Winter Prep for Our Pollinators and Other Friends

Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners are individuals who are passionate about gardening and sharing research-proven solutions.  Potential volunteers apply and go through an interview to be selected as an intern.  They will receive over 48 hours of initial education from experts in soils, botany, landscape design and more and give back 40 hours of volunteer service to their counties annually.  Over 200 active Extension Master Gardeners in Douglas-Sarpy counties donate over 14,000 hours of their time yearly.

This week we asked our Master Gardener volunteers to write blogs for GRO Big Red and these are their articles.  Many thanks to the Master Gardeners for their willingness to learn and give back.

If you are curious about the program or would like to know more, join us November 14th at 6:30 pm at 8015 W. Center Road in Omaha or November 16th at 1:00 pm at Sump Memorial Library in Papillion to learn more about the Extension Master Gardener program in Douglas-Sarpy counties.

–Scott, Kathleen, John, Jonathan, and John

 

goldfinch eating black eyed susan

Winter Prep for Our Pollinators and Other Friends

By Master Gardener Cheryl Gresham

I know that some of us are sorry to see summer and fall weather end (including me!), but there is time left for some of our pollinators and birds!  By not being so quick to put an end to our warmer season you can help build on next spring’s pollinator well-being!

Don’t be too quick to cut back some of your perennial plants.  Many provide seed heads which help feed birds.  Others have hollow stems which provide homes which allow bees and other pollinating insects a place to raise their young.

I know rabbits and other animals are not always popular, but shrubs and other scrubby growth provides a resting place or shelter for them and for birds to nest.

Keep your bird feeders clean and full.  Not only do you ensure their survival, but your loyalty will be rewarded by their return in spring.

All insects and wildlife need water.  When weather freezes our birdbaths, take pity and buy a heater or put water out on those warmer days.

Kathleen Cue
Horticulture Program Coordinator at Nebraska Extension

Kathleen serves as a Horticulture Program Coordinator. She educates people on making smart plant choices to reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides in their landscape which has a positive impact on air, water, soil and environmental quality, property values and people’s pocketbooks. She provides leadership and coordination of the NE Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties Master Gardener volunteer programs: the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau, and “Ask the Master Gardener” Consultations.


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