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Author Topic: Planting bee friendly cover crops that will last all season  (Read 1571 times)
adamant
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« on: December 21, 2013, 05:26:39 PM »

Is there such a mixture? I am on the northeast. 

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Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 09:10:07 PM »

Buckwheat and Borage come to mind.  Buckwheat can be planted all season long and borage blooms till frost
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capt44
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 09:54:02 PM »

I'm in Central Arkansas and I plant Buckwheat all spring and summer.
From the time it sprouts it will usually start blooming in around 3 weeks and will bloom for around 6-8 weeks.
I usually plant a strip every 3 weeks and it's usually blooming till frost.
Another plant you can put out is the EDOVIA Tree.
Beekeepers call it the BEE BEE Tree.
It will start blooming in the late summer or early fall when everything else is drying up.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
rober
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:12 AM »

potentilla shrubs & Russian sage  will bloom all summer. my thyme & oregano also bloomed most of the summer. also plant all th clover that you can afford
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 07:19:19 PM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory.  It blooms from about the middle of June until the first really killing freeze.  It will bloom in a drought.  It will bloom after a light frost.  I will bloom after a fairly heavy frost...
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Michael Bush
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10framer
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 10:07:31 PM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory.  It blooms from about the middle of June until the first really killing freeze.  It will bloom in a drought.  It will bloom after a light frost.  I will bloom after a fairly heavy frost...

that's good to know.  i planted some for deer this year, they were walking through my milo field to get to it.
it also only needs to be reseeded about every five years from what i've been reading.  i mixed it with ball clover, it was an expensive mix but the bees work ball really well and it re-seeds better than a lot of other clovers. 
 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 12:32:51 AM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory. 
huh  The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

And 10framer, why one earth would you want to draw deer into your yard to destroy everything!  I do everything I can to keep them out (without success I might add)
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 12:35:10 AM »

I would go with white clover.  The bees love it and it has a long flowering period in Michigan. 
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10framer
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 12:38:43 AM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory. 
huh  The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

And 10framer, why one earth would you want to draw deer into your yard to destroy everything!  I do everything I can to keep them out (without success I might add)

i'm on 44 acres and i eat the deer. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 05:03:35 AM »

Well, I’ve never seen a deer touch chicory here.  Roses, gardens, and any ornamentals though, they love.  The more expensive the bush, the more they LOVE it.

I've never even seen a groundhog eat chicory.  Nothing eats the stuff  grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 05:56:41 AM »

Chicory won't grown in Northern Wisconsin, we tried several times to get some going, even bring up small plants harvested from the south. 

I agree with BlueBee.  White clover is relatively cheap and very productive.  We planted and spread a couple hundred dollars of seed a few years ago where we mow (we mow about five acres) and it only took a couple seasons for the clover to become the dominant plant in these areas. 

An added benefit;  Now I don't have to mow as much or as often as we allow the clover to flower, mowing only when roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the flower heads begin to brown.  Mowing then seems to invigorate the clover, making it thicker.  We;ll likely plant it all again in a few more years.  Sometimes we can watch the ground MOVE with busy bees  cool  Watch out when wearing flip flops  Wink
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 10:41:43 AM »

Well, I’ve never seen a deer touch chicory here.  Roses, gardens, and any ornamentals though, they love.  The more expensive the bush, the more they LOVE it.

I've never even seen a groundhog eat chicory.  Nothing eats the stuff  grin

it's about 30 percent protein if i remember right.  we don't have nearly as much crop agriculture and the acorn crop was terrible this year down here so it's a big treat for the deer and the rabbits from what i could tell. 
i planted 3 acres of milo for deer hunting and then planted the chicory in 15 foot by a 300 foot strips and the deer would walk right through the milo to get some chicory first then turn back and eat the grain.  i was really suprised 
i have a friend that i told to plant it and he questioned me but he's all fired up now.  he pretty much saw the same thing at his place this year.
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 10:46:45 AM »

Chicory won't grown in Northern Wisconsin, we tried several times to get some going, even bring up small plants harvested from the south. 

I agree with BlueBee.  White clover is relatively cheap and very productive.  We planted and spread a couple hundred dollars of seed a few years ago where we mow (we mow about five acres) and it only took a couple seasons for the clover to become the dominant plant in these areas. 

An added benefit;  Now I don't have to mow as much or as often as we allow the clover to flower, mowing only when roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the flower heads begin to brown.  Mowing then seems to invigorate the clover, making it thicker.  We;ll likely plant it all again in a few more years.  Sometimes we can watch the ground MOVE with busy bees  cool  Watch out when wearing flip flops  Wink

see if pennington has some seed specifically for your zone.  it's expensive for sure but white clover isn't dirt cheap either and you have to get the innoculate.  i ended up paying 210.00 for 25 pounds of ball clover seed.  i think i gave 40.00 for 5 pounds of chicory (but i knew the place i bought it was expensive). 
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rober
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 11:52:25 AM »

 dutch clover runs $5-$6.00 per lb at most retail garden shops. I've found  50# bags @ $159.00= $3.18 per # for dutch white  & $109.00=$2.18 per# for ladino & sweet yellow clover at local farm supply stores. I have some corners on my property planted with a mix of sweet yellow clover, buckwheat, & lacy phacelia & they're always loaded with bees.
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10framer
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 07:43:31 PM »

dutch clover runs $5-$6.00 per lb at most retail garden shops. I've found  50# bags @ $159.00= $3.18 per # for dutch white  & $109.00=$2.18 per# for ladino & sweet yellow clover at local farm supply stores. I have some corners on my property planted with a mix of sweet yellow clover, buckwheat, & lacy phacelia & they're always loaded with bees.

how well does the ladino come back the next year?  i planted a little of that and 50 pounds of crimson too.  the yellow clover grows on the shoulder of most roads down here.
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GSF
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 08:00:08 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.
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10framer
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 08:55:18 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.

buckwheat will too.
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MsCarol
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 10:49:08 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.

buckwheat will too.

Buckwheat improves the soil because of its strong root system but it is NOT a legume like the clovers.

I am finding this thread very interesting as I am planning on planting more bee friendly plants along field edges and fence rows. Some of my land is in crops. (Makes for happy deer). All the stray strips around the edges are ripe for bee plantings. Plus I have about 2 acre hillside inside the crop fence that needs replanting. Thinking seriously of Buckwheat this spring.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2013, 06:53:31 AM »

>The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

Everything bees work is a weed.  I planted 17 acres of it.  It works much better drilled than scattered.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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10framer
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 07:04:49 AM »

>The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

Everything bees work is a weed.  I planted 17 acres of it.  It works much better drilled than scattered.


the stuff i planted said to plant less than 1/16 of an inch deep.  i don't own a grain drill but i have a planter but i don't know if i can set it that shallow.  where did you get the bulk seed?  i could only find it in 5# bags.
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