PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Pollinators"

Bat house

Bats Are Good Guys

October 27, 2016

Bats get a bad rap, especially this time of year. Instead of screaming the next time you see one, consider the following:

  • Every night, an insect-eating bat will eat its own weight in bugs. A whole colony? Hundreds of pounds of bugs a night. More bats = fewer mosquitos in your yard, fewer pests in your garden, fewer pesticides sprayed.
  • Bats eat more than bugs. Around the world, fruit- and pollen-munching bats are important pollinators and seed dispersers.
  • Installing a bat house (see photo above) is a great way to encourage these furry flying friends to take up residence on your property.
  • Using pesticides is not. Pesticides, especially insect sprays, limit the amount of bugs and other healthy food for bats to eat. Pesticides also build up in bats' little bodies over time, which has been linked to immunosuppression and endocrine disruption.
Milkweed and clover

Plants sprout from seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and more, but weeds always originate in the same place: our minds. A weed is simply a plant you've been taught to view as undesirable.

Who taught you? Mostly chemical companies marketing products to keep "weeds" under control. For example, milkweed was long considered unattractive—now we view it as a vital tool to saving the monarch butterfly population.

Times change. Perceptions change. Fashions change: We once thought shoulder pads were a must-have accessory. Isn't it time to rethink our landscaping must-haves? Clover, anyone?

Clover

So, you are leaving your clippings for 80% of your lawn’s nutrient needs. What is free and easy to add to that? If you’re lucky, the PRFCT ingredient is already growing right beneath your toes.

Clover is a nitrogen fixer—it pulls nitrogen from the air and releases it back into the soil when mowed. Those nitrogen-fixing roots run deep, keeping clover green even in hot, dry months. Your grass will love the nitrogen boost every time you mow, and the environment will love you for not adding more fertilizer.

Worried about bees? It's true that bees (and butterflies!) love clover flowers, but they are not aggressive away from their hives. Bees feasting on clover flowers should not sting unless stepped on directly. You can prevent stings by avoiding large clover patches, wearing shoes when on a flowering clover lawn, and mowing as soon as the flowers open. The cut flowers are also nitrogen-packed, so be sure to leave them along with the rest of your clippings.

bee dandelion

This spring has been a bumper year for dandelions on the East End. Before you mow them down or grab your spade to uproot them, did you know…?

• Dandelion flowers are an important source of pollen during the spring months when bees and butterflies emerge from hibernation and few other flowers are available.

• Dandelions are natural aerators. Their roots push through compacted soil and leave mineral-rich organic material behind when they die.

• Dandelions indicate a lack of calcium in the soil. Their tap roots can pull calcium and other minerals from deep in the soil, making dandelion leaves a healthy addition to your lawn and your diet.

• The best way to prevent dandelions from popping up in your lawn is to mow high (3.5-4") and reseed bare patches in the fall. Tall, thick grass leaves little room for sun-loving dandelions to take root. If dandelions keep sprouting, the safest way to remove them is by hand. Water the area to loosen the soil and use a dandelion digger or flathead screwdriver to remove the plant’s long taproot. Pulling dandelions before they go to seed will help prevent them from spreading in your landscape

• Dandelion puffs are a blast! Have you ever met a child who didn't agree? They’re also one of the few food sources available to pollinators in early spring. If bees and butterflies love them, why can’t we?

mosquito

They buzz. They bite. They suck, literally.

Mosquitos are they last pests you want swooping in while you’re trying to relax in your backyard on a summer evening. So, make sure they don't see your lawn as an open invitation.

The most effective way to control mosquitos is to get them before they grow into bloodsucking adults. Overwatering your lawn and landscape encourages water to gather, and subsequently encourages mosquitos to breed. Target their breeding grounds by eliminating that source of standing water.


Refrain from broadcast pesticide sprays for mosquitos. These sprays are short lasting, kill pollinators, and are harmful to children and pets.

Our advice: Water seldom, water deep. That method will provide your landscape with the moisture it needs during the summer months, while discouraging mosquitos from calling your backyard home

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