Macrocentra's blog

New Pollinator Garden
Posted on Mar 27, 2021 1:19 PM

I finally decided where to begin construction of a new pollinator garden. This project originally came from wanting to provide more resources for the many carpenter bees I often find on my property. My raspberry bushes are often swarming with carpenter bees, honeybees, bumblebees, and a variety of other pollinators during the summer, so I've decided to build the new garden near the bushes. I'll be digging out a corner of the yard around my small maple tree, and along the cedar hedges a bit. I'll post updates here as the project progresses.

March 27:
This week, I obtained a decent sized log from one of the trees that was recently cut down in a nearby park by construction workers. The logs were discarded by the gully, so I retrieved one to use for housing. I'll be drilling several 6" deep tunnels into the log to provide nesting sites for solitary bees. This will likely be tucked under the raspberries. I'm hoping I can retrieve one or two more to provide more nesting sites, and maybe some of the branches that were discarded.
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/4a7fcd

The workers destroyed a neighbor's fence that was also built out of unfinished logs. Instead of rebuilding it, she offered if I wanted any of the materials, so I retrieved some of the thicker pieces for the project. The logs have a few tunnels through them, and are well weathered. I intend to use them as a border for the garden, and am hoping the variety of natural pits and contours will provide more shelter for insects.
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/3929ea
This is also the same corner of the yard that I intend to dig out for the garden.

I've already seen some early honeybees in the yard, so I picked up some common hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) as a food source while the garden project is in-progress. There's a pink one currently in-bloom, and a selection of blues, purples and whites that are approaching blooms. Hopefully the garden construction doesn't take too long, and these can be moved in soon. I'll be keeping an eye on the nurseries over the next while for more additions. (Thank you to everyone in the pollinator forum for their plant recommendations!)

First hyacinth purchase. Only paid $2.50 because it was already in bloom:
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/12206a

Purples nearing bloom:
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/d54ebd Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/c02fab

Blues nearing bloom:
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/b07d61

The full selection. There's some whites in there as well:
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/a3acd0
$4.99 each for the smaller pots with a single plant. $7.99 for the larger pots, which had 3 plants per pot, and therefore was a much better deal.


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Seed Projects for 2021
Posted on Mar 9, 2021 2:18 PM

This is a log for seed projects intended for 2021. Many of these are new for me, so this will serve as a progress report, and resource for future reference.

Updated:
March 27 - several seeds germinated

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
VEGETABLES

Chinese Radish Watermelon | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- First time growing

Cucamelon (Melothria scabra) | 'West Coast Seeds'
- First time growing
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 26

Lemon Cucumber | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- First time growing. Never heard of these. Look kind of interesting for something a bit different.
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 24 (currently the largest, and fastest growing seedlings)

Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- First time growing from seed.
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 24
- May restart these. Seedlings are a bit leggier than I'd prefer.

Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli | 'International Garden Seeds - Aimers'
- First time growing.
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 24

Sunburst Scallopini (Curcubita pepo) | 'West Coast Seeds'
- First time growing

Total Eclipse Hybrid Squash | 'OSC Seeds' |
- First time growing

Sweet Dumpling Squash | 'OSC Seeds'
- First time growing

Indigo Rose Tomatoes | 'West Coast Seeds'
- First time growing. Really looking forward to these ones.
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 26

Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- First time growing
- Sown March 21

Sunrise Bumble Bee Tomatoes | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- First time growing
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 25 and 26

Zucchini Squash | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- First time growing

Lunar White Carrot | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- Trying to grow in pots this year

Buttercrunch Lettuce | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- Sown March 21

Microgreens | 'McKenzie Seeds' | Hot Mix
- First time growing
- Contains: Purple Wave Mustard, Mizuna Lime Streaked Mustard, Tatsoi Mustard, Red Ursa Kale, Purple Vienna Kohlrabi

Microgreens | 'McKenzie Seeds' | Mild Mix
- First time growing
- Contains: Red Express Cabbage, Lacinato Kale, Tatsoi Black Knight Mustard, Pak Choi Cabbage, Mizuna Mustard

Soya Bean | 'OSC Seeds' | BeSweet Soya #292
- First time growing

Windsor Broad Beans | 'West Coast Seeds'
- First time growing

Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa) | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- First time growing
- Sown March 21

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
HERBS

Sage | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- Sown March 21

Lemon Balm | 'OSC Seeds'
- Sown March 21

Lemon Basil | 'OSC Seeds'
- Sown March 21
- Germinated March 26

Fennel | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- Sown March 21

Chamomile | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- Sown March 21

Catnip | 'OSC Seeds' | Heirloom
- Sown March 21

Lavender | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- Sown March 21

Peppermint | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- Sown March 21

Mystery Mint | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- Just labelled as "Mint". Not sure what kind.
- Sown March 21
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
FLOWERS

Bee Pollinator Mix | 'OSC Seeds' | Perennial + Annual Mix
- Contains: New England Aster, Black Eyed Susan, Borage, Butterfly Weed, Corn poppy, Eastern Columbine, Forget-Me-Not, Perennial Gaillardia, Lance Leaf Coreopsis, Lemon Mint, Partridge Pea, Lupines, Purple Coneflower, Sweet Mignoette and Wild Bergamot.
- First time growing
- I'm hoping these will be of interest to the large number of carpenter bees and honeybees I have on my property in the spring and summer. They like to swarm around my raspberry bushes and milkweeds, so these will likely be planted nearby.

Butterfly Mixture | 'OSC Seeds' | OSC Special Mix, Perennials
- Contains: Alyssum, Daisy, Bachelor Buttons, Butterfly Weed, Candytuft, Columbine, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Scarlet Flax, Marigold, Poppy and Wallflower.
- First time growing

Butterfly Milkweed | 'McKenzie Seeds'
- First time growing
- Intending to cut back some of my current milkweeds and adding these in for some diversity to increase pollinator interest.

March 27:

Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/d9b1bc
Thumb of 2021-03-27/Macrocentra/ebaf3f

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