BAPA’s Save the Monarch initiative is increasing awareness around the declining monarch population and increasing the number of monarch-friendly habitats in the Beverly/Morgan Park community. With a goal of 21 new local monarch waystations for 2021, BAPA is looking for neighbors interested in joining our efforts. Get details and apply for certification at monarchwatch.org/waystations. Let BAPA know when your garden is certified by emailing BAPA Outreach Liaison Cathriona Fey, firstname.lastname@example.org. BAPA plans to create a Monarch waystation map and share on the Beverly/Morgan Park Garden Walk in July.
Garden expert Roy Diblik shared his tips for creating a successful monarch-friendly habitat to support BAPA’s Save the Monarchs initiative. May is the perfect time to get your garden and yard into full spring/summer mode using Diblik’s recommendations.
Start small. When starting a new garden or amending an existing garden to attract pollinators, start with approximately 100 square feet of space and positioning the new garden to blend with your landscape. Plant Meadow Fescue (Festuca pratensis), a prairie grass, to reduce the need for mowing and hold space future garden expansion.
Mix it up. A mix of native and non-native species creates the diversity needed to attract pollinators. Choose plants that will thrive together.
Take control. If you hire landscapers to maintain your property, make sure they can properly care for diverse plant species, decline chemical treatments and give clear instructions on how to maintain your garden area. Landscapers make everything neat and tidy, they do not care for growing plants.
Be patient. Take time to get to know and understand your garden and what it needs; make observations and learn. Your garden in ever-growing, and you can enhance plantings as you go along.
Attract people. Thoughtful planning and knowledge of plants combined can create a monarch-friendly habitat that is both attractive to monarchs and people.
Natural weed control. Understand the competitive nature of the plants to prevent one or two from taking over, and to suppress weeds without using chemicals or mulch.
Have fun. Diblik’s most important tip is to keep gardening enjoyable. “Gardening should be fun and bring joy. There shouldn’t be a struggle,” said Diblik. “The joy isn’t in having a garden, it’s in doing.”
For more gardening tips from Roy Diblik, check out his YouTube channel and book, “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden.”.
More May Garden Jobs
These general tips for your May garden come from Barbara Gyarmathy, Garden Club of Morgan Park Beverly Hills
Look for winter injury on trees and shrubs. Leaves are usually the first to die, followed by buds and smaller twigs. Prune out twigs and branches that have not leafed out or consider removing extensively damaged plants.
Annuals and perennials can be planted in mid to late May. This is also the time to plant summer and fall-flowering bulbs such as dahlias, cannas, tuberous begonias, caladium, crocosmia, freesia, gladiolus or calla lilies.
When space is limited, consider “edible landscaping.” Lettuces, Swiss chard, herbs and other edibles can be tucked into traditional ornamental landscapes.
Pinch off a ½ inch of the stems of chrysanthemums, asters, phlox, bee balm and sedum when they reach 6-7 inches for healthy plants that are less straggly.
Remove spent flowers from spring bulbs, but allow bulb foliage to die back naturally to provide food resources, which are stored in the bulbs for next year.
Plant transplants of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
Plants seeds of cucumbers and squash. Train these vining vegetables to some type of support.
Plant a selection of warm-season herbs including basil, rosemary, parsley and cilantro.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs right after they bloom (before next year’s buds are being formed).
And enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures!