John Phipps: The Power of a Pollinator Plot

U.S. Farm Report 07/27/19
I realized it has been almost exactly 2 years since my first report on my pollinator plot. As you can see and might remember, I was not exactly optimistic it would amount to much in the beginning. Thanks to experts and friends, and the fact the only thing you can really do about it is…nothing, things have gotten better.

I am standing almost exactly where I was last time and notice the ragweed and foxtail have largely melted away. Last year was an improvement, but this year, thanks to persistent rains and the magic of perennial propagation it’s chock full of flowers and stuff.

I’m shooting this on July 14, so the mid-season flowers are blooming. I have become an overnight expert on these species so let me point some out: there is the familiar yellow one, the taller droopy yellow one, the little bitty yellow and white one, and the purple one. And of course, Queen Anne’s Lace which is normally a roadside weed, but looks pretty good in here.

There is also a good stand of some kinda rye I think, but it’s not on the seed mixture tag.

If I hadn’t been obsessed with planting in May, I could also have shot the explosion of white flowers with my favorite name: foxglove beardtongue that showed up then. It was spectacular. Other species will flower later this summer. The plot is head high, and this being the third year, I’ll have to renew one third of the plot this fall by a light disking or burning. Neither Jan, nor Aaron, nor the the fire department nor my insurance agent likes the sound of me with a match, so I may have to settle for a disk.

I’ll keep you updated, but this project is turning out pretty cool.

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