May’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Shirley Burdick, who photographed a bumblebee visiting a dahlia in Massachusetts.
May is an important month here in Massachusetts. Not only do we welcome the warmer, sunnier days that spring has to offer, we also begin to plant and plan our flower and vegetable gardens for the season. The Massachusetts Flower Growers’ Association and Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association,, come together on May 15 to host “Plant Something MA,” a day for communities to organize a planting event that supports our locally-grown plants and flowers.
Choosing the right plant is an important part of pollination. Native bees and other insect pollinators are an important part of the pollination process and native plants and flowers are the best source of food for bees. Whether you are planting a small back yard flower garden or a large area vegetable garden, use these tips to help guide you along the way.
Choosing the best plants & flowers for pollination:
- Use local native plants: Consult with a local nursery to identify native plants, which are four times more attractive to native bees than exotic flowers.
- Choose a variety of flowers: Flowers that are different colors and shapes are attractive to native bees.
- Plant flowers in groups because they attract more bees than individual plants.
- Plant a garden: Many garden plants are varieties of native plants and culinary herbs are a perfect supplement to native plants.
- Choose a wide range of flowering plants throughout the whole growing season.
For more pollinator conservation information, visit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Each month, we are posting the 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar’s photo of the month. Featuring photos of Bay State farming, the calendar is available for purchase. All photos were taken by amateur photographers who won the annual Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest. Proceeds from the $10 calendars benefit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, a non-profit organization that works with teachers to develop classroom materials. The calendar features a winning photograph each month, as well as interesting facts about local agriculture.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.