Pollinator gardens are on the rise as more and more research is released about the dwindling numbers of pollinators and their importance to our planets entire ecosystem and survival. Pollinators are those sweet little bees, butterflies and birds that help to convey pollen from plant to plant. Pollinators are integral for our plants health and the growth of our gardens. Pollinator gardens are a wonderful concept, because these gardens invite pollinators and allow them to flourish with the resources they need to survive. In addition to “No Mow May“, growing a pollinator garden is a great way to care for both your plants and the animals that rely on them to survive.
Looking for ways you can help contribute to a more sustainable earth? Today we’re talking about how to grow your own pollinator garden. Not only is a pollinator garden good for mother nature but it’s beautiful too!
Grow Your Own Pollinator Garden in 5 Easy Steps
5 Easy Steps To Creating a Pollinator Garden
PIck a Location and Determine Soil Type
First things first, you will need to pick the location for your pollinator garden. Pollinators like birds, bees, beetles, butterflies and moths like to bask in the sun, so you will want to choose a plot that has full or partial sun. Next, you will want to consider the soil. Different plants grow better in different soil conditions. Soils that are sandier in texture, will drain water more quickly, while soils that are more clay-like will hold moisture for longer. Both of these soil types or a combination of both, will provide better environments for different thriving plants. Do some research to determine which type of soil you have and which types of plants thrive in it.
Select Plants For Your Pollinator Garden
When deciding which plants to plant in your pollinator garden, choose native plants that will thrive in your area. Be sure to choose native plants, because these are the plants that will benefit your native pollinators best. Going to your local nursery is a great way to learn more about native plants and pollinators. Look for plants that are perennials (grow back each year) and require low maintenance. Also you will want to be sure that any plants you buy are free of pesticides, insecticides and neonicotinoids to ensure you keep the environment clean of these harmful chemicals.
Set Up The Garden
If you are starting your garden from scratch, you will need to remove grass using a shovel or machinery like a rototill. You will want to measure out your garden plot and mark it before preparing. You will also want to loosen up soil and add nutrient rich compost to your soil to prepare it for a successful growing season.
Plant Seeds and Flowers
If you want to have a flourishing garden this summer and are starting from scratch you will most likely need to buy starter plants. If you plant seeds this summer they most likely won’t have time to germinate and flower this year. The best time to plant seeds to ensure flowers is in the prior fall or winter. You can of course start from seeds but you might not get blooms right away!
You will also want to plan a range of flowers that will bloom from early spring to late fall. By planting these flowers in clumps you will invite more pollinators to enjoy them. Try planting night-blooming flowers to feed your local moths and bats. Beware of “hybrid” flowers, these flowers don’t have a fragrance, pollen or nectar and therefore are useless for pollinators. And again stay away from pesticides as they are both harmful to your pollinators and the environment.
Provide Essential Nutrients
Once you have planted your garden, the fun part begins, you get to enjoy it! Be sure to keep up with watering, weeding and adding compost soil or fertilizer every few weeks to keep your garden healthy and thriving. Also consider adding other things to your garden that will help to care for and attract those sweet pollinators. Here are a few ideas: put out damp salt licks or a sponge in lightly sea-salted water for butterflies and bees, build bee condos, and put up a hummingbird feeder.
The Benefits of Creating a Pollinator Garden
Creating a pollinator garden is a wonderful way to make a positive environmental impact. The benefits of creating a pollinator garden include: reducing the effects of climate change, providing valuable nutrition to both humans and the wildlife around us and protecting our fragile ecosystem. We are constantly looking for things to stop doing to prevent climate change, but why not look for something positive you can do to improve our environment and eco-system instead.
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