According to University of Chicago professor Marcus Kronforst, in 1996 around one billion monarchs migrated, but in 2013 there were just 35 million. The March WWF Mexico survey revealed the insects were rebounding, with numbers rising to roughly 150 million. More milkweed planted has played a part in the rebound, as has weather that suits the butterflies.
The Milkweed sold in nurseries are usually the ornamental perennials, smallish, compact plants w/many colorful flower clusters. Rather than BUYING the garden variety, I gather seeds along roads and railways (milkweed likes the dry sandy conditions where it can thrive UNDISTURBED for many years.. re-sprouting year after year from the thick, rope-y, spreading roots.
I cut out "The Middle-Man"
the native in NJ are the tall robust plants with un-spectacular lavender/gray flowers.
They create large, obvious pods filled with hundreds of seeds, which open to release dandelion-type parachutes able to carry the seeds for miles on a good day.
When I find the ripe pods beginning to split I pick a few, climb the first row of the Appalachian Mountains pull over in a "Scenic Overlook" --- ---open the pods, and gently release them to Self-Seed over the Tri-State Area.
That's still a fraction of the numbers there once were.
Between Habitat Loss (Mexican loggers) & HMO Corn pollen( Monsanto engineered a variety of corn impregnated with a disease that kills the larvae of the Corn Ear Worm (a MOTH which is of family Lepidoptera ... same as the Butterflies...)
Monarch Caterpillars on milkweed in or near CORN FIELDS get covered by the air-bourne pollen of the GMO Engineered Corn.. and become unintentional victims of PICTURE PERFECT Grocery Store CORN.
...anyway... they CRUNCHED The NUMBERS to make butterfly folk feel good but the truth it.. ..all it would take is ONE BAD WINTER and we'll have lost these Flying Flowers FOREVER.
It's simply amazing. Nature is a wonder to behold. I'm just glad to see the monarchs numbers have improved. Talked with a Master Gardener yesterday on some ideas for my backyard and shoreline.
Everyone & Anyone is encouraged to consult with A MasterGardener through their NetWork of HelpLines through YOUR STATE UNIVERSITIES in your Area..
..because they will have all the pertinent information on What Will THRIVE In YOUR Particular Area and Conditions
They also provide FREE Services like Insect and Disease Identification and Recommendations for Turf/Flowers/Crops
..and Inexpensive SOIL PROFILE TESTS which I HIGHLY Recommend.. instead of a garden center pH Test Kit for $5....
..for $30 you'll get a Container & Instructions that you'll mail to the University Soil Laboratory, that’s then then forwarded to your County Agricultural Agent who translates the test results into USABLE Information ..advising the Client (you) EXACTLY what to add & in what amounts to make your Lawn/Flower/Vegetable Garden PERFECT for the desired plants you wish to grow.
It's like A CAKE RECIPE! Follow it correctly, and BINGO!
You'll know not only the pH, but also Sand/Clay/Organic Material content ((water-holding capacity)) chemical analysis Potash, Phosphorus. & Nitrogen —for proper Photosynthesis (converting water & sunlight into plant tissue.) plus FREE PROFESSIONAL Recommendations How-To solve your particular problems.
"CHEAP @ TWICE The PRICE!"
IMO: THE Best $30 you’ll ever spend on your garden.
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