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Remo

Birds and the bees....

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Remo

Jim Vanders flower pic got my wife thinking, unfortunately. The south side flower garden at our house is a wreck. Only plant there is Day Lilly. She would like perennials that attract bees, butterflies, and hummers. Any ideas for central ND? Last fall she saw a blue column shaped flower that was really attracting those types of critters. The closest pic I can find is something like Russian Sage.

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Hettmoe

Might want to try Lupine, Delphinium, Liatris, and Trumpet Vine. They seem to work quite well, for us.

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Marc Ret

I'm not sure how it would do in ND but Butterfly Bushes do a nice job of drawing in bees and butterflies here in the east. 

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Remo

Thanks for the tip but I'm on the break between zone 3&4.

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Canuck

Delphinium does well up here. Attracts lots of bees, birds and butterflies.

Apparently the plant is toxic to wildlife but the deer eat ours after they have frozen hard once.

Nice shades of blue....

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C.J.L.

On top of all the above, they sell premixed bags of seed, fertilizer and mulch at stores (around here anyway) that will cover 200 square feet or so and that are different blends just for bees and butterflies but also humming birds.  It fills in nicely and as long as the dogs don't tear it up to bad goods great and little flying things like it.  I'm sure you can find it on-line too.  

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sharptail grouse

Be very,very careful about what you plant! I work in the invasive species world and most of what I am knocking my head against the wall over started out as garden plants with "pretty flowers".  Many of you in the plains/west are familiar with leafy spurge, spotted knapweed and the toadflaxes - all brought here as ornamentals. Next to the plow they are probably the biggest threat to native grasslands I know of.Those in the east probably are aware of the woody invasives like buckthorn. They all started out because someone planted them. Some really scary stuff comes in those pre-mixed "wildflower" mixes. I would do my research on what is suitable for your area and most importantly what won't "escape." County Extension offices are a good place to start. A good rule of thumb is that if it is in the same family as an invasive, its probably a good idea to stay away from it period and don't plant anything that doesn't list species. The for perennials best would be "weedy" native species like milkweed and native annuals like sunflowers species. The natives may not grow up quite as showy, colorful and densely established as some of the non-natives but you can rest assure they won't take over the world. That way you won't have to pay louts like me to deal with them. I could go on a real diatribe here about people like us moving seeds around indiscriminately in our bird hunting travels (dogs, socks, boots, fender wells etc.) but I'll save it for August when it will be fresh in everyone's mind. 😉

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upstate
On 5/7/2019 at 9:31 AM, sharptail grouse said:

Be very,very careful about what you plant! I work in the invasive species world and most of what I am knocking my head against the wall over started out as garden plants with "pretty flowers".  Many of you in the plains/west are familiar with leafy spurge, spotted knapweed and the toadflaxes - all brought here as ornamentals. Next to the plow they are probably the biggest threat to native grasslands I know of.Those in the east probably are aware of the woody invasives like buckthorn. They all started out because someone planted them. Some really scary stuff comes in those pre-mixed "wildflower" mixes. I would do my research on what is suitable for your area and most importantly what won't "escape." County Extension offices are a good place to start. A good rule of thumb is that if it is in the same family as an invasive, its probably a good idea to stay away from it period and don't plant anything that doesn't list species. The for perennials best would be "weedy" native species like milkweed and native annuals like sunflowers species. The natives may not grow up quite as showy, colorful and densely established as some of the non-natives but you can rest assure they won't take over the world. That way you won't have to pay louts like me to deal with them. I could go on a real diatribe here about people like us moving seeds around indiscriminately in our bird hunting travels (dogs, socks, boots, fender wells etc.) but I'll save it for August when it will be fresh in everyone's mind. 😉

Have you done any work with common reed (phragmites) ? I have a small infestation that I’m planning on doing an initial treatment late this summer. 

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sharptail grouse
11 hours ago, upstate said:

Have you done any work with common reed (phragmites) ? I have a small infestation that I’m planning on doing an initial treatment late this summer. 

No, thankfully. Quite a while back when I worked for TNC I spoke with some stewardship folks in your part of the world who told me that it was very labor intensive (at least the way they were doing it at the time) and involved injecting individual stems with herbicide. I did a quick search and found this - it has other resources embedded that may give you some diretction. There is a lot of work going on in the east. From what I know of it I would do everything I could to keep it a small infestation. Good luck ☺️

 https://www.wnyprism.org/invasive_species/common-reed-grass/

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dogrunner
12 hours ago, upstate said:

Have you done any work with common reed (phragmites) ? I have a small infestation that I’m planning on doing an initial treatment late this summer. 

I have and they are now gone, once gone the cattails have come back. Phrags were easier for me to kill than most people say they are but you have to keep on them. 

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Remo
On 5/7/2019 at 8:31 AM, sharptail grouse said:

Be very,very careful about what you plant! I work in the invasive species world and most of what I am knocking my head against the wall over started out as garden plants with "pretty flowers".  Many of you in the plains/west are familiar with leafy spurge, spotted knapweed and the toadflaxes - all brought here as ornamentals. Next to the plow they are probably the biggest threat to native grasslands I know of.Those in the east probably are aware of the woody invasives like buckthorn. They all started out because someone planted them. Some really scary stuff comes in those pre-mixed "wildflower" mixes. I would do my research on what is suitable for your area and most importantly what won't "escape." County Extension offices are a good place to start. A good rule of thumb is that if it is in the same family as an invasive, its probably a good idea to stay away from it period and don't plant anything that doesn't list species. The for perennials best would be "weedy" native species like milkweed and native annuals like sunflowers species. The natives may not grow up quite as showy, colorful and densely established as some of the non-natives but you can rest assure they won't take over the world. That way you won't have to pay louts like me to deal with them. I could go on a real diatribe here about people like us moving seeds around indiscriminately in our bird hunting travels (dogs, socks, boots, fender wells etc.) but I'll save it for August when it will be fresh in everyone's mind. 😉

 

Thirty years ago my wife got a bag of "mixed wildflowers" for the rock garden and I'm still killing some of those that spread to the lawn. Just a side note but we have had good luck with flea beetles on the spurge if the soil is right for the beetles.

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sharptail grouse
4 minutes ago, Remo said:

 

Thirty years ago my wife got a bag of "mixed wildflowers" for the rock garden and I'm still killing some of those that spread to the lawn. Just a side note but we have had good luck with flea beetles on the spurge if the soil is right for the beetles.

We have excellent luck with flea beetles too - the Preserve I worked at had hundreds of acres of leafy spurge when TNC bought it in the 80s and they subsequently attempted to spray their way out of it. Not much luck there, so flea beetles were cleared by TNC for release in 1997. Fast forward to 2017 and there are quite a few areas that are pretty much devoid of spurge. Unfortunately the beetle population crashed last year (cold wet weather probably - happened state-wide) and the spurge started a rebound. We'll see what this year brings. we normally collect the beetles for re-release at other sites, but couldn't do it last year. as a side note one of the things we noticed on the TNC Preserve was that all that herbicide use also deep-sixed most of the native forbs which just goes to show you that while invasives are bad, some of the "cures" can be just as bad when it comes to diversity. The last year I was there we had just put in some plots of "weedy" native forbs to try and re-introduce the native component back into the system. Last I checked it wasn't working very well and the assumption was that it was due to  residual herbicides. 

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upstate
8 hours ago, dogrunner said:

I have and they are now gone, once gone the cattails have come back. Phrags were easier for me to kill than most people say they are but you have to keep on them. 

What was your technique? 

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Allen McCallie

I am a big fan of both cardinal flower ( a red lobelia) and blue lobelia for butterflies and especially hummers, and both are native around here:

Image result for cardinal flower lobelia

 

 

 

Image result for Lobelia siphilitica

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upstate
On 4/28/2019 at 10:16 AM, Remo said:

Jim Vanders flower pic got my wife thinking, unfortunately. The south side flower garden at our house is a wreck. Only plant there is Day Lilly. She would like perennials that attract bees, butterflies, and hummers. Any ideas for central ND? Last fall she saw a blue column shaped flower that was really attracting those types of critters. The closest pic I can find is something like Russian Sage.

Do yourself a favor, do your research and stick with native plants from your neck of the woods. There will be a native plant to fill every-need in your garden. It may just take a little more research, but it will be worth it in the end.  

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