View from the airplane as Cascadian Farms drops hundreds of wildflower seed bombs to help pollinators.
'Tis the season, friends. Thanksgiving? Hanukkah? Christmas? Not so fast. It is still fall and, across much of North America, fall is prime wildflower planting season!
I have been ankle deep in native wildflower seed packets for the past month, doling out poppies and lupines before the rain. Waiting for the cosmos to hurry up so I can put in the clarkia. Last year at this time, I was involved in the same planting game and I reaped dividends in the spring with my big fat pollinator garden.
My wildflower garden last spring, buzzing with life.
This year, in the midst of planning and planting, an email landed in my inbox about an organic food company's efforts to help protect our pollinators. Cascadian Farm recently partnered with the Xerces Society. As part of their campaign, Cascadian Farm planted over a million wildflowers. (Check out their fun video of a plane dropping oodles of seed bombs on a prepared field. My kids loved it.)
Cascadian Farm dropping seed bombs by plane.
Sure Cascadian Farm may have a plane and pastel colored seed bombs, but let's not let them get all the glory! Anyone can plant flowers and create habitat for pollinators.
Here's how you can help if you have a garden:
Because you plant them in the fall and they die in the spring, wildflowers work well as a cover crop in the edible garden. I usually pair them with late planted vegetables - like winter squash. As a cover crop, wildflowers offer over-winter habitat to beneficial insects, crowd out weeds, and bring in pollinators like crazy.
These California goldfields grew in a bean tepee last winter. I replaced them with gourds in late spring.
Use wildflowers as fillers. I have transitioned a few flower beds to native perennials in the three years. One day, those beds will be beautiful! Right now, though, the perfectly spaced one gallon plants look lonely. Wildflowers in between the perennials bring color and life to a flower bed in transition.
Wildflowers are a commitment-phobic gardeners best friend. For instance, I have the perfect spot in my garden for an asparagus bed. Last year, I seeded it with wildflowers because I was not quite ready to make the commitment. Of course, like me, you might be bit by the bug (pun intended) and decide to postpone that asparagus bed for just another year as you toss a few more seeds into the soil this fall.
Even if you do not have a garden, you can take these steps to help pollinators:
If you are feeling crafty, you can turn wildflower seeds into your very own seed bombs. Here's how. You can also buy seed bombs online or in some garden stores. Then launch them into the nearest empty lot, roadside ditch, sidewalk strip.
Seed bombs dropped by Cascadian Farm.
Join a community garden, donate seeds to a school garden, or help an elderly person add some color to their neglected yard.
Give the gift of flowers. Seed bombs and packets of wildflower seeds make wonderful (and thrifty) gifts for anyone with a yard. I save seeds from my wildflowers for re-seeding and for gifts.
Do not use pesticides. This is a biggie! We can plant all the flowers we want but if they are doused in bee-killing insecticides, we are not doing pollinators any favors.
Buy organic fruits, vegetables and everything else.
What are you waiting for? The wildflowers are calling and fall won't last forever. Get bombing for bees.
This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Maple Hill Hop, Tuesday Garden Party, and Homeacre Hop.
I did not receive anything from Cascadian Farm for sharing their video and their Bee-Friendlier campaign. I did it just because I think it is important to help our imperiled pollinators in every way possible.