Create Your Own Pollinator Garden

Skipper on dotted gayfeather

Skipper on native dotted gayfeather – Spring Creek Prairie near Denton, NE

We’re waiting until fall to transplant some perennials and shrubs into the Cherry Creek Habitat – it’s just too hot now. If you’re thinking of creating a pollinator friendly landscape, now’s a good time to do some planning. You could start your project this fall. Here are some tips from the U.S. Forest Service:

  • Use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Plant in clumps or groups instead of single plantings of a flower. Try to use plants native to your area. Oh and don’t forget night-blooming flowers for moths and bats.
  • Avoid modern hybrid flowers, especially those with “doubled” flowers. These flowers may look beautiful to us, but plant breeders may have sacrificed pollen, nectar and fragrance for their “modern” beauty.
  • Eliminate pesticides whenever possible. Follow an Integrated Pest Management approach (IPM). Continue reading

Getting a Prairie Pollinator Education

Penstemon in Bloom

Penstemon is one of the many native flowers blooming on Spring Creek Prairie in June. Beautiful!

Last week, we attended a Pollinators Workshop and Habitat Tour for Landowners. Very hands-on, very engaging – so glad we went!! Thanks to the folks with Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Nebraska Game & Parks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Nebraska Environmental Trust for making it possible.

The workshop was held at The Audubon Center at Spring Creek Prairie near Denton, Nebraska. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, please put the prairie on your bucket list! Less than 2 percent of the world’s original tallgrass prairie remains and we have our own preserve near Lincoln. It is an amazing place.

We learned about beekeeping, butterflies and native bees, other pollinators and of course, their benefits. On our tours of the prairie, we identified insects and plants native to the prairie. It was extremely windy (not a surprise on a prairie), but it made it difficult to observe pollinators when they are “blowin’ in the wind”. We also observed plants blooming now. As for wildlife? Great pollinator habitat is obviously great habitat for wildlife as well.

And hey, this morning our local Lincoln Journal Star newspaper has an article about encouraging farmers and landowners to add native plants and flowers for pollinators 🙂 You can read it here:

 http://journalstar.com/news/local/farmers-urged-to-feel-flower-power/article_d72fd56e-0dd7-5b73-b19d-d3c0aef8faf8.html

For information on how you can encourage pollinators on your farm or acreage, contact your local NRCS office.

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu