Online plants sales are over but there’s still time to plant

That’s a wrap!  The 2021 Native Pants Sale is in the books, and it has been another incredible season.  Huge thanks go to our incredible horticulture staff —James, Nikki, Ayden, and Alex, our vendors, sponsors, funders, partners, and, most of all, YOU!  

Online sales have ended, but you still have another 2-3 weeks to plant new plants this season.  If you can get them in before first frosts, you’ll give those roots a chance to settle in and go dormant. If you plant too late, the plant won’t bond and could even heave out of the ground completely when things freeze. Regardless of how your potted plants look up top these shorter days, you are buying and planting viable root systems that will be much happier to wake up in the ground rather than a plastic pot next spring.

October is also a great time to assess your late bloomers and sources of other food for wildlife.  Got blooms? Those Monarchs and Painted Ladies you still see around are about to migrate, and those of us still enjoying asters and goldenrods are helping them, too. Got berries?  Winterberry, Highbush Cranberry, and chokeberries are all loaded with fruit now, but will ripen and become sweet over several months, just in time for our hungry winter birds. Got seeds and nuts?  Migratory birds are fattening up for their big adventures while resident birds and mammals are busy caching a critical year-round food source that only gets produced during a short time. Beef up on fall bloomers and don’t strip your landscape of seeds and nuts.

If you have purchased plants from us, read these blogs, attended a webinar, and/or referred a neighbor, you have helped “bring nature home” in Maine this summer. Together, we have put thousands of beneficial plants into broad, varied landscapes across Maine and beyond (although, hopefully only slightly beyond). Because you have been paying attention, you know that this resulted directly in thousands of caterpillars having their historic food source and either a) being fed to hundreds of baby birds, or b) pupating into hundreds of butterflies and moths.  More of this happened throughout Maine because of all of us, and we also got some large developers, municipalities, and institutions to completely rethink plant choices at scales we never envisioned when we started peddling special plants. So, pat yourselves and each other on the back. We did good for Maine’s wildlife and habitat, and for each other!

We are deeply grateful to our generous funders led by Jim & Ann Hancock, who introduced “Bringing Nature Home” to Maine Audubon in 2014. Along the way, we’ve enjoyed additional perennial support from US Fish & Wildlife, the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Longfellow Garden Club, and others. We also couldn’t have grown without years of in-kind support from Johnny’s Selected Seeds (for discounted 512 Mix, our favorite organic growing medium) and Bissell Brothers Brewery (for thousands of those sturdy boxes you carry our plants in). We’re also immensely grateful to our wholesale vendors, led by Pierson’s Nursery, for sharing and embracing lofty goals and values with us.

Keep reading and learning, and Maine Audubon will be here to help you start growing again in 2022 . . .