The Home Garden Seed Association
(HGSA) is a member driven organization
of companies in the garden seed trade. Our goal is to assist our
membership in growing their businesses by promoting gardening from seed
as the easy, economical and rewarding way to garden. At our meetings and
Annual Conference and Summer Trials, we provide members with extensive variety
evaluations, networking, continuing education and roundtable discussions
about issues and concerns shared by member companies and affiliates.
This Month's Featured Article:
Plant Milkweeds for Monarch Butterflies
Monarch butterfly numbers are plummeting. According to Monarch Watch., the three lowest overwintering populations on record have been recorded in the last 10 years.
The reasons for this are complicated. For one thing, intensive herbicide use has eradicated milkweed, the butterfly’s food source, in many agricultural fields. Development and herbicide use along roadsides have further reduced habitat. In addition, some of the monarchs’ overwintering sites in Mexico have been degraded or deforested. Yet another
problem is caused by a protozoan parasite of the monarch butterfly that can reach damaging numbers, but only under certain conditions.
What to do? Plant milkweeds! Over 100 species are native to the United States, only a fraction of which are available to gardeners. All milkweed species support monarch butterflies in
multiple ways: 1) the adults lay their eggs on milkweed leaves; 2) when larvae hatch they feed on the leaves (and sequester the plants’ toxins in their bodies, which makes them unpalatable to predators); and 3) milkweed nectar nourishes the adult butterflies. .... Read MORE