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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – September 23, 2023

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Shannon’s Note

I’m loving this early fall weather! The heat and humidity of summer are finally over. All my favorite fall flowers are in bloom. The fall warblers are coming through. The monarchs, cloudless sulphurs, common buckeyes, painted ladies, and other migrating butterflies are on the move. Fall is just my absolute favorite season.

I hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy some of fall’s natural beauty.

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Educational Opportunities

Design Your Pollinator and Wildlife Oasis: Garden-sized Plots

🦋 Do you live in the eastern U.S. and want to start a new pollinator garden? Or incorporate more native plants into your existing landscape to attract pollinators and wildlife?

🦋 Are you unsure where to start? Or confused about how to sift through and apply the information you’ve found on the internet?

🦋 Would you like help figuring it all out?

We are offering a 4-week group coaching program in October. During those 4-weeks, we will guide you through designing a customized pollinator and wildlife oasis that you can be proud of and which will achieve your unique goals based on your unique property and circumstances. This is much, much more than just a course.

The Backyard Ecology Community

Are you looking for a supportive place where you can ask questions, celebrate your accomplishments, gain encouragement when you’re feeling discouraged, and have fun geeking out about nature?

The Backyard Ecology Community is a supportive membership community for people in the eastern U.S. who love nature and want to transform their yards and communities into ecosystems that support pollinators and wildlife.

3 Reasons Why Fall Is the Best Time to Plant

Spring is the traditional planting season, but fall is actually the best time for planting native plants. This super short, free e-book shares why fall planting will help your plants thrive and get off to the best start possible. It is our gift to you to help you get started on (or continue) your adventures in gardening with native plants.

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Upcoming Sales and Events

We’re making a couple of changes to our upcoming sales schedule. We have canceled our October 7 sale at Lost River Cave. Instead, we are joining SoKY Wild Ones for their 3rd annual Native Plant Sale on October 14.

The SoKY Wild Ones Native Plant Sale will be our last native plant sale of the season. I’ll share details about what species we’ll have available and how to pre-order in the October 7 edition of the Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife newsletter. If you would prefer to do an October pickup in Glasgow, please let me know and we’ll work with you to make arrangements for that to happen.

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Introducing: Contract Orders for 2024

🌱 Are you planning a pollinator garden for next year and want to make sure we have the species you want?
🌱 Are you planning to plant a larger area in native plants and want to make sure you can get a large number of plants from us next year?

If your answer to either of those questions was “yes,” then you may be interested in a new service that we’re planning to offer – contract growing. We’re still working out the details, but this is generally how it will work:

  • You place an order this fall for the number and species of plants you want next year.
  • We grow them for you and let you know when they are ready.
  • You get your plants at the appropriate time next year.

If you decide you want additional plants, no problem. We still plan to grow plants to sell like we’ve been doing at various community events and through regular deliveries in Bowling Green and Glasgow. Contract orders just help both of us plan and ensures that we’ll have the plants that you already know you want for next year.

If this is something you want to learn more about or possibly participate in, please let us know.

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September Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • Fall is the best time to plant native perennial wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.
    • The roots will continue to grow into early winter and will start growing again in the late winter / early spring as the ground warms up. That extra root growth will give your fall planted plants a jump start on any plants that you plant in the spring.
  • Water newly planted plants, as needed.
    • The summer drought may be mostly over, but fall can still be pretty dry and newly planted individuals may need additional water.
  • Be sure to keep your hummingbird feeders clean and avoid red dyes.
    • You may have to clean the feeders as often as once a day to keep any mold or algae from growing.
    • Never add fresh food to old.
  • Clean and refill birdbaths weekly, or more often as needed.
    • Cleaning and refilling birdbaths at least once a week will help keep your birdbath from becoming a mosquito factory.
  • 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.
  • If you typically mow a field that has lots of goldenrods, asters, and other fall flowers in it, then try waiting to mow until after the first killing frost.
    • Waiting to mow will allow our 14 species of butterflies that migrate (including the monarch butterfly) and all of our fall bees the opportunity to use the flowers.
  • It’s always a good time to kill invasive species.
    • Stilt grass (Microstegium sp.) and perilla mint / beefsteak plant (Perilla frutescens) can be easily pulled in garden beds.
    • 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.
  • Kick back and enjoy the pollinators and wildlife visiting your native plants.
    • The fall migration has started for both the butterflies and songbirds.

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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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