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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – February 10, 2024

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Shannon’s Note

February is National Bird Feeding Month. Putting up bird feeders is a common first step for those wanting to attract birds to their yards. If you want to go a step further, then planting native plants which will provide the birds’ natural food sources (seeds, berries, and insects) is also a great way to attract birds to your property. Then, if you want to go even further in supporting the birds that visit your property, you’ll want to start taking an ecosystem approach and making sure they have everything else they need in addition to just food. However, even at these more advanced stages, it can still be fun to maintain a bird feeder or two because they’ll draw the birds into locations where they can be more easily seen.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week also comes at the end of February / first of March. Warm, dry, late winter days like we’ve had for the last couple of weeks are an excellent time to work on invasive species management. If you are using any type of herbicide (organic or synthetic) be sure to read and follow all directions on the label including taking the necessary safety precautions and paying attention to the application temperature ranges.

I’ll include links at the end of this newsletter to some of our Backyard Ecology resources which cover different ways of providing food for birds, an ecosystem approach to supporting birds on your property, invasive species identification, and invasive species management.

Have a great day!

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Last Chance to Register…

Does this sound familiar? “I’ve spent countless hours looking at websites, reading books, and trying to figure out how to create pollinator and wildlife habitat on my property. But so much of the information contradicts each other or feels oversimplified and generic. I want to do this right, but I don’t know where to begin and I’m already feeling overwhelmed.”

If so, you aren’t alone. We’ve had this conversation many, many times with many different people. That’s why we created our online habitat creation course. This course was specifically designed for you if…

  • You want to create a pollinator garden or larger pollinator and wildlife habitat in order to develop a thriving ecosystem on your property, but you don’t know how to get started.
  • You are tired of wasting time and energy trying to figure out what to do on your own.
  • You are ready to take action now and get started this spring.
  • You recognize and appreciate the value of having experts to teach and guide you.
  • You enjoy the support, encouragement, and accountability that comes from learning to do something and working through a process with others who are doing the same thing.
  • You are a fan of Backyard Ecology, have already learned a ton of stuff from our free educational content, and believe that you could benefit from having us walk you through a step-by-step process customized for your unique situation and property.
  • You live in the eastern U.S. or the Eastern Temperate Forest ecoregion (see map).

Make this the year you create the pollinator garden or larger pollinator and wildlife habitat you’ve been dreaming of.

How to Create Pollinator and Wildlife Habitat

Registration closes on February 15.

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Nursery News

I am so excited for this growing season! We have over 8,000 seeds planted representing almost 90 species of native wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, and vines. This includes many species which we’re growing for the first time. Also, some of the species we are trying to grow this year may not be available until next year because they grow so slowly.

We anticipate having plants available for purchase beginning sometime in mid-April to mid-May depending on what our late winter / early spring weather does. All of our plants are acclimated to the natural weather conditions, so we are somewhat at the mercy of Mother Nature for when we can begin selling plants. If it’s a really cold spring, then the seedlings will take longer to grow to a sellable size. We want you to be successful, so we aren’t going to sell you plants that are too small to do well.

I am currently working on the website and plan to have the updated list of species available by early March.

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Upcoming Sales

We have some great events scheduled across the state this year and I am really looking forward to them. However, I just haven’t put them on the website yet because I’m working on several different aspects of the website and am waiting to update everything at once.

We also still have room for a few more activities or events. Please contact us if you have a community event coming up that you would like us to participate in or if you would like for us to consider being a guest vendor at your local farmer’s market.

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Backyard Ecology Resources

Did you know that Anthony and I produce a variety of free educational resources every week to help and encourage you as you grow native plants, create miniature ecosystems on your property, and attract pollinators and wildlife? Below are some of our free resources that you might enjoy.

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Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting

Helping you create the pollinator and wildlife habitat of your dreams, so you can enjoy your land and care for the plants and animals that also call your property home.

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