Sunday, September 25, 2011

Berks County Plant list now on

Mike has put up on the Native Plant Highlights Web site PDF versions of plant lists for Berks County PA. The three versions of the file are sorted by Scientific Family, by Common name and by scientific name with native species first. If you have comments or suggestions about the lists you can comment here or on the list page.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

First seed collecting date of the Fall

The beginning of Seed collecting season is here for 2011!

Where: Union Twp Recreation Area in the meadow plantings.
            At the new parking lot off Rte. 724 behind Tim's Ugly Mug Bar.
            This lot is accessed from Campbell Ford Road which is also the access to the bar's parking lot.

When: Saturday October 8 at @ 2:00 pm to 4:30 or so. (Rain Date: Sunday October 9th at 2 pm, watch this web site for announcements.

Bring: Hand Clippers, paper bags, insect repellant

We expect to collect seed of Monarda fistulosa (Lavender Bee Balm), Sorgastrum nutans (Indian Grass) , Pycnanthemum species (Mountain Mints), Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed), plus any other native plants we find in seed.

Contact Mke (mslater at voicenet dot com) with questions or you put you question in a comment for this post.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Berks Native Plant Seed Bank Kick-off Program and planning meeting

When:   Wednesday September 21, 2011 at  7:00 pm

 Where:  Nolde Forest Environmental Ed. Center  McConnell Hall

A short Program by Mike Slater on Collecting seed of native meadow plants and growing them for restoration planting . Followed by planning of seed collecting expeditions, seed sorting/cleaning gatherings, planting of seedlings, and seed sowing activities.

We want to broaden our distribution of seed to include private land owners who want quantities of native plant seed, of know local ecotype, in their landscaping as wee as continue to support local public areas in their efforts to increase native plant communities. Local areas we have worked with include, The Berks County Conservancy, The Union Twp. Recreation Area and a little bit at French Creek State Park.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Native Plant Highlight (A new Feature)

Native plants and the insects associated with them are my passion. In order to share some of my love and fascination with native plants, I am beginning to assemble information and my pictures on native plants that my wife Jan and I feel more people in our area would enjoy growing in their gardens or habitat restorations. I want the information to be widely available so this blog and web site are where it is going to be. We are growing most of these plants and trying to make them available through local native plant nurseries, local volunteer native plant sales, and Natural history club native plant exchanges. So I hope this will whet the appetites of plants people so when they see our little plant puppies at a sale or exchange they will recognize their potential and desirability and take them home!

I am always learning about native plants which are unfamiliar to me. I know other people interested in native plants have the same experience all the time. Or sometimes I get the opportunity to grow a native I was interested in but didn't have a way to get seed or a plant to grow. I especially like to know the provenance of the plants I am growing, Pennsylvania or Mid-Atlantic States origin is preferable to me since that is where we live, garden and work on habitat restoration. I wasn't always this picky but under the influence of a number of fellow native plant enthusiasts I have been focusing on natives of known geographic and habitat origin.

If anyone has any requests, suggestions or comments, please leave them in the comments section of any post.

Mike Slater

 Coreopsis tripteris Tall Coreopsis, will be the first one. It will be up soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Discussion of last years seed season.

For those of you who grew seed from the January 2009 seed workshops how did you do? Please add your comments below.  We are thinking about what we can to do this year. Comments and suggestions about the future are welcome too!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Article about the Native Seed Bank in Today's Reading Eagle

The Article by Tina Ehrig was in the Reading Eagle today

My picture of Coreopsis tripteris was with the article.

update: Here it is since the online article doesn't have the pictures. I don't have the picture of Kathleen sowing seed or I would post that also (that is Tina's photo.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Upcoming Restoration Projects by the Berks County Conservancy

The restoration projects which the Berks County Conservancy will be using some of the native seed the Berks Native seedbank volunteers have helped collect, sort and clean.

Spring 2009

Riparian projects:
  • At Red Bridge, in the Gring's Mill Recreation area, an area approximately 20 x 300' in size,this is a disturbed area not fully covered by earlier restoration efforts. Planting time not yet determined.
  • At Stonecliffe Park along the Tulpehocken creek an approximately 20 x 300' area. Top soil has been newly spread in the area. Planting time not yet determined.
  • At Angelica Park an area needs help. It has been sprayed to control invasives. Size? Planting time early spring before normal plants growth begins.

Photos above of Boltonia Asteroides (Aster-like Boltonia) and Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain) are by Mike Slater

Hillside at Alvernia College:
  • A hill side area 60 x 200' in extent has been distrubed by mechanical activity and then regraded. There will be scattered trees planted with native meadow plants to be seeded in between. Planting probably in late February or early March 2009.
Saucony Creek Area Moist Meadow:
  • An area of 50' by 200' wwhich has been spraed to control invasives will be overseeded with native meadow grasses and wildflowers. Planting probably in late February or early March 2009.

Kutztown Area Well Buffers:
  • Several 300' diameter circular vegetation buffers around wells in a moist meadow. The total area to be restored is about 4 acres. Thie area will be planted with scattered trees and shrubs with native meadow grass and wild flower seed planted in between. The area has been farmed for corn up until the fall of 2008.

This area is also may be a good place to put some of the potted plants we are propagating in pots in this first planting year at the site. (Planting plants into an established meadow is difficult due to root competition with the pre-existing plants)

Fall 2009

Riparian areas which will be exposed due to Dam removal projects

  • Witman Dam near Oley, Planting will probably in November 2009 or later.
  • Bushong Dam on the Tulpehocken Creek at the confluence with the Schuylkill River. Planting will probably be in November 2009 or later.

Photos above of Boltonia Asteroides (Aster-like Boltonia) and Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain) are by Mike Slater
The list of seed from the given to the Berks County Conservancy for planting in the above areas is on the 2009 seed list page.