Fall is here, and it’s time to get going again on the Butterfly Garden! It seems that our efforts to smother the grass and weeds have paid off. On Monday September 18 Susan Carpenter from the Arboretum checked under the cardboard and gave us the thumbs up to begin planting! Before we actually put plants into the ground or scatter the seed mix, the bark chips and cardboard have to be pulled off. Then the top few inches of soil will need to be loosened up. These tasks will take a team of hard working gardeners! We don’t want to use a roto-tiller because that will go deeper than we want, and will pull up more weed seeds.
Here’s what I think our planting priorities will be:
1) Seedlings of warm season prairie grasses, which need to get roots established soon in order to survive the winter. We have 80 or so seedlings each of Little Bluestem and Side Oats Grama.
2) Wildflower seedlings; good quantities of Spotted Joe Pyeweed, Marsh and Whorled Milkweed, Wild Strawberry, and Meadow Blazingstar. Plus a few each of several other species, adding up to about 140 wildflower plants total.
3) Seed mix; for Monarch Habitat in medium wet soil.
4) Transplants from neighborhood yards, including from a generous donor with many species in her home wildflower gardens. Depending on how well we do with the other planting/seeding, the transplanting could wait until Spring.
If you can help with any of our efforts, please let us know! Send an e-mail to Carol Buelow, Board member, at email@example.com. Our previous “work sessions” were usually on Monday afternoons, and on a few Saturday mornings, but we are flexible. Let us know what works. And if you know of others who might be interested, feel free to ask them. Also, if you would like to help plan out where in our space various plants will go, and whether we might want to make a path through it, we could meet at the site and brainstorm.