Dormant gardens provide enormous ecological benefit. ‘Hidden’ in this photo collage of dormant gardens are some important beneficial insects. Would you be able to spot these as you cleared ‘debris’ away from your garden? Let them stay until temperatures are CONSISENTLY above 50 degrees.
The insects hidden here are just a few of the many creatures that take refuge in dormant stalks, under tree bark, and in leaf litter. They remain there until the weather warms enough for them to continue their life cycles.
On the left is larva of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. In the center is larva of Spicebush Swallowtail. On the right is the larva of the Pennsylvania Firefly (Photuris pennsylvanica).
These, and many more insects, depend on your garden until spring arrives in full. Please help keep them safe.
In the meantime, use the last week or two before garden chores start to recharge, plan, and learn. Here are some learning opportunities you may find enjoyable:
Join the Wild Ones of SE PA First Virtual ZOOM Conference, hosted by The Chester County Beekeepers Association.
Most talks will be recorded and viewable for 2 weeks after the conference date. Sat. 3/12/2022 8am-5pm EST. There is a fee for this program.
Register at www.chescobees.org. On the day of the conference, choose the sessions from the ‘Wild Ones Track’ to hear various presentations on habitat restoration, including
- Heather Holm – Specialist Bees and the Native Plants They Depend On. Heather is biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author of Pollinators of Native Plants.
- Susannah Lerman – Research Ecologist US Forest Service – Lazy Lawn Owners: Simple Ways to Help Native Bees
- Edil Cunampio – Using native plants to get better fruit quality and quantity.
Edil Cunampio is a native american indian of the Embera Tribe in eastern Panama, Central America.
- ..and others
For more information contact SouthEast PA Wildones WOSEPA Chapter Website: www.sepa.wildones.org
Learn more about Gardening for Butterflies
from Heather Andrews of Garden Thoughtfully. She is presenting on March 13 at 1pm as part of the Great Grow Along. It is free to register for this 10-day virtual festival. Details on Heather’s talk are below. To register and for more information click here.
- Butterflies serve many purposes in the garden during their various life cycles and Heather Andrews shares how her gardening has transformed since she has been catering to these beneficial insects. If you’re a vegetable grower looking for ways to incorporate more pollinators or just want to attract more color into your outdoor spaces, you’re sure to gain from this session.
Spring Garden Series: Meet the Pollinators and Certify Your Pollinator Garden
Hosted by Penn State Extension. March 21, an online presentation. 6:30 pm. Plant it and they will come! Pollinator gardens attract bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and other beneficial creatures that transfer pollen from flower to flower. Many pollinators are now endangered. During Spring Garden Series: Meet the Pollinators and Certify Your Pollinator Garden, learn how to make your garden a place for them to thrive as you enjoy their visits!
- More information and registration Register by March 18.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Larvae Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Spicebush Swallowtail larva Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons