Snow came to the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat overnight. It is a reminder that seasons change and winter is on its way. The trees are getting their fall color and the native grasses are beautiful with their tall seed head plumes. Milkweed pods are popping open and releasing their seeds and silky fluff. Nebraska is gorgeous in the fall.
Posted in fall, Habitat, milkweed, Native, Nebraska, snow, Weather, winter
- Tagged fall, habitat, native grasses, snow, Weather
Asters are blooming in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. Asters are hardy perennials that bloom late summer until the first hard frost. Many asters are native to Nebraska and are a late-season source of pollen for bees, migrating monarchs and other pollinators.
Asters native to Nebraska include:
Smooth aster – 2-4 feet tall with purple flowers
Prairie aster – 3-4 feet tall with lavender flowers
Heath aster – 1-3 feet tall with white flowers
New England aster – 3-5 feet tall with pink, red-violet, purple or blue flowers
Asters are easy to grow and look great in a mass planting. They can be planted with other native plants like purple coneflower, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan and native grasses.
The main plant disease is powdery mildew, it causes a whitish growth that appears on leaves. To reduce the chance of this disease, make sure asters are in full sun and plants are not crowded.
Posted in fall, Habitat, Native, Nebraska, perennials, Plants
- Tagged aster, fall, flowers, Native, Nebraska, perennial
This morning Nebraska Extension Lancaster County Master Gardeners volunteered and helped me in the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. We had plenty of wonderful rain this year. So the Habitat got a bit over grown. We found the path, bench and picnic table, they were all over grown with native plants and a few weeds. We took out the weeds, cut back a few native grasses, but left everything else. It is important to leave plant material in pollinator habitats for overwintering insects and praying mantis egg cases. Many wildflowers like milkweed and Rudbeckia are dropping seeds now for plants next year. Birds like, American goldfinch, are seed eaters. Leaving the native tall thistle is an important food source for them. I hope we have many more beautiful fall days like today.
We were treated to a beautiful fall day in the pollinator habitat yesterday. I took advantage of this, by weeding and a little fall clean up. Not too much clean up, it is good to leave some plant material and leaves. It is important not to disrupt overwintering areas for beneficial insects. I also planted wildflowers seeds. A Master Gardener had secured a donation of seeds for us to use. In the collection was purple coneflower. Thank you Kay! I collected seeds earlier in the fall from the habitat. So I planted shell-leaf penstemon and whorled milkweed too.
Habitat in November.
Purple coneflower seeds.