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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – June 17, 2023

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Happy National Pollinator Week! (June 19-25, 2023) Growing native plants is one of the primary ways you can support and attract pollinators to your yard.

Shannon’s Note

Happy (early) National Pollinator Week! (Monday is the official start of National Pollinator Week.) Once again, we’ll be celebrating National Pollinator Week with a native plant sale at Lost River Cave on June 24. I was originally going to give a presentation as well, but the presentation was cancelled.

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We have several pale purple coneflowers and black-eyed susans in full bloom.

Nursery Update

Pale purple coneflowers and black-eyed susans are blooming in the nursery. They look absolutely amazing right now. Unfortunately, the milkweeds still need a little longer. They are growing taller, but the stems haven’t put on the girth we like to see before selling them. We’ve decided to hold all our milkweeds until the fall sales.

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Upcoming Sales and Events

Our next plant sale will be at Lost River Cave on June 24. Details about the event and the native plants we know we will have available can be found by clicking on the link below. As always, there will likely be a few additional species that aren’t on the lists but make a surprise appearance in limited quantities.

We will not be doing any deliveries or plant sales in July. While it is possible to plant in July, it is often so hot and dry that it is harder to be successful when planting then. We’d rather skip a month of sales and have you be more successful by planting in the fall.

After next weekend’s Lost River Cave sale, our next native plant sale will be August 26. By that point, the heat of the summer will be mostly behind us and the planting conditions will be improving.

Click on an event below to find out what we will have available that day and how to place a pre-order if desired.

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June Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • Plant in the early morning or evening (my preferred time). Avoid planting in the heat of the day for the sake of yourself and your plants.
  • Be sure to keep your hummingbird feeders clean and avoid red dyes.
    • A decrease in the number of birds visiting your feeders is to be expected because the females are sitting on nests and prefer to visit native flowers at this time of year.
    • Decrease the amount of food you are putting out to accommodate the decrease in number of visitors.
  • Check for and remove any paper wasp nests in butterfly houses or empty birdhouses near your gardens.
    • I actually recommend removing or blocking the entrances to butterfly houses. I discuss why in this Backyard Ecology article.
  • It’s always a good time to kill invasive species.
    • Stilt grass (Microstegium sp.) can be easily pulled in garden beds.
    • Poison hemlock is in full flower and if possible should be cut down and disposed of in the trash before it sets seed. Be sure to wear proper PPE when doing so. Watch this Backyard Ecology video to learn more about how to control poison hemlock at this time of year.
    • If you are using herbicides to control invasive species, be sure to read and follow the label. Paying attention to the maximum temperatures for application is especially important at this time of year.
  • Take time to watch the fireflies at night.
  • If you want to learn more about gardening for pollinators and wildlife, growing native plants, or the plants and animals that can be found in our yards and communities, then check out our Backyard Ecology blog, podcast, and YouTube channel.
    • We’re constantly adding more content to help you learn about and enjoy the nature that is all around us.

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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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