Pierce County Master Gardener Pollinator Garden Update
As many readers are aware, Pierce County’s NDSU Extension Master Gardener Model Pollinator Garden is located in the existing flower beds of the Pierce County Memorial Building on the Southeast corner of 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street Southeast.
The Pierce County pollinator garden was planted in June of 2016 with the help of several area Master Gardener interns who also helped with selection of the native plant species contained in the garden as well as plant layout and garden upkeep.
Fans and followers of the pollinator garden are also aware that 2016 was primarily an establishment year for the grant funded pollinator garden with educational programming efforts to begin during the 2017 growing season. An educational workshop focused on pollinator species, purpose of the garden as well as a tour of the plants at their existing location will take place in August before the garden is moved to its new permanent location at the Prairie Village Museum in early September.
There are 15 other NDSU Extension model pollinator gardens located throughout North Dakota.
The purposes of the statewide pollinator garden projects are to:
1.Provide Master Gardeners with projects in their home communities to fulfill their volunteer hour requirements
2.Build habitat that will nourish pollinators
3.Create a public teaching garden that can be jointly utilized by Master Gardeners and Extension Agents to encourage members of the general public to build home pollinator gardens.
Since pollinators require diverse sources of nectar and pollen, the pollinator garden grant requirements indicated that the garden contain a variety of flowering plants to provide season long blooms with a minimum of 10 different perennial species and at least 3 plants per species. Because native plants attract more native pollinators and serve as larval host plants for some species of pollinators at least six of the 10 perennial species in the gardens were required to be native.
The garden beds at our pollinator garden contain varying combinations of the following plants:
Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum), Red Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis), Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla patens), White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba), Salvia (Salvia nemorosa) ,Butterfly Milkweed (Zizia aurea), Golden Alexander (Asclepias tuberosa), Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis), Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa), Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida), and Tall Sedum.
In addition to nectar and pollen sources, the pollinator garden must also contain a water source for pollinators as well as a shelter for ground-dwelling and cavity-dwelling pollinators to rest and overwinter. To meet these requirements, our garden will contain a birdbath, a bee house, and a butterfly house. The birdbath has been taken home for repairs by one of our Master Gardener volunteers and the bee and butterfly houses that were to be installed this spring will wait to be installed at the new garden location.
For more information, such as learning how to identify major pollinators, choose plants that will provide a continuous source of nectar and pollen during the growing season, and safely use pesticides, download the NDSU Extension publication H1811 “Bee-utiful Landscapes: Building a Pollinator Garden” at “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/lawns-gardens-trees”>www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/lawns-gardens-trees .
Additional information on butterfly and pollinator gardens can also be found in the NDSU Extension publication E-1266, “Butterfly Gardening in North Dakota ” which can be obtained at your local NDSU Extension office or online at www.ag.ndsu.edu/extensionentomology/urban-and-forestry-insect-pests/documents/gardens/e-1266-butterfly-gardening-in-north-dakota .
Another publication, “Living Landscapes in North Dakota: A Guide to Native Plantscaping”, can be found by visiting www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs141p2_001520.pdf – for hard copies of this publication please check with your local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office for availability.
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