How to attract hummingbirds to your garden

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In Monday's edition of Successful Gardening, gardening expert Karen Neill explained some ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden.

Neill says you can plant things in your garden to naturally attract hummingbirds, but you can also use artificial feeders.

moatTypically, artificial feeders have red flowers and red tubular shapes to attract hummingbirds. But the feeders can also draw in other creatures like bees and ants.

If you're trying to feed the hummingbirds but want to keep the insects out, you can start by having a "moat" type hook to hang the feeder on to help repel ants and other crawling insects. In addition, you can coat the hanger with petroleum jelly. For bees, you can purchase "bee guards" that keep them from getting inside the feeder.

As far as feed goes, Neill says you can buy various mixes from stores -- but she says you can also use plain sugar and water. Neill says to use one-part sugar to four-parts water and to use hotter water to make sure the sugar dissolves.

Neill says to refrain from using honey or red food coloring as the red feeder will provide coloration on its own.

You can also plant flowers to attract hummingbirds. Neill says things like butterfly bushes, blue and red salvias and floxes are a few examples of flowers that will draw hummingbirds in.

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