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Feeding and Attracting Honey Bees

By Horseshoe
October 24, 2012

Help the bees help you! Green manures planted in and around your garden and flowerbeds are excellent bee plants, offering pollen to the hive as a food source. The more varieties of plants the better, encouraging successive flowering. In the vegetable garden often-times a planting such as clover and/or buckwheat will be enough to provide a consistent diet for them and does double duty nourishing your soil as well.

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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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threegardeners
Oct 23, 2012 6:27 PM CST
What kinda plant is that Shoe?
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fiwit
Oct 23, 2012 6:58 PM CST
Thank you, Lee Anne -- right down to the comment title -- were you channeling me? Hilarious!
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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Oct 23, 2012 7:04 PM CST
Big Grin Whistling
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Oct 23, 2012 7:56 PM CST
I'm not Shoe, but I'll give you my take on green manures. They are cover crops that provide nutrients to the soil; white clover is a good example. Plant them around your flowers and they also provide bee food while nitrogen-izing the soil. Two jobs in one. Magic. Smiling
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Oct 24, 2012 9:20 AM CST
Mornin', Folks!

I haven't been online much except to check emails and do paperwork so it was a nice surprise to visit ATP and see the green manure tip!

Lee Anne, I had to go look it up. The plant is Chaste tree and the pic was taken by Dave and included in the tip. Great pic, Dave!
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus 'Shoal Creek')

And yep, Sharon hit the nail on the head, "green manure" was a term used for years then later the term "cover crop" became used, mainly because they provided 'cover' for the soil. Some cover crops, like legumes, will pull N out of the air and eventually it ends up in the soil. Other cover crops are known for leaving behind minerals and such (alfalfa, for example, offering calcium and potassium). And of course, all the cover crop plant matter, legume or non-legume, will add tilth to the soil, offer protection from the elements, encourage soil life and, and...well, don't get me started. Smiling

I think my most favorite of the legume cover crops/green manures, besides crimson clover, are the kind we can eat! Peas, beans, cowpeas, etc, not only add N to the soil, and their plant matter when turned under, but give us some goodies to tickle our taste buds while on their way to our tummies! Goodness for ourselves, goodness for the soil. Ain't nuttin' better for ya!

Shoe
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Oct 24, 2012 9:32 AM CST
Didn't occur to me they were talking about the picture, Shoe, since it was right there when you click on the article. I thought they were talking about green manures in general. But since you are here, I have a question. Is it good for the soil if the same green manures are left in place for years or is there any thought to moving them from time to time? Like in a garden, my grandmothers would rotate crops so the soil wouldn't get old, they said.

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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
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fiwit
Oct 24, 2012 11:12 AM CST
I was talking about the term "green manures" -- if Shoe had said "cover crops," I'd have known for sure what he meant. And I could swear that when I first read the tip, it didn't include the sentence about clover/buckwheat -- did I really skip an entire sentence when I read it?
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I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Oct 24, 2012 4:32 PM CST
'Fraid so. Green Grin!
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Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Oct 24, 2012 5:54 PM CST
Sharon said:'Fraid so. Green Grin!


*Blush* Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Oct 24, 2012 5:55 PM CST
Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Oct 24, 2012 7:03 PM CST
Heheheh, well I guess this is a true definition of "confusion abounds", eh?

Sorry, fiwit, it seemed Lee Anne was wondering about the pic, then you followed suit. From there we all went every which-away, eh?

And yep, the clover/buckwheat was there the whole time but I tend to speed read sometimes and perhaps, like me, your brain just didn't pick up on it. (I added those two as examples, one being a legume and the other non-legume, by the way.)

" Is it good for the soil if the same green manures are left in place for years or is there any thought to moving them from time to time?"

Sharon, yes, I'm a believer in rotating many crops but probably not a fanatic about it. Crop rotation was originally done so soil would not become depleted of nutrition. I'm sure you know this, what with some crops being heavy feeders and taking more from the land than giving back while others will take less from the soil and also put nutrition of some form in. Rotation of crops in a garden is similar to a bank account..we have to put in some form of deposit so we can make withdrawals, eh?

Although I've grown crimson clover in the same spot for several years in a row it is mainly grown as a fall/winter crop here, cut and turned in late winter/spring (or later). Other crops, normally food crops for me, are the rotation crops during the warm(er) months. I feel safe with clovers being grown several fall/winter seasons in a row because there is a low chance of disease infecting soil. The same is true with me and peas, "green peas" or "garden peas" to be exact. I have trellises I grow peas on in the late winter/spring (snow peas, sugar snaps, garden peas, etc). Since they only come in for a short period of time I follow them with pole beans (snaps or lima/butterbeans). The following year I will grow peas again on those same trellises simply because there hasn't been signs of any pea disease knocking them out. (I may or may not grow beans the second year, although many years I have, depending on the previous years growth. If I don't grow beans I'll use the same trellis for growing cucumbers or tomatoes on...neither one being a green manure/cover crop but benefiting from the previous pea/bean crops instead.)

Sheesh, I'm wordy sometimes, ain't I?
Shoe...off to eat butter beans for supper.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Oct 24, 2012 7:12 PM CST
Thanks Shoe.
Clear as a bell, all those words. Green Grin!
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