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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a fairly large area in my back yard which I would like to clear out a bit, and fill with flowering plants for the bees to have their way with. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to plant?

Thanks
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I should have also included in the original post that this is a somewhat wet area; some parts constantly muddy, some shallow standing water, and some mounds which are dry. I am also in zone5b.
 

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Sounds to me like you have the perfect area for a water garden and have flowers around the water garden! Bees always need a good water source, i know i try to keep fresh water out for them all the time but they would much rather go to the water area that has sat for alittle while like inside ole used rubber tires! Just an idea! Good Luck!!
 

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You could also check a few online seed companies. They all seem to have a "bee pack" of plants that bees are attracted to. I have a patch in my back yard of these plants.

I'd suggest getting a few large packets of them. Didn't seem to go that far.
 

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Save a little room for Sedum (Stone Crop) for fall forage. They love it! It's a perennial. I just bought a few Wisconsin native prairie plants for bee forage. I don't think you can go wrong with stuff like that! Don't forget those Spring bulbs (like tulips, crocus, daffodils), flowering bushes, trees, perennial and annual flowers suited for your area. If something is listed as a nectar source for butterflies, it probably would be good for bees. Try to extend the bloom thru the season. Oh, and eventually share splits with neighbors to expand the bees forage area! LOL :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like the options at stock seed. Does anyone know if I will have any chance of success just throwing a bunch of seeds around in the spring? There is already alot of thick weeds about 2-4ft. My plan was to thrown the seeds down without any preparation, and cross my fingers?
 

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They recommend removing all vegetation before planting. I rented a sod cutter before planting. If your not against using roundup that might be easier for clearing land. I cleared a 60 x 60 area.
 

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Planning to throw down the seeds is planning to fail. Any new garden requires preparation. Seeds and plants can add up fast, weeding and amending the soil now will save you work in the long run. It will also help you achieve a glorious area for your bees instead on another weedy patch. best of luck to you.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
The area I am looking to seed is better described as a field. It's about 200ftx100ft. The old lady would kill me if I covered the place with round-up, especially considering we live close to a reservoir. I am thinking of renting a roto-tiller.

My other issue begins with when we bought the house about a year ago. It was owned by the HUD and there was a disclaimer stating that there were "wetland issues." After some research I learned that one of the neighbors had notified the conservation commision about the previous owners plans to build something in the backyard. The previous owner ended up having to pay some scientist to come here and make sure he had not done any damage to the so called "wetlands" (there is a very small brook running through this portion of the land, along with some patchy wet spots but I would not call it wetlands by any means." Anyways, I do not want any nosy neighbors calling the con-com on me if I go an till up everything.

Well, I am kind of late in the game now, so I have until next spring to come up with a plan.
 

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You could use the summer to plan and plant alot in the fall. I'm not sure about how your climate differs from ours but most potted or B&B plants will do best if planted in the fall. Even alot of seeds will get a better start if planted in the fall. We filled out yard full of bee loving plants by surrounding the apiary with planting beds built up by fresh (but well broken) compost. Then out in the "field" area that was surrounded by the beds, we de-thatched it and sewed in dutch clover. Looks great. We did it in the spring though, so our clover won't bloom until next year.

Also, if you used raised beds for planting, you won't have as much of a drainage problem. Do a little at a time because you have to put time in for weeding, watering, and pruning. You can just try a few and see if it's work you'll enjoy.;)

Hope this helped some....

John
 

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The area I am looking to seed is better described as a field. It's about 200ftx100ft. The old lady would kill me if I covered the place with round-up, especially considering we live close to a reservoir. I am thinking of renting a roto-tiller.

My other issue begins with when we bought the house about a year ago. It was owned by the HUD and there was a disclaimer stating that there were "wetland issues." After some research I learned that one of the neighbors had notified the conservation commision about the previous owners plans to build something in the backyard. The previous owner ended up having to pay some scientist to come here and make sure he had not done any damage to the so called "wetlands" (there is a very small brook running through this portion of the land, along with some patchy wet spots but I would not call it wetlands by any means." Anyways, I do not want any nosy neighbors calling the con-com on me if I go an till up everything.

Well, I am kind of late in the game now, so I have until next spring to come up with a plan.
My area isn't nearly as big, but what I did was cover it with some tarps for a few weeks. Killed everything. Then I tilled it up very shallowly and sprinkled the seeds. Worked great.
 

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As there was a previous issue, I think I would call the comission and find outwhat the restrictions, if any, are and the size of the area they were concerned about. A protected "wetland" area could be both beautiful and benifical for the bees and you. It would also help you avoid a possible problem with this neighbor.
 

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Willow for where it's wet. Excellent source of early pollen and it sounds like you have just the right spot for it.
Lots of good plants mentioned. I'll add Russian Sage. Perennial, looks better every year and the bees absolutely love it.
 

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so am i reading right that i can seed anytime and the plants will come up when they are supposed to? I figured if i seeded in the fall the seeds would rot through the winter before they had the chance to come up in the spring.
 
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