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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – Jan. 7, 2023

Table of Contents

Shannon’s Note

I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start. After a fairly relaxing holiday season, the new year is off in a whirlwind of activity for us. Just lots of little things seeming to pile up at once. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who is filling the push.

One of the exciting things that has already happened this month is that I released the podcast episode that I recorded with Larry Weaner. We talked about ecology based or ecological landscaping. Larry is the author of Garden Revolution and founder of New Directions in the American Landscape. I purposely held this episode until after the holiday season because I thought it was too important to risk getting lost in the holiday shuffle.

Larry defines ecology based landscaping as using native plants in a way that takes into consideration how and where they grow in nature and then adapting that knowledge to our landscapes in such a way that it benefits nature while also creating a place that speaks to and works for us. I think that’s what many of us are trying to do on our own properties. That same thought process and concept is what is behind the balance that I try to find in our consulting work and on our farm. Even if podcasts aren’t normally “your thing,” this is a conversation that you might enjoy listening to. I included it in the relevant Backyard Ecology resources below.

January is typically our coldest month of the year, but the foreseeable forecast doesn’t look too bad. In fact, it seems to be a little on the warm side. Of course, even “normal” would seem warm after the late December freeze. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get several projects done outside this month, including treating some of the invasive species on our property. What are some of the projects that you are working on this month?

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Nursery Update

Preparation for this year’s nursery season is in full swing. Seeds are being stratified for our herbaceous plants and grasses. We’ll start planting next month. Outside, everything has mostly gone dormant, but if it stays warm the roots may start growing again before much longer. Increased root growth will just mean stronger plants that are ready to go in the spring.

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Upcoming Deliveries

Winter deliveries will continue once a month until April. Next weekend (Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14) will be the next delivery. Honey, books, and gift cards for native plants and consulting services are all available.

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Available Items:

Books, Gift Certificates, and Honey

Attracting Pollinators and Wildlife to Your Yard: 15 Free and Easy Ways ($11)
Planting for Honey Bees in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys ($32)
Honey from my bees in Barren County ($15)
Gift Certificates – good for any of my products or services
(you choose the amount)

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Pre-Order Logistics and What to Expect

  • E-mail the following information to
    • List of items, sizes, and quantities that you want to order.
  • Ordering deadline: noon on Thursday, Jan. 12.
    • Orders are filled in the order that I receive them.
    • I will make sure I have everything you want and send you the total for the order.
  • On the day of the delivery:
    • I will have your order ready to go when you arrive.
    • You can pay by cash, check, or card.

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January Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • If you had a live tree for the holidays, take off all of the decorations including lights and tinsel, then consider either using it to make a brush pile on your own property or donating it to your state Fish and Wildlife Department for them to use for brush piles and/or fish habitat structures.
  • If you are planning to plant native wildflower seeds in the spring, consider going ahead and doing it now.
    • Many of our native wildflower seeds need to experience a winter before they will germinate.
    • You can simulate that by doing a cold, moist stratification in your refrigerator or you can plant the seeds now and let Mother Nature provide the winter for you.
  • If you need to cut down some trees, winter is the best time to do it from a wildlife and pollinator perspective.
  • Now is a great time to identify and possibly treat invasive species on your property.
    • If you are using herbicides, be sure to read and follow the label.
  • If you have a larger prairie or meadow area that you can burn, talk to your county’s NRCS agent or private lands biologist to determine whether now is a good time to do a prescribed burn.
  • Clean out any birdhouses that you have on your property.
    • Make any necessary repairs to the birdhouses at this time as well.

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Relevant Backyard Ecology Resources

Planning & Management

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Species Profiles & Observing Nature

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Subscribe to the Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting email list to have these newsletters emailed to you.

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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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