Register now for Winter Sow program to support Native Pollinator • Native Plant initiative (Updated)

by beth on January 15, 2021

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Above: If you’d like to have plants in your yard and around the community this summer that support native pollinators, sign up now to sow the seeds this winter to make that happen. (scroll down for photo credits)

For the second year running, the community is invited to participate in a “Winter Sow” program.

Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission sponsored a program last year to support its Native Pollinator • Native Plant initiative. Volunteers got together at hands on workshops to prepare and sow seeds in the winter and foster them into seedlings ready for planting in the spring.

Pollination Winter Sow Workshop flyerThis year’s challenge was finding a way to continue that work while keeping volunteers safe. The solution landed on was online registration for a curbside pickup of seeds and a zoom workshop.

OSPC’s communication encourages:

This is a Southborough organized and focused event but out-of-towners are welcome. In fact some of our best volunteers have come from other towns. . .

We aren’t just Creating Gardens we are Creating Community!

Organizers are offering over 20 varieties of flowering native plants that are beneficial to native pollinators.* Plants have bloom times shown as ranging from May – September.

Volunteers are asked to identify which varieties they would like to receive, with caveats:

The seeds are free as long as you commit to plant and care for them following our Winter Sow Method. We ask that you plant enough for yourself and even extras to give back to public gardens around town or to share with friends. Do not take more seeds than you are willing to make containers for. Each packet will be enough seeds for 1 to 2 containers. You can order 1 packet of each species whether it is 1 species or 22. . . 

Availability will depend on how many people sign up. Everyone will get seeds although we can’t guarantee you will get everything you order. For some plants we have a lot of seeds and others not so much.

Participants can pickup their seeds on Saturday, January 23rd at a drive-through event in the parking lot of Cordaville Hall (the Southborough Senior Center). 

An interactive webinar will follow, held over zoom on Friday, January 29th at 7:00 pm. (In between events, volunteers will receive information on all the materials they will need to prepare.) 

For those that can’t make the webinar, a recording of it will be posted.

For the full details, read the overview here. The plant list and a link to register are on a dedicated page of the Town’s website here.

*Most of the listed plants are shown as supporting the bumblebee species bombus fervidus and/or bombus vagans. Many also attract butterflies, birds, and/or native caterpillars.

(images cropped from OSPC program materials and communications, top L-R attributed to Freddie Gillespie and Dawn Vesey)

Updated (1/21/21 10:22 am): The registration deadline for seed pickup was extended to this Friday (January 22nd) at noon. OSPC also shared the event flyer with more details on the virtual workshop to “Build Your Own Mini Greenhouse in a Bottle”.

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