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29 Apr

Blogs written about monarch butterflies end with today’s post.  I hope by now you are on board with the desire to do something within your own garden or yard to assist with the current plight of this species of butterfly.  If you act upon that desire, you will be pleasantly surprised to find not only monarch’s flitting about your yard but many different types of butterflies, bees, birds and other critters as well.

First, choose a nice sunny location in which to set up a Butterfly Garden.  Butterflies are cold-blooded and need sunshine to fly.  Plus, the flowers you choose to plant need good lighting throughout the day.  Purchase either seed packs or starts of plants that will bloom throughout the season.  Plant choices should include a variety of short, tubular flowers as well as flowers with large flat petals.  Include enough host plants (such as milkweed) that will thrive in your growing zone  so caterpillars can eat too. 

Begin by digging the chosen area with a shovel or small rototiller, making certain to break up larger pieces of soil.  Remove grass clumps and rake out any other debris, leaving loose soil on top. You can add fertilizer at this point if needed.  Choose and place three or more dark, flat rocks that absorb sunlight so butterflies can land on them and warm up when necessary. 

Scatter your seeds or place your plants in the ground, cover lightly with loose soil and then water with a sprinkling can or gentle garden hose spray.  Be sure the soil leaves some areas of indentation as butterflies will suck soil minerals from puddles of water that collect there.  A flat plate or dish is a nice addition to occasionally place small pieces of cut apples or bananas since butterflies love fruit.

If there is room, add a bench or seat for viewing and invite your neighbors over to share in the excitement of watching the beautiful, ever-changing array of color and wildlife that you will see flourish in what you created.  You will not be disappointed!  Who knows, maybe your neighbor will be inspired to do the same! 

Finally, the next series of blogs will be about the upcoming pollinator week, June 15 – 21, 2015.

 


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