Winter Seed Sowing

Winter seed sowing is a great way to grow most native plants! The seeds of many native species require cold, moist stratification to germinate. This occurs naturally when a seed falls on the soil and goes through an average Illinois winter.

These conditions can be mimicked in the refrigerator with a moist paper towel or a spoonful of sand, planting the seeds after meeting the required time for stratification of a particular species.

Winter sowing is an even simpler option—great for gardeners of all levels of experience. Planting in a milk jug or other recycled container gives seedlings a head start, as the containers create a mini-greenhouse to trap heat, speeding up germination and protecting seedlings during spring cold snaps, and lets nature work its magic! Continue reading “Winter Seed Sowing”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 4

This post wraps up our 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. View earlier blog posts here.

The final three plants described in the post are swamp milkweed, sneezeweed and aromatic aster. All 12 species discussed in the series are available for free (while supplies last!) a locations around Petersburg–see December 12th blog for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 4”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 3

yellow coneflower
Black-eyed Susan is a prolific bloomer with showy yellow daisy-like flowers July through September.

This is Part 3 of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can read Part 1 here;  read Part 2 here. The 12 species discussed in the series are all available for free (while supplies last!) a locations around Petersburg–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 3”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden – Part 2

Pollinator Planting on Petersburg Square

This is Part 2 of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. If you missed Part 1 last week, you can read it here. The 12 species discussed in the series are all available for free (while supplies last!)–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden – Part 2”

Pollinator Plants for your Garden – Part 1

This is the first of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. In addition, most of the species provide birds with seed in the winter–so don’t cut back plants until late spring!! The 12 species are all available for free (while supplies last!)–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details.

Each Thursday through January 5th we’ll feature 3 of the 12 plants with detailed descriptions of the plants as well as specific sowing instructions. Note however, for those that say to direct sow in spring, you may actually direct sow them in late fall/winter.  In nature the seeds would go through winter and just come up when they’re ready. If you’re late fall/winter sowing a bunch of plants, it’s kind of convenient to just do them all the same way! Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for your Garden – Part 1”

Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home

Wanting to add more pollinator habitat at home? Look no further: native plant seed packets will be available in Petersburg this week! You can find displays at the Petersburg Public Library, 1st and 3rd Boutique, the Talisman, and the Crazy Daisy Gift Shop. This year we are offering a dozen colorful species collected primarily from the plantings on Petersburg’s square. The packets are free, but we welcome donations that support Menard County Trails & Greenways. The displays will be restocked until we run out!

Wondering how to choose? Follow along as we highlight these 12 species in upcoming posts!

Wondering how to plant them? Follow the detailed planting instructions on the back of each packet. Plus, a future blog post will focus on sowing native seeds.  Feel free to ask questions here or join us at the winter sowing workshop–registration required–only 4 spots left!

Register Here

Here are the species available this year:

  • Amsonia tabernaemontana, Blue star
  • Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed
  • Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly weed
  • Baptisia tinctoria, Small yellow wild indigo
  • Coreopsis lanceolata, Lanceleaf Coreopsis
  • Dalea purpurea, Purple Prairie Clover
  • Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower
  • Eryngium yuccifolium, Rattlesnake Master
  • Helenium autumnale, Sneezeweed
  • Rudbeckia fulgida, Gold coneflower
  • Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic Aster
  • Zizia aurea, Golden Alexanders

This is made possible in partnership with Starhill Forest Arboretum and Rudin Printing.

 

Sip n’ Sow Workshop

Sip n’ Sow Seed Sowing Workshop
1st & 3rd Boutique & Wine Bar
January 12th from 5:30 to 7:30

Limited to 30 Registered Participants — Fill Form Below to Register

It’s never too soon to think of spring! Join some adult-only fun at the Sip n’ Sow Workshop! Sip a glass of wine and sow some native flower seeds for your summer garden.  Native plants attract pollinators and serve as butterfly host plants, including many species growing on the square in Petersburg. 

The evening will kick off with a slide presentation with photos and discussion of some of the species that will be available. Participants will then use the winter sowing technique to plant native species of their choosing. Seeds, soil, tools, and some containers provided. Participants are encouraged to bring additional CLEAN plastic milk jugs if you wish to plant multiple containers. 

Alana McKean (Starhill Forest Arboretum), Cindy Andreasen (Illinois Extension Master Gardener), and Terri Treacy (Menard County Trails & Greenways) will be leading the workshop. Bring your questions about gardening with native plants and any native seeds you wish to share!

Cash bar, no fee but donations appreciated!

Questions? Email Cindy at event@menardcountytrailsandgreenways.org;   (Please don’t contact 1st & 3rd — use the email provided!)

For planning purposes registration is required.

 

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Invasive Species at New Salem State Historic Site

Regular forest management is necessary to deal with invasive species that have displaced so much of our native flora.

It is very exciting to kick off our habitat restoration work at New Salem Historic Site in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources! While the site is best known and visited for the recreated village where Lincoln once lived, much of the site is forested land, from the floodplains along the Sangamon River to the upland forests crisscrossed by several miles of hiking trails. Like most natural areas, regular management is necessary to deal with invasive species that have displaced so much of our native flora. Continue reading “Invasive Species at New Salem State Historic Site”

Pollinator Waystation at Wayside Planted

Last year, Trails & Greenways received a donation from Menard Electric and Co-Bank to rehabilitate the exiting planting at the Wayside Park Council Circle with a new Pollinator Waystation. It was our intention of getting the planting installed in late April or early May. But, between the cool, wet spring and Covid-19, the planting was delayed by over a month!

Finally, on Friday, June 12th, with temps in the high-80s, six of us planted, mulched and watered-in 100s of tiny plants representing 23 species. Adding to the existing plants, the circle now contains 43 native species that provide food and/or nectar for pollinators. Continue reading “Pollinator Waystation at Wayside Planted”