Butterfly Garden Update - September, 2016
The Smith Woods Butterfly Garden this month has been overtaken with monarch caterpillars. The caterpillars were not only found on their host plants of milkweed but also we found at least ten more on our butterfly weed plants. Our dill and fennel was munched down to the root by our swallowtail caterpillars. We are starting to collect seeds from the plants in the ten plots and working on a new master plan for the garden next year. The Master Gardeners are preparing lists of possible native plants for the plots to keep the gardens bright and vibrant from early spring through the fall.
We are currently awaiting for some sheep manure from the county, and we are continuing to put down our compost and mulch we have created from the gardens.
Heat and lack of water have been a constant source to contend with, but it justifies to us that next year when planting for the pollinators drought tolerant perennials will be the majority make up in the gardens. A rain gauge was donated and added to the garden to monitor the rainfall.