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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    I live in central NC, and if you are familiar with the climate you know that once Tulip Poplar flow is over, that's just about the only flow you get for the year. And it doesn't last very long, and comes fairly early. This makes for a long summer dearth to deal with. So I was hoping to do some planting for the bees, something that can give off some decent nectar for them to deal with (not to harvest) that blooms mid to late summer.

    Problem is, I don't have fields to plant it in. I have flower beds (two 18'x4' raised beds) to plant in, with the option of building more if need be. Any ideas on what plant I could give them that would produce the most nectar during the summer, without needing a giant field, that grows in central NC?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    Check out Borage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Jordan, Utah USA
    Posts
    21

    Big Grin Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    I would recommend Russian Sage or Blue knight Caryoptaris. Both are perennials that would fill in your flower beds nicely. Each plant needs to be spaced about 3 feet apart. They both develop woody stems that die back in the winter. The russian sage stems have a white color to them once the frost hits. Just cut them down to 12" or to the ground the spring. They should do the trick. Look them both up on a garden site on the web to answer the questions you may have about them. You may also want to contact your State extension service to see what they recommend for your state, your local college agriculture department and Your State department of Agriculture. If you have a county/state bee inspector drop them a e-mail. They always seem to have some great advise, seeing they are out and about seeing what others have done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    I would try seeding down any nearby ditches with some white dutch clover or sweetclover.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake Butler, Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    Creeping Red Sedum, spreads very fast and blooms from about May through October here. it is very good bee plant and they love it. You can't kill this stuff wants it starts in your flower beds. It will grow any where. You can get it from Burgess Seed and Plant Company

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Check out Borage.
    It is an annual that reseeds itself easily. Either don't or barely cover the seeds. It blooms around 6 weeks after seeding. 2' tall & 2' diameter. NC does not list it as invasive. A number of blooms on each plant. Keep watered well. Lasts till first frost. Bees love it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake Butler, Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    Any of the Sedums or Stone Crop Plants are great for bees. Fast growing and need very little attention.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    I too am in central NC and i agree with the white clover...buy a #20 bag of seed and walk the neighborhood! Im in wake forest so you can come here and plant some too...thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Caswell County, North Carolina
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    Well, I do have pleanty of acerage to plant, but even so, we need to be careful about what seed we sow. I'm planting large strips of buckwheat. It blooms in about 4 weeks and you can continue to resow it all year.
    Some of the late bloomers like Aster and Goldenrod will produce great amounts of honey BUT, the honey also crystalizes in the hive and is no use to the bees after that happens.
    I have planted 7 acres of Dutch White clover this year, so I'm expecting some good results from that. Those with home-hives might consider planting their yards with clover.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Best NC Summer "bang for the buck" plant

    vitex
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

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