Spring is here! Validation of this fact can be seen all through Berks County and beyond with the blooming of crocus, glory of the snow, daffodils and the soon to follow tulips.
Now would be the time to consider what direction you would like your garden or patio to go. Butterfly and Hummingbird gardens are so colorful while providing a wonderful habitat for pollinators. You may also consider a vegetable garden, vegetables can be grown in pots as well in the ground, raised beds or beside your flowers. The area in which you have can be your “oyster”.
Examples of different ways to grow vegetables, which can be as varied as you want them to be. Pollinators will find their way to your garden with a little encouragement. Plant a few nectar plants for the travel tired butterflies. Here in North America there are well over 700 different species of butterflies with more then 10 common Pennsylvania butterflies. Nectar plantings are needed for the adult butterfly just as milkweed is needed for the adult Monarch butterfly to lay it’s eggs. When the eggs (larva) are ready to hatch, a very hungry caterpillar will emerge. Milkweed is what the hungry Monarch caterpillar will eat until it’s ready to form the chrysalis (pupa) where the caterpillar goes through metamorphosis. When that stage of development is complete a butterfly will emerge and rest upon a leaf. Unfold its wings to allow blood flow to enable the wings to flap and dry. After a period of time the newly hatched butterfly will fly, hopefully within your garden. That’s a reason to have nectar type of plantings, also hummingbirds enjoy nectar plants.
A butterfly buffet will be an open invitation for fellow pollinators to come and visit. So why Spring is still in the early stage of the season you can begin to plan your garden. Keep in mind “Right plant Right place”. Until later, El
For more information regarding butterflies: thebutterflysite.com (great site for children)
The Xerces Society at : http://www.xerces.org also Penn State Extension at:http://extension.psu.edu/berks These are great places to begin your information gathering regarding pollinators. Vegetable garden photos are of Penn State Master Gardeners of Berks County..located at Berks county Agricultural Center 1238 Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533-9709