Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pollinator Workshop

Last weekend, I had the opportunity 
to take a class on pollinator gardens 
at the Catawba Cooperative Extension Office.
The course consisted of a bit of classroom time,
which offered vital information about this beneficial subject.
The second part of the class was hands-on
and we made our way outside
on a gorgeous, crisp spring day.

This triangular piece of land
adjacent to the vegetable garden was the focus of our work.

A plan had been previously devised
and helped us know where to place the designated plants.

After the classroom presentation,
we moved outside to create a pollinator bed.

Tools were gathered for the project.

The Extension Center had an abundance
of rich, valuable compost available for this project.
A couple of us were on mulch duty,
hauling it from one end of the property
to the new bed.

The sheet mulch method
(also known as lasagna gardening)
was utilized,
layering cardboard over the grass
and then covering with compost.
The cardboard is a great weed deterrent,
and is the way I prefer to deal with unwanted grass at home.

Our group was enthusiastic
and it was plain to see
that experience was not lacking.
Many of the volunteers have already been through
the Master Gardener program.

The compost should aid the new residents
in retaining moisture from rainfall,
as well as keeping them cooler during the summer months.
It's also one of the best ways to keep weeds at bay.

Although I had to leave before the project was completed
(we ran a bit over our time),
it was really coming together quickly.
With plenty of room to spread out in the future,
these plants should give the local pollinators plenty to enjoy
over the next few years.
I can't wait to go back to see how it's filled in.

If you are interested in adding some pollinator-friendly
plants to your garden, keep these tips in mind:

~Pollinators need a diversity of flowers.
~Choose plants that bloom at different times of the year.
~Create habitats for those who prefer tight spaces,
using grasses or a handmade "bee hotel".
~Provide a water source as well as
some bare ground for nesting bees.

Check out this link
for a free design planner
to get you started.

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