Creating essential habitat in our community for our vital & vulnerable pollinators
May 22nd, 2020
Dealing with Invasives?
Ditch the Roundup for these herbicide alternatives

Part 2

One problem with invasives, which are certain aggressive non-native plants, apart from being hard to get rid of, is that by spreading their chemicals into the ground, they reduce biodiversity.  That is they crowd out important native plants essential for maintaining the local food web. Del Orloske, master ecological gardener and sustainable land planning expert emphasizes that without the native host plants on which caterpillars feed, there will be no moths and butterflies and the birds that feed on the caterpillars will go hungry.
Del offers this suggestion for handling invasive mugwort:
Uproot them if possible, pulling out the big horizontal rhizome from which new plants start, if not, buy time by cutting them short

Cover with plastic or cardboard for a couple of weeks to smother and starve the roots. Then immediately plant in their place aggressive native plants such as hay-scented fern or goldenrod.

Now that you have uprooted all that mugwort here are a few mugwort recipes to try:
Mugwort Soup
Mugwort Tea
Japanese Mugwort Pancakes
Early Mugwort at Zena Cornfield
Larger Mugwort at The Catskill Center's Thorn Preserve
(we promise the kids aren't invasive)
A few more options to rid your property of invasives from Dan Snider, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), a program of the Catskill Center.

Goats can be an effective way to control some larger infestations of invasive plants. Goats are voracious grazers and will happily munch away on woody species like Oriental bittersweet and honeysuckles. Fencing keeps the goats’ efforts focused on a particular area and encourages an intense enough browse pressure to suppress the invasive plants. In some cases, goats may need to be brought back to an area over several years to completely remove an infestation. If you do pursue goats as an invasive plant management tool, be thoughtful about area selection, because goats are more than happy to eat many native plants as well. There are several companies in the Hudson Valley area that rent goats out as an invasive plant control.

Crazy jumping worms are a major concern for gardeners these days. They consume the organic matter layer in soil very rapidly, lower wildflower densities, and promote erosion. You can recognize them by their smooth and flat clitellum (the band around the earthworm’s body), and their aggressive wriggling behavior when handled. Here are some handy tips to check if you have them and to help prevent them from intruding into your garden:

Mix up a 2% solution of ground mustard seed in water (about 5 tablespoons per gallon of water), and spray onto your garden space. The mixture agitates the worms if they are there, bringing them to the surface where you can pick them up and dispose of them.

To help prevent them from coming to your garden, carefully inspect any potted plants, fill, and potting soil before you purchase it. Look for a “coffee ground”-like texture on the soil surface; this can be indicative of the jumping worms’ castings. If you aren’t sure, you can remove soil from plants before you put them into the ground, and wash the root ball to remove any remaining soil.
New Website!!!
We have built our own new website, unlinked from the Connecticut effort.  Same great resources with a fresh new look -- and new website address  You will still find a link to the larger Connecticut based Pollinator Pathway Project and all of their resources on our new website.

Let us know how you like this site for info or anything else. Email with your feedback!

Check out our New & Improved Website Here
Q & A

 I like to plant annual this time of the year. Are there any pollinator-friendly native annuals?
 There are several websites that list annuals that attract pollinators. Here is one.
We have noted that some of the plants listed at this site are not in fact natives. Here is another suggested website:
There’s no reason you shouldn’t mix non-natives with natives in your annual garden. What matters more is where you buy your plants. Big box stores typically sell plants that have been grown with pesticides which can harm any pollinator that visits them. We suggest that you ask the stores if they use pesticides or obtain their plants from distributors that use pesticides.  If they claim not to know, ask them to find out.
Community Connections

Do you need help from an expert?
Del Orloske, master ecological gardener and sustainable land planning expert with deep knowledge of pollinator preferences, offers an hour-long site analysis of your garden to two more applicants living within a 10 minute drive of Woodstock.

Del will provide ideas and possibilities for native plants appropriate to your site based on what you want to achieve. He will assess sun, soil, and drainage and take into account any input/ideas you provide (garden’s historical background, etc.). He will identify any invasive plants you might want to remove and native plants you might not know you have.
Del recommends you take notes and photos during the visit. He asks that you maintain social distance during the visit and he will wear a mask.
To request a visit, email Ellie Reese ( and provide your contact information. Ellie will arrange the scheduling—appointments will be Saturdays and Sundays.
Del requests a donation to cover his expenses, sliding scale of around $15-20 (his normal fee is $75)

Are you a gardener in search of a garden? 
A homeowner on Park Drive off of Maverick Rd in Woodstock has 4 good sized raised gardens which you can use if you like to plant for pollinators or grow your veggies.  There’s a shed available and also a half bath in the house that you can use.  Contact us if this appeals to you at
Why sharing our pathway efforts with your neighbors matters! 

The Woodstock Pollinator Pathway's main goal is to build a "pathway" of closely connected pollinator-friendly habitats, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Many pollinators cannot fly far without access to food and shelter. And our individual yards are part of a larger ecosystem that pollinators need to move around in. A pathway creates connected pollinator-friendly areas in our own and our neighbors' yards. It is vital to our efforts to ask you to speak to your neighbors and encourage them to join this effort.  
Video Resource

Here's a Doug Tallamy video sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation that is full of great information and inspiration! 
In Case You Missed it!

Did you know the Woodstock NY Pollinator Pathway has a YouTube channel! All of our video resources and recorded webinars are now available in one place. Check out our YouTube channel here

Recorded Webinars: Video Resources:
The Map
The map shows the pollinator areas created by people who have joined the Woodstock, NY Pollinator Pathway.  We hope to have pollinator gardens as close together as possible so that pollinators can fly easily from one to another.  So, encourage your neighbors to create pollinator habitat and join the pathway!
When making a donation please make note the donation is for the Pollinator Pathway.
Join the pathway & find resources at our website
Copyright © 2020 Woodstock Pollinator Pathway, All rights reserved.

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Woodstock Pollinator Pathway · PO Box 864 · Woodstock, NY 12498-0864 · USA

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