People & Places Sunday, Nov. 17
The next meeting of Rowan Redbuds Garden Club will be Thursday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Hurley Room of Rowan Public Library — a week early because of Thanksgiving. The program will be “Pat Wayne and Holiday Creations.” Guests are welcome. Info: Carol Comer, president, at 704-633-2091.
Southern Piedmont Woodturners
CONCORD — Southern Piedmont Woodturners host Mike McNeilly on Tuesday, Nov 19 at• 6:30 p.m. speaking on “Segmented & Birdhouse Ornaments.”
Held at Clearwater Artist Studios, 223 Crowell Drive, NW, Concord. Info: 704-796-0803.
by Millie Fink
The Kneeling Gardeners held their monthly meeting on October 28, 2019 at Trinity United Methodist Church. Our guest speaker for the meeting was Kelly Snider from the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury. Kelly works for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and NC State University Pollinator Program. Kelly grew up on a small dairy farm and is a graduate of NC State University. Growing up they grew corn, soybeans and milkweed. With his background he took on the pollinator research program in 2015.
There are numerous research stations and the different areas of the state promote agriculture production for the soil type, environment and local economy. Not all research is agriculture related, although most research is on crop production. In 2014 the Commissioner of Agriculture visited England and saw the pollinator gardens there. He came home and wanted North Carolina to develop the same since agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina. 2015 brought the Pollinator Program. A pollinator is an animal that causes plant to make fruit or seeds. There are over 400 species of bees and 1/3 of everything in NC depends on the pollinators. Bees have been called the spark plug of agriculture. If there were no bees, there would be little food. Since last year, all 18 research stations across North Carolina have planted pollinator gardens, which has opened a unique research opportunity. Creating habitats help provide places for the pollinators to survive and thrive. To plant a pollinator garden there are several decisions to be made. What to plant, where, what tillage and what herbicide, if any, to use. Wildflowers require clean tillage free of weeds and grass. You may plant a single crop such as sunflowers, buckwheat, crimson clover, or cosmos mix. This is the second year that I have organized ordering seeds and getting pollinator plots planted at all stations. For 2020 the research station will be purchasing all their seeds from Garrett’s Farm in Smithfield. Plots are planted with 30-50 pounds of seed and 10-10-10 fertilizer is used. The Piedmont Division selected 3 popular mixes to attract pollinators. Field corners, fence lines and any open areas are excellent areas to be planted. The handheld method is best and mix the seed with sand to spread more evenly when the seeds are small. When the tillage is smooth for the seedbeds do the best. Growing pollinator gardens is like farming. There are successes and failures. If the plantings are too shallow or too deep, too much rain or not enough. A power point provided us with pictures of successes and failures throughout the state, as well as the plantings of single crops which are magnificent. We must all keep trying to provide these habitats to promote sustained populations. Is the population going up with these efforts? 2016 was the first-year data was collected and it has been continuing. Do the plots affect bee population? Native and honeybees need diverse diets such as sunflowers, cosmos, coreopsis, blanket flowers, and New England asters. Crimson clover, zinnias, California poppy, buckwheat and Shasta daisies are also popular. There was an overall increased in native bee population across the state. This indicated the pollinator plants are helping. Weather patterns are also being studied with reference to the decline in the bees.
Wonderful program to help us provide our own pollinator plots whether large or small. Do your part in your own yard to preserve the pollinator habitat.
If you are interested in gardening, joint us November 18th at 7:00pm when Dr Penny Perkins will speak on Organic vs Conventional Gardening.
Composting is an excellent way to eliminate spent leaves and help the environment. Composting also conserves moisture and improves the... read more