Announcements & News
How to help Monarchs
By Simone Schneegans on Jul 28, 2022 08:32 pm One of the most iconic of insects, the monarch butterfly, has just been added to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species as endangered. This is a devastating piece of news for nature lovers, butterfly lovers, and gardeners who have intentionally cultivated landscapes to help monarchs. Some gardeners have already noticed this summer’s relative absence of monarchs and miss them dearly. Many of you have been faithfully checking your milkweeds for caterpillars and scanning the skies for adults to no avail. We all want to know, now more than ever, how we can help monarchs. A monarch caterpillar feasting on common milkweed How Can You Help Monarchs? If you have a butterfly garden, maintain it. Keep tending to your milkweed and adding new species. Maintain a rich diversity of nectar plants that bloom from spring to fall. There are so many to choose from! Create safe places for insects of all sorts to rest, find shelter, and pupate. If you have a wild part of your property where milkweed occurs naturally, consider letting it grow undisturbed. If you don’t have a butterfly garden, plant one. At the most basic level, all you need is a bunch of nectar rich flowers that must include milkweed. If you don’t have milkweed, grow some, it is the exclusive food source of monarch caterpillars. There are many species of milkweed that are less aggressive than the common type and that are easy to incorporate into the garden. Try them! We have swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), butterfly weed (A. tuberosa), and showy milkweed (A. speciosa) available at the nursery. In addition to planting milkweed and nectar sources for monarchs, conservationists recommend eliminating use of pesticides. At the very least, do not use them anywhere near your butterfly garden or plants that you see butterflies visiting. We Cannot Give Up Habitat loss, lack of food sources for young, and pesticide use are the key issues constantly repeated in discussions with entomologists and conservationists. It is clear that we must double down on efforts to create safe habitat, go easy on the chemicals, and plant milkweed. While we can’t control what happens outside of our property, we can use our own spaces to help monarchs. Indeed, it is easy to feel disheartened, but we absolutely cannot give up. Further Resources: Here’s a link to a Xerces Society post addressing why creating wild habitat is a better solution than captive breeding. Here’s a DNR list of plants to help endangered monarchs. We have several of these available at the nursery. For information about monarch migration, biology, habitat, and more, here’s a link to the Monarch Joint Venture website (formerly the University of Minnesota The post How to Help Monarchs appeared first on Knecht's Nurseries & Landscaping.
NGC, Founded in 1950...
What comes to mind when you think of the Northfield Garden Club? Colorful flowers in planters on Bridge Square and along the Riverwalk - or baskets on the Pedestrian bridge below the Cannon River falls in downtown Northfield – or hanging baskets on downtown lamp posts? Or perhaps the butterfly, dragonfly, and bee pollinator gardens in Riverside Park? But I bet very few of you know that the garden club also was responsible, through the Landscape Partnership Program, for the corridor of 149 trees added by the club in 2012 and 2014 along Highway 3 south from the Dairy Queen to St Olaf Ave and from the Cannon River bridge south to Jefferson Pkwy by Allina. NGC also provides grant money to individuals or groups to pursue gardening projects: landscaping at the depot, creating a butterfly garden in front of the former Greenvale School, developing landscaping around the pergola in Riverside Park and around the gazebo along the river by 2nd St, plus adding the tables and umbrellas along the Riverwalk. I could go on and on but this is not about garden club’s accomplishments and ongoing contributions toward a vibrant sense of community spirit that has visitors returning to Northfield again and again. This is a call to support the purpose of the NGC to advance and promote the art and science of horticulture and encourage all forms of home and civic gardening projects in the Northfield. It takes more than just the gardening club to accomplish this. It takes YOU, the citizens, elected officials, city employees, and neighborhood friends all pitching in to create an old-fashioned, small town feel in Northfield. Plant a tree, water a tree, trim a tree, plant a flower, and pull a weed. Bet you can’s stop with just one! Visit www.TheNorthfielGardenClub.org for more information. And join us at one of our monthly meetings held the second Tuesday of each month. Guests are always welcome.