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Celebrate National Pollinator Week

A bee loads up with pollen on a sunflower. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Give the bees, butterflies and other garden helpers a treat

It's National Pollinator Week, today through Sunday. No cake needed: We can't think of a better way to celebrate than with a new plant or two to help out these hard-working garden pals.

Right now the bees in my garden are loving the
African blue basil plant , which is not a good culinary basil but more than makes up for that by bringing pollinators to the vegetable garden. (Note: The flowers are sterile so you have to buy it as a transplant.)

Earlier this spring, one of our posts suggested many plants to grow to entice pollinators. If you missed that, check it out here .

Here's what the Pollinator Partnership has to say about why pollinators are so important to our lives:

"Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce."

Around the area, Amador Flower Farm & Nursery is celebrating Pollinator Week by offering sales on all pollinator plants. They also are hosting a children's coloring contest that lasts all week, and on Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, the nursery invites families to bring their kids dressed as pollinators. (Got any baby bees in your family?) Ten customers will win bags equipped to get their own pollinator gardens started.

And on Sunday, visitors can see bees up close in Uncle Jer's Traveling Bee Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on Pollinator Week activities, see their Facebook page .

Amador Flower Farm & Nursery is at 22001 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth. For directions, go to

And if you want to read more on pollinators, check out .

-- Kathy Morrison


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For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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