Except for succession planting – where you plant fast-developing vegetables such as lettuce and beets throughout the season so you can harvest throughout the season – there is now little to be started in the vegetable garden.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop planting. It is a good time to plant pollinator-friendly perennials from seed that will get a head start in your garden this year – growing until frost hits – survive the winter, and look wonderful in your garden next year.

The ideal time to plant these seeds is up to 12 weeks before the first frost, according to an email from Pinetree Garden Seeds in New Gloucester. Yarrow and milkweed should be planted 10 to 12 weeks before first frost; echinacea, eupatorium (Joe Pye weed) and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) eight to 10 weeks; and Monarda (bee balm) six weeks.

A mix of these North American natives would be absolutely gorgeous. And they are definitely loved by bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and moths.

You can plant them directly in the garden, but you will probably have more success planting them in small pots or seed trays, leaving them outside in a protected area over the winter and transplanting them to their permanent home in the spring.


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