Register now for the ’22 Winter Sow program to support native pollinators (Seed pickup Saturday)

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

Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission has been sponsoring the program to support its Native Pollinator • Native Plant initiative.

In 2020 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.

This year, OSPC will repeat the Covid safe version they came up with last year. A virtual workshop next week will be preceded by curbside pickup this Saturday of the seeds to sow.

OSPC’s communication encourages that participating means:

You can have beautiful flowers while helping our most at risk pollinators.

Organizers are offering 36 varieties of flowering native plants that are beneficial to native pollinators.* (That’s about a dozen more choices than last year.) Plants have varying bloom times shown as ranging from May – October.

Volunteers are asked to identify which varieties they would like to receive when they register for the workshop. And you may want to get started right away collecting milk jugs to use as winter “greenhouses” for germinating seeds. (You’ll also need potting soil and duct tape.)

This Saturday, February 5th, participants will be able to pickup their selected seeds at a drive-through event in the parking lot of Cordaville Hall (the Southborough Senior Center).

The interactive zoom webinar be held over zoom on Tuesday, February 8th at 7:00 pm. 

For the full details, and to register, click here. The plant list and a link to register are on a dedicated page of the Town’s website here. (Note: As of writing this story, the website only provided a list of 33 seed varieties. OSPC is working on posting an addendum with three additional choices.)

*Most of the listed plants are shown as supporting the bumblebee species bombus fervidus and/or bombus vagans. (You can learn more about the OSPC’s Beecology partnership with a UMass professor to research and support those threatened species here.) Many of the native plants also attract other native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, other birds, and/or native caterpillars.

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

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