearance. They are typically yellow or green with brown or maroon striping or spots.

Brassia Orchid

And the Paphiopedilum Orchids are a genus of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the Lady’s or Venus’ Slipper Orchids, named for the unusual shape of the pouch of the flower, said to resemble a lady’s slipper.

The first point to know about growing Orchids is – it’s EASY!

  1. Choose the right orchid for you, place it in a well lit environment – but not in direct sunlight.
  2. Watering your plant is important, do make sure not to over water or to let it stand in water. Adding a few (2 or 3) ice cubes once a week works really well – but a good thorough watering twice a month and fertilizing once a month will give your plant the added nutrients it craves! Most Orchids are planted in a well draining medium so water will run out the bottom. The best way that you can give your plant a thorough watering is to place the pot (with drainage) or take the plastic liner out of a decorative pot – and put it in the sink, watering until it drains out the bottom. Let the Orchid drain out until no water is running out the drainage holes and return it to its spot! A sure sign to know if your watering correctly is to look for the Orchid’s air roots, if these are dry and shriveling – it needs more water – if they look plump and healthy – then your doing it right!
  3. Many people don’t know what they are supposed to do after an Orchid finishes blooming. There are two steps to take * Find a triangular node under the lowest flower bloom and trim 1″ above that node. This will cause your Orchid to send off a new shoot and bloom again in about 6 months. OR * If your spike is brown and/or yellow trim the spike back to the base of the plant. Your orchid will have to now grow back a new healthy green spike. This could take up to 8-12 months. REMEMBER: Your Orchid goes through a resting period after blooming and an Orchid will only bloom once a year.
  4. Only transplant your orchid if you think that it has out grown it’s pot. Orchids have air roots – which usually look like regular roots escaping the pot – this is NORMAL! If you do transplant, make sure to use an Orchid medium. We at Oakridge can help you to choose the right medium for your plant.

These are a few easy tips to growing a beautiful healthy Orchid!
If you have any questions, feel free to stop by Oakridge and we would love to help you with your Orchid or Tropical Houseplant related issues!

Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Why would someone want to promote bird activity in their backyard? Birds are apart of the local ecosystem of your yard – and can provide a great many benefit to you as a home owner! (For example : Pest Control, Flower Pollination, Weed Control, Wildlife Conservation and even Stress Relief – they are so fun to watch!)

Attracting birds to your yard or garden is easy! All you need to provide is the basic necessities to meet their needs and keep them interested and returning.

FOOD: By supplying a variety of bird feed you will attract birds with different food preferences.

In early to mid May we expect the migration of the beautiful Baltimore Orioles through Manitoba – these birds are a wonderful addition to your common yearly bird but will only be a short visitor, so they are usually a popular one to try and attract. For hummingbirds and Orioles you will need nectar, which can be purchased ready-made or prepared at home.

  • Hummingbird Nectar – One part sugar – Four parts water
  • Oriole Nectar – One part sugar – Six parts water
  • Boil both mixtures to become a syrup (do not use food colouring or honey, which can be harmful to birds)

You can pick up the specific feeders here at Oakridge both for Orioles, which has a perch (just like the one pictured), and Hummingbirds. Besides the feeders many annuals and perennials, especially those with tubular flowers will attract Hummingbirds as well (ask us for suggestions).

For other backyard feeding options, Sunflower seed is great for Chickadees, Finches and Jays.
Nyjer seed is loved by Goldfinches, Pine Siskins and Purple Finches. Buy a good feeder that doesn’t waste seed as it is expensive.

Suet is a winter treat for Chickadees and Woodpeckers. Even though it is used mostly through the winter months, you should make sure that suet is available in very early spring. The babies need suet as their stomachs can’t yet digest seed.

Feed your birds through all the seasons of the year. Birds need food all summer as well as winter. Spring and Fall snow storms may stop birds from getting their natural food sources. If you don’t feed them they may parish.

Plan to have proper shelter for your birds as well! Plant shrubs and trees that will give them the shelter that they need and also some of the food sources to fatten up. Here is a list of trees and shrubs that can give your birds what they need.
Nanking cherry, Elder, Saskatoon, Mountain Ash, Sandcherry, Cranberry, Nannyberry, Flowering Crabapples

WATER: Provide a bird bath, fountain or fish pond for your birds. Be sure to always be refreshing the water to ensure that you don’t unintentionally breed the dreaded “Manitoba Mosquito” – which lay eggs in standing bodies of water.

NESTING SITES: Provide bird houses, nesting ledges, and plenty of shrubs and mature trees to provide cover and nesting sites.

If you do this, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of birds, less insects and less weeds to pull in your yard – and who doesn’t love seeing all the different types of birds that we get here in Manitoba!