View Full Version : Goldenrod vs. ?
09-04-2009, 10:34 AM
I have a 20 acre field that is mostly goldenrod and aster in the fall. My bees do great from August on and I have consistently gotten a fall surplus. My question is should I plow this field and plant buckwheat, alfalfa, clover or some other crop and let the goldenrod grow up through it in the fall.
I don't get a good spring/mid summer flow in my location and would like to plant to accomodate for this, but hate to kill my goldenrod.
Will the goldrenrod push up through whatever I plant for the summer?
Any suggestions? Plant half leave the other half wild? What would you do?
I have 6 colonies on the 20 acres and am looking to expand
09-05-2009, 09:04 PM
A good rule of thumb is that if you allow weeds to go to seed one year, you will have weeds for the next 7 years. The weeds naturally build up a 'seed bank' in the soil.
Your bees work several thousand of the surrounding acres, so don't be worried about losing 20 acres of goldenrod.
Next year, I would seriously consider seeding some buckwheat in early spring after the last frost. In 4 weeks it will be blooming, and in 10-12 weeks it is ready to harvest, but will still be green. After that, it will still flower until frost, but the quantity of blossoms is greatly diminished. Once it starts dying back, I would recommend disking the buckwheat back into the ground, and in another 4 weeks you will have buckwheat blossoms again.
If you plant buckwheat thick, it does a good job of outcompeting other plants for sunlight, and will naturally suppress other weeds. Once it starts dying back after it has started setting seed, other weeds can start pushing up through the buckwheat (if you don't disk it back in to reseed it.)
09-06-2009, 07:14 AM
If you have a way to remove the cover, burn or cut and bale. You can plant clover late by just scattering it on top of the ground. Frost heaving will work it into the ground and it will come up in the spring. This will preserve your aster and goldenrod. The aster and goldenrod will come up through the clover. This will give you a nectar flow off of the ground for most of the season. I have done this frost seeding of clover and it works very well. You have to plant late enough so the seed does not come up this fall. Any that grows this fall will be killed by the winter. I plant when the ground starts freezing and thawing on a regular basis.
I would not use alfalfa as it is very competitve and might beat your goldenrod and aster out.
09-06-2009, 01:27 PM
I have bought goldenrod seed. It's $150 a pound. I plant it every chance I get and I collect it from the goldenrod in the ditches. Aster is also wonderful. You have two wonderful honey plants...
09-06-2009, 05:28 PM
Where do you get goldenrod seeds.? If I go to a store is there a certain kind that they like better.? Or is there an online store that has good prices.?
09-06-2009, 08:16 PM
Here is one place that I have seen GR for sale.
09-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks. 70 bucks a pound wow. Don't think it will grow in Seattle.
But, some of the other goldenrods will. Do they all feed the bee's? The Giant Goldenrod will grow here. http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/plant.asp?symbol=SOGI
09-07-2009, 08:23 PM
To my knowledge all the golden rod's are good honey plants. The tall gr is the one I see here the most which is native.
I have both tall and short GR here. The tall seems to attract the most bees, and it blooms later. Calico aster beats them both.
09-09-2009, 07:36 PM
Calico aster beats them both.
Can you send me some seeds.? :)
09-11-2009, 08:18 PM
The goldenrod is blooming here now but as usual you rarely see a bee on it? Ever year we have lots of goldenrod and i think maybe this year they will work it but they haven't yet. They do work the aster and prefer the blue over the white aster. We have alot of aster here and i seen one bush in bloom, so it's starting. Right now my bees are working in my neighbors woods (40 acres) and it is full of beefsteak mint, the bees love it and i can hear the humm from the house (400ft away:) Now that's music. I wonder if the northern goldenrod plant would grow here, anyone know? Jack
09-11-2009, 09:40 PM
I wonder if the northern goldenrod plant would grow here, anyone know? Jack
Punch in Goldenrod here and click on them to find a map of where they grow or you can do it by state.
Here is a good list of things for bee's also. http://www.themelissagarden.com/TMG_Vetaley031608.htm
09-12-2009, 03:01 AM
Here in north Arkansas the goldenrod produces nectar only in certain areas. I think it must be because of soil and moisture conditions. The asters are the only reliable fall nectar source but the changes in farming practices have eliminated the large acreage and now we have small patches of them.
09-12-2009, 07:20 AM
Thanks EastSideBuzz for the link. My type of goldenrod is solidago speciosa nutt. (showy goldenrod).
Arbeekeeper i think your right on the soil type issue, i have maybe 3 to 6 inches of topsoil before you hit gumbo (no rocks) in my low area. Your right on the aster flow same here. Remember after a hard frost you could walk through a dead aster field and kick up covey's of quail, no more (here anyway) sad isn't it. Jack
09-12-2009, 01:28 PM
Couple of thoughts on goldenrod:
As noted in a different post some time ago I have observed that bees here will not be active on goldenrod until later in the morning. Early morning is not a good time to sample (here anyway) whether bees are working the goldenrod or not. Early mornings the bees spend a lot of time working pollen from common ragweed here, so they are still busy.
On plowing and letting goldenrod come back - some (maybe all) goldenrods will flower the second year from seed. I guess it depends on the year whether a stand of solidago would come back the same year from plowing, depends on the condition of the rootstock and how far it is plowed under. I would be interested in the observations of anyone that has actually tried this approach.
09-13-2009, 09:51 PM
Well it happened, today on the way home from a birthday party as i was driving along my fenceline the bees were working the goldenrod ( time 4:30 pm):thumbsup:.Never seen that many bees on it since i've had bees here (33yrs.) how do you figure that.:scratch: Jack
09-15-2009, 02:09 PM
I have the same situation. That is, my bees barely hang on during the summer then, when the goldenrod comes on, they shine. I have probably over 20 acres of brush and golden rod. I keep mine. I would not suggest plowing it all under unless you have lots of other goldenrod fields around you. I pick patches and brush hog to kill the bushes growng up and chocking out the goldenrod. I love the aroma of the hives during the goldenrod flow!
09-21-2009, 07:23 PM
What color is goldenrod pollen?