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Also encourage local, state, and corporate officials from spraying pesticides and herbicides in monarch habitats (particularly those with milkweeds) along roads, railroads, and powerline right-of-ways.  Especially avoid spraying for insects when monarchs are present.
For eastern states, milkweeds to consider include the butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), common milkweed (A. Apple, the apple logo, & iPad are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the US and other countries.
Rachael writes for Ideal Living Magazine; the leading source for consumer property purchases and retirement home destinations in the southeast.
He verifies that all gardeners have an opportunity to help with the current concern: dwindling populations of monarch butterflies.
Female butterflies use visual and chemical cues to locate milkweed plants for laying their eggs. Google & its logo are trademarks of Google Inc., Amazon & its logo are trademarks of Amazon Inc. These amazing insects carry on a great migration each year, resting at waystations along the way to feed.The problem is, waystations are growing fewer and further between. They seldom lay eggs on other plants if there are no milkweeds, as the larvae that hatch will die. Some take other routes, heading toward Florida instead, or the California coast.At times, their ultimate destination may be decided by wind patterns. These black and yellow butterflies can travel as far as 50-100 miles a day, and it can take them as long as two months to complete their southward trek.Those who successfully make it down south will stay there over the winter, and then head back north again in the spring. The loss of prairie, replacement of open space with housing developments and invasion of exotic plants are some causes of this decline.Just imagine if all those homes that replaced field and fen grew habitats in their backyards.
Would the butterflies begin to follow patterns of development, flying from neighborhood to neighborhood, feeding all along the way? The next generation might get as far as Kansas, the one after that, Minnesota.“In the fall, the migration south begins again. It's an encouraging thought that can easily become a reality if we cease planting gardens and start growing habitat.This is the theme of an important grower of native plants dedicated to creating habitat for backyard gardeners. Prairie Moon Nursery offers a fabulous catalog full of the most beautiful native perennials and grasses to re-establish habitat. Earlier this year, a number of media reports brought attention to the urgent plight of the monarch butterfly, which is nearing extinction unless action is taken to protect critical plant life – unless limits are set on the use of toxic agricultural chemicals.Migrating monarchs are truly amazing.
Their approach to planting is not based on the gardening model, but one developed for revegetating damaged sites.
It takes three generations for the migrating monarchs in Mexico to reach the upper United States. This process used by ecologists, botanists and wildlife biologists blends large numbers of individual plants overseeded with grasses and other ground covering species.

Then, the fourth generation flies more than 2,000 miles back to Mexico to start the process all over again.In 1996, migrating monarchs covered 45 acres of forest in central Mexico, each acre holding an estimated 25 million butterflies. The system also can include native trees and shrubs, which naturalize just as well to survive on rainfall and eliminate the need for irrigation. While prairie and meadow plant communities are fine for full sun open space, they don't do well in woodlands. Now the catalog is focusing on natives that naturally reside beneath the shade of tree canopies. This is a super problem solver for old, shaded neighborhoods or rural sites in coniferous or hardwood forest ecosystems where a sustainable ground treatment solves many different problems.Plant communities naturally adapted to live beneath our nation's woodlands are composed of understory species. These can be smaller trees like dogwood, plus a host of ferns, perennial wildflowers such as bleeding hearts and grasslike sedges.
The young plants sold by Prairie Moon as bare root, which allow you to buy many more for less money than the same species container grown. Bare root also allows the plants to immediately root deeply into native soils in order to maximize early drought resistance.The seed mixes are collections of native plants that can be hand sown or hydroseeded where tree roots crowd the surface soil and sun penetrates only enough to dapple the earth. As reported by USA Today:“‘Monarchs are pollinators, which makes them important for plant reproduction.
Here the Shady Woodland Seed Mix includes Solomon's plume, columbine, wild geranium and early meadow rue. They also share habitat with small birds and animals, which feed larger birds and animals,’ Taylor said.
Around the sunnier edges, switch to the Shortgrass Woods Edge Savanna Seed Mix to create the ideal transitional community.Prairie Moon's publications are easy for novices to use and detailed enough to appeal to more seasoned gardeners.
It offers two free full color publications, the 2015 Catalog and Cultural Guide and the informative magazine Native Gardener's Companion. This is one scientific explanation for the phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, in which entire hives die or disappear without a trace, all at once.Neonicotinoid-treated plants sold at garden centers across the United States include tomatoes, squash, salvia, and various flowering plants that are attractive to pollinators.
This is no small concern when you consider that bees are absolutely critical for pollinating food crops, and they can collect nectar from miles around their hives.In urban areas, public and private gardens can certainly support or harm bee populations, and without bees, we stand to lose one-third of all fruits, nuts, and vegetables – at least 130 different crop varieties in all. Needless to say, avoiding pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate is important for your own health, too. According to Lisa Archer, director of the Food and Technology Program at Friends of the Earth:“Our investigation is the first to show that so-called ‘bee-friendly’ garden plants contain pesticides that can poison bees, with no warning to gardeners.
Neonic pesticides are a key part of the problem we can start to fix right now in our own backyards.”Ending Glyphosate Use is Critical for All Life on Planet EarthBesides protecting the monarch butterfly, there are many other reasons to insist on the removal of glyphosate from agricultural use.
The documented harmful effects of glyphosate extend not just to critical pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, but also to soil, plant, animal, and human health. Use of genetically engineered plants only deepens the many problems associated with conventional, chemical-heavy farming.

The environmental effects are also 180 degrees opposed, as industrial farming contributes to every form of environmental devastation, while organic farming methods restore the environment and invigorate and support the ecosystem – of which humans are an integral part, I might add.Many equate modern techniques with “progress,” when in fact most of our technological advancements are now threatening to destroy us right along with the planet as a whole.
Think about this: Nearly 1 billion pounds of Roundup is used each year for conventional crop production. The contamination issue is yet another valid reason for avoiding conventionally-grown foods in general, and genetically engineered foods in particular. First, I urge you to sign the petition created by Friends of the Earth, asking the CEO of Lowe’s to stop selling bee-killing pesticides and neonicotinoid-treated plants.
Department of Agriculture, and President Obama to protect the monarchs’ breeding habitat by halting the approval of Monsanto Roundup Ready™ and other glyphosate-resistant and pesticide-promoting, genetically engineered crops.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times:“‘Since federal glyphosate rules were last updated a decade ago, its use has spiked tenfold to 182 million pounds a year, largely due to the introduction and popularity of corn and soybeans genetically modified to resist the herbicide. The tenfold increase in the amount of glyphosate being used corresponds with huge losses of milkweed and the staggering decline of the monarch,’ Sylvia Fallon, an NRDC senior scientist, said in an interview. Ideally, you’ll want to grow your own pollinator-friendly plants from organic, untreated seeds. But if you opt to purchase starter plants, make sure to ask whether or not they’ve been pre-treated with pesticides. To help boost monarch populations specifically, make sure you provide them with a place to reproduce by growing some milkweed in your garden. This way, you can actually “vote” for less pesticides and herbicides with each and every meal you eat. Taking bee preservation yet another step further, try your hand at becoming an amateur beekeeper.
Having a hive in your garden requires only about an hour of your time per week, benefits your local ecosystem, and you can enjoy your own honey.
Mercola Natural Health Center" (formerly the "Optimal Wellness Center") in Schaumburg, Illinois. He wrote the best-selling books The No-Grain Diet (with Alison Rose Levy) and The Great Bird Flu Hoax.
Mercola criticizes many aspects of standard medical practice, such as vaccination and what he views as overuse of prescription drugs and overuse of surgery to treat diseases.

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