Al Shay on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Al Shay is currently an instructor in the Horticulture Department at Oregon State University. Al holds undergraduate degrees in art as well as horticulture. Additionally Al has a Masters in Agriculture degree from OSU. Al has been in the “Green Industry” for 38 years; 27 of which were spent in the field managing landscapes at such varied venues as; Oregon State University, Eugene Country Club, The Oregon Garden and DeSantis landscapes. In 2007 Al returned to OSU for his graduate degree and was appointed an instructor upon his graduation in 2010.

Find out more about what you can do for pollinators at your own home, and how Al blends aesthetic and functional aspects of landscaping and pollinator habitats.

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“It seemed just a horrible shame to have 500-odd acres of space here on campus and have it all strictly geared toward something you look at as you pass by. We could do a better job than that.“ – Al Shay

Show Notes:

  • How Al’s career led him to his work at Oregon State University
  • The difficulties of bridging the functional and aesthetic sides of urban landscapes
  • The way Al keeps flowering plants year round
  • How homeowners can turn their property into a more sustainable ecosystem
  • Why Al recommends you should start small with your own landscape
  • What you should consider before working on your own urban landscape
  • Al’s best practices for how to plant your seeds
  • What makes a good saw and shear for Al
  • Al’s “pollinator hotels” and how they were developed

“Just start small. Instead of doing 43,560 square feet, do 200 or 400 square feet, and really take a peek at what is going on.“ – Al Shay

Links Mentioned:

One thought on “28 Al Shay – Urban Landscapes for People and Pollinators

  1. Hi – love the podcast!

    This episode in particular is one that I’ve gone back and listened to several times as we work to slowly convert some of our lawnscape into something a bit more useful. We’ve been using Mr. Shay’s method of planting seed mixes (in our case natives are what we had on hand) into flats left outside — some last fall and some this late winter. We’re late on getting them into the ground for sure, but I’m curious if it’s at all effective to plant the plugs/pots into a tightly cut lawn, or whether we need to remove some area of sod to give the seedlings a better shot?

    Thanks again for putting this out there!


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