Monarch weigh stations are Monarch Butterfly pollinator gardens that help the Monarch population by providing a place for them to feed and drink. Monarch butterflies need milkweed, nectar plants, and flowers in order to survive. Monarch Butterflies have been decreasing in number at an alarming rate so creating these Monarch pollinator gardens is extremely important!
What does this Monarch weigh station look like?
I use the Monarch Watch Weight station program to guide me in designing my butterfly garden. Your garden can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
There are six main components to building your Monarch Butterfly garden:
Size. Although there is no minimum area requirement the Monarch Watch recommends your garden be at least 100 square feet and this can be split up into different sites. So if you have 30 square feet in your front yard and 70 square feet in your backyard this will still work.
Exposure. Your garden should get about 6 hours of sun and the plants should be in well-drained soil to be the most successful.
Shelter. Your plants should be planted close together so they provide food and shelter to the butterflies.
Milkweed Plants. We recommend that you plant at least ten milkweed plants, each of which must include two or more species, in order to maximize the usage of your habitat by monarchs. However, a large number of individuals (more than 10) of one species is enough. During the season, different types of milkweeds mature and bloom at various times.
Nectar Plants. Nectar is required by a variety of butterflies, as well as other insects and honeybees. Your butterfly garden can offer food for monarchs throughout the breeding season and fall migration by providing sources that bloom sequentially or continuously during the season (as many butterfly plants do).
Management. You'll need a strategy for keeping your Monarch Way station going. Depending on the features of your habitat, you may prune, mulch, thin, fertilize, mend the soil, prune dead stalks, water, eliminate insecticide use, remove invasive plant species.
Learn more about the Monarch watch weigh station by visiting their site.