Monday, May 28, 2012
How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden
I absolutely love to garden and have several small beds scattered amongst the landscaping of my yard. I noticed many years ago that the beds that do the best and produce the most veggies for me are the ones planted around my flowering bushes! No matter how much attention you give your garden, you will not have a good harvest without bees to pollinate your plants!
Here are a few ideas on how to attract pollinators to your garden:
1. Choose a selection of plants that will bloom throughout the whole growing season: Different pollinators have different life cycles and will be flying at different times of the growing season. By always having flowers available, you can ensure that you draw them to your garden for as long as possible.
2. Native plants are usually best for native bees: Use a field guide or check with your local chapter of the Native Plant Society or your local plant nursery for advice on choosing, obtaining, and caring for local plant species.
3. Choose several colors of flowers: Yes, bees can see in color! Flower colors that are particularly attractive to bees are blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow.
4. Plant flowers in clumps: Clusters of one species of plant will attract pollinators more than individual plants scattered around the yard.
5. Include flowers of different shapes: Since pollinators come in all different shapes and sizes, they require flowers of different shapes and sizes, too. This is because different species all have different tongue lengths to reach the nectar inside!
6. Provide the right habitat: Bees like a lot of sun and need protection from the wind.
7. Plant the right flowers: There are quite a few flowers that attract pollinators but some of the more popular ones include: Black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, Rhododendron, Sage, Sunflower, English lavender, Zinnia, Honeysuckle, Lantana and Poppy. Check with your local plant nursery for more suggestions.
Pollinator Week is coming up June 18-24, 2012. If you would like more information on how to attract pollinators to your garden check out the Pollinator Partnership!
What have you done to attract pollinators to your garden?