There is a lot of time, effort and money that goes into having a successful wildlife management plan for many species. Whitetail deer, bear, turkey and other upland game are generally the focal point of the wildlife management plan; however, if you are forgetting the supporting ecological cast you are missing out on some of nature’s most important players – the bees. We recommend you consider the addition of a wildflower plot to assist your local bee population which are essential for the pollination of your fruiting trees which your animals and families love.
Why Create a Wildflower Plot Plan?
Bees play a key role in pollinating fruit trees and rely on native flowers and trees from which they collect pollen to feed the hive. Over the past decades our bees populations have taken a major hit from disease, pesticides, and changing climate conditions. Adding a few hundred feet of native wildflowers will not only support your bee colonies it will add some beautiful flowers to your landscape.
Put Your Wildflower Plot Plan into Action
If you have been following the blog, we put a lot of effort into planning – it is just the Army way. As we were drafting our plan, we realized we needed something near our fruit trees to support their pollination and NanNan wanted some more color for her landscape. We choose an area within sight of the house and near one our hinge cut areas.
By placing the plot near the wood-line the bees coming to the native wild flowers end up very close to our persimmon and other fruit trees. Additionally, the birds and animals which benefit from the stand of wildflowers won’t have to venture out into the open to have access. On the north side of the wildflower stand we have a hinge-cut area leading to the woods. On the east side is a patch of broom sage to provide a sight barrier from the house and the west side is covered by a large brush pile and some pine trees screening the driveway.
Selecting the type of wildflowers maybe as important as location.
We have decided to keep the habitat as native as possible. That means we have to remove invasive species not native to our area of the Appalachians and not contribute any new ones. We found a company which provides wildflower seeds native to our region of the country.
Seedland.com specializes in providing native seeds for the different areas of the country. Just to be sure their mix would work, I verified the seeds provided with the regional wildflower catalog and found all were species native to our area.
We also went through the list and selected an additional wildflower based on colors and Seedland.com added a packet of those seeds to our mix.
Prepare the Soil and Plant your Wildflower Plot
Once the weather cooperated, which has been tough this spring, we prepared an area covering roughly 1/10th of an acre. The plot wraps around the inside edge of the wood line and is a long narrow plot.
In a few areas it punches into the wood-line for a few feet. We verified through a soil test our ph status and what level the wildflowers preferred. I had to add some lime, then added a mix of 10-10-10 fertilizer to assist wildflowers growth.
We gave each element a few weeks to work into the soil and added our seed mix in early May.
In an upcoming post we will cover our wildflowers and other early spring/winter projects to show our progress or maybe highlight and discuss our failures.
The promise of a wet spring held true and our seed mix has received a slow steady rain for the last 72 hours – now we wait.
If all goes as planned, we will add some beautiful color to our landscape, provide additional native plants for our birds and bees, draw additional bees onto our property for pollination and enhance our wildlife management plan.
Another win-win for our land and home and its millions of critters big and small.
Check out our other plot ideas and plans for our property here: