Sunday, March 16, 2014

Garden Chat and Monarch Butterflies

What's going on in your garden this week. It's only 5 days until spring so things better be hopping. Unfortunately, I've got two days of rain to deal with but I made good progress last week with an additional two raised beds built. Most everything but the tomatoes are in the greenhouse and the tomatoes have just germinated so it won't be long for them. Getting some of my last seeds ordered today for some of the things I forgot. One of the things, believe it or not, are some "weed" seeds. Actually three different varieties of milkweed (asclepias) so I can attract and encourage Monarch butterflies which are hugely endangered. I ordered my seeds through Georgiavines but there are a bunch of places that offer such things.

I also ordered some pomegranate seed. I went to a garden chat yesterday at a local nursery to hear Walter Reeves a local "agri-personality" and one of the people mentioned that he was having success with growing his own pomegranates so I am going to try as well. I love pomegranates so we'll see.

Gotta finish with the seed orders and some other stuff. Have a great Sunday and get that garden in order.

Free/low cost asclepias seeds:
Monarchs need your help NOW! This year AGAIN marks the lowest number of over wintering Monarchs in the Mexican mountains in the last 20 years…and we have only known about their over wintering sites for a little more than 20 years!. There are 97% fewer than at their recorded height and 50% less than there were last year. This is a back to back 50% decline in their overwintering numbers. Researchers are worried we may lose a large part of their migration this year if immediate action is not taken and severly threaten all Monarchs if the pattern continues.
This is a crisis situation! In 1991, over 75% of the wintering Monarchs from North America froze to death in Mexico as a result of three days of rain and sub-freezing conditions. Their numbers showed some recovery but now there is a nationwide shortage of milkweed. Freak weather patterns destroy habitat and kill millions of helpless Monarchs. But these natural events are not the only challenges that face the Monarch. Pesticide application and genetically modified crops cover important parts of the Monarch’s migratory path and serve as killing fields for any Monarch that pass through these millions of acres of toxins and biological agents that kill them and their young. They are unintended casualties in a war to protect crops. Are our Monarchs worth our efforts to protect? Do we even know the total effects on our environment from the use of these agents? The Monarch habitat must be protected now to ensure their survival, before we see the day when this miracle of nature is only a memory. The Monarchs need your help NOW. Please plant seeds and ensure their survival. A Milkweed in every yard!…
More seed & plant sources here.

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