Sorry for the lack of updates! Here’s a summary of our progress of late.
My neighbor, Mr. Owens, came over to discuss plowing areas of our fields up for the pollinator seed application in November. He felt that the angle of the land and proximity of our creek was not ideal as a few heavy rains would cause major erosion and creek damage. This was what I had suspected since we sit on a hill. He agreed that the best alternative was to rent an aerator in November and heavily aerate it and then apply the seed. The grass left would stabilize the soil and he felt that the flowers would be able to compete with the grass. I did plant 15 milkweed plants into the field after the plan was decided and will aerate around them.
I collected wild milkweed seeds and will add those to the pollinator mix in November.
I laid down more geotextile (permeable erosion black plastic sheeting) in the main garden area to kill back the wire grass. I planted 15 butterfly bushes in this area and will pull back the geotextile In November and apply a pollinator seed mix here as well. Monarch butterflies landed on the bushes before I could even plant them! I haven’t seen Monarchs in years, so I was very happy.
I acquired the pond liner from my neighbor and also found a used pump online. I hope to start digging the wildlife pond soon.
I also plan to plant plants in the spring that appeal to the caterpillar stage, like dill for swallowtails.