Project objectives from proposal:
To evaluate Phacelia's attributes and to learn more about buckwheat and a bee forage mix, we will do three plantings over the 2013 growing season, -late spring, mid summer, and late summer. Each planting will have 3 replicates of each cover crop for a total of 9 plots. Individual plots will be 160 square feet (8'x20') set up in a
randomized complete block design. We will block to account for different weed populations and to keep time of day and weather during data collection similar (one block at a time). We want to carry this research over into a second year to determine the potential for self-seeding in these plots and to further evaluate weed suppression.
Native pollinator populations will be observed by setting up a permanent 3 square foot quadrangle in each plot and observing each quadrangle for 5 minutes on a weekly basis or as soon as the weather permits (above 55 degrees, no rain). Other beneficials such as parasitic wasps, lacewings, ladybugs and pests such as tarnished plant bug will be sampled by 10 sweeps of a standard sweep net/plot after the observation work is done.
Flowering phenology will also be observed weekly after the observation period. Data will be collected from the permanent quadrangle on number of stems/ft2, and number of open flowers/stem. On the same day I will also collect percentage flowering phenology data on my different cultivated fruit species to determine the potential for pollinators being pulled away from the fruit.
Weed observations will be conducted three times for each plot. Once before flowering, once when the flowering period is over and once in 2014. Weeds will be counted in three randomly chosen moveable quadrangles in each plot. Species and density will be noted.
Reseeding potential will be documented in 2014 by determining the number of stems (by plant species for the bee forage mix) per ft2 in mid summer.
We would also like to use remote and manual video taping to document peak nectar flows and pollinator visits.
We would plan to make a video explaining the research project and showing the different stages of growth of the cover crops and sampling techniques that we are going to use.