Planting seeds

Prairie larkspur seeds planted in the habitat.

Prairie larkspur seeds planted in the habitat.

Purple coneflower seeds.

Purple coneflower seeds.

This month we planted wildflower seeds in our pollinator habitat. Many wildflower seeds need a cold treatment called stratification. In nature this happens when seeds drop from the plant in the fall, overwinter in the ground and then germinate in the spring. Seeds we planted include:

  • Prairie larkspur
  • Showy beardstongue
  • Large flowered beardstongue
  • Purple coneflower
  • Pasque flower
  • Biennial gaura
  • Compass plant
  • Partridge pea
  • Plains coreopsis
  • Butterfly milkweed
  • Whorled milkweed
  • Swamp milkweed
  • Grey headed prairie coneflower
  • White prairie-clover

MJ

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Rain Barrel and Insect Hotel

Rain barrel donated to our habitat project.

Rain barrel donated to our habitat project.

Close up view of insect hotel.

Close up view of insect hotel.

We had a rain barrel donated to our pollinator habitat.  Thank you Dave!  Last month we got it installed.  First we needed to attach a new rain gutter to the shed.  Thank you Chris!  Then we put in a small brick patio for the rain barrel to sit on.  With the nice rains we have received this month the rain barrel is full and will help us water our plants through the fall until the ground freezes.  We are still collecting and adding material to the insect hotel. We found Spanish tiles at the Eco Store to make the roof.

Insect hotel in pollinator habitat.

Insect hotel in pollinator habitat.

MJ

Enhancing Habitat & Drilling, Drilling, Drilling

The seeds we’ve collected from native plants have been planted so know we can focus on the insect habitats and bee nest box structure.

Chinese Mantid on a log

Chinese Mantid checking out the new insect habitat structure at Cherry Creek… and we’re just getting started

The first structure we’re building is made from pallets, pavers and a variety of natural materials.  MJ took several photos so we’ll see if we can get those posted. MJ and I filled the first layer with pine cones, goldenrod stems, dried milkweed pods, bark and cattails. The next layer has several logs with holes drilled in them, prairie hay, more pine cones, sticks and well… this is where we’ve quickly learned that we need to collect a lot more materials to fill such a grand structure. We hope to make it four pallets high before winter arrives.  So off to collect more materials. Funny, how you start eyeballing other people’s yard waste set out for curbside recycling.

houses for native bees

Some of the scrap lumber being cut & drilled to create native bee nesting blocks. We’re doing the same with logs

The Native Bee Nest Box structure is also a work in progress. We went to a surplus area and found a great table and bookcase made of solid wood. The wood will be treated with natural preservatives, but it is meant to be outdoors so that’s where it is headed. The bookshelf will be screwed into the top of the table. This is the housing for the bee nest boxes. I’ve been collecting scrap lumber and logs.  There has been a lot of sawing, drilling and sanding. Each piece of lumber has 1/4″, 3/18″ or 5/18″ holes drilled in it – varying from 3-6″ deep. The pvc pipe sections will hold phragmites and bamboo tubes. In addition to scrap lumber, natural logs will fill in the gaps.

Lots of work to do before winter sets in…

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

First layer of insect hotel, filling pallet with pine cones and plant material.

First layer of insect hotel, filling pallet with pine cones and plant material.

Building insect hotel.  Filling layers as we add pallets.

Building insect hotel. Filling layers as we add pallets.

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