How to attract pollinators to your garden
Pollinators rule when it comes to growing a garden. Here are tips on How to attract pollinators to your garden. Following these easy gardening tips and your garden will thrive when pollinators visit.
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Attracting pollinators to your garden is one of the best things you can do to help your garden produce more food. While you may know that pollinators are important, many people are surprised to discover just how much better their gardens do when they make an effort to make their gardens friendly for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Why pollinators are so important in your garden
Pollinators are vital for your plants to produce. Without pollinators, the flowers will die off without ever making any fruits and vegetables. If you are looking to save seeds your plants need pollinators to help make the seeds viable. While some plants will self pollinate in the wind even these plants can benefit and grow more prolifically when pollinators jump in to help with production.
How to attract pollinators to your garden
Each little thing you do to help make your garden more inviting to pollinators will help your garden thrive and you can keep making more steps every year until you have a wonderfully pollinator-friendly garden.
Plant more flowers
The more flowers in your garden the more pollinators will want to visit. This can be done by planting flowering herbs in your vegetable garden you can help encourage pollinators to visit. Another great option is to plant a wildflower bed near your garden to provide food for native pollinators. The more flowers the better.
To help keep pollinators coming to your garden and to help keep them fed so the population will go up you can plan your flower beds to have a continuous succession of blooms from early spring till the first hard frost. From daffodils to mums there are flowers that will bloom at each part of the season.
Leave the weeds in your yard
While you should keep your garden beds weeded to ensure that they have enough room for your plants to grow you should consider leaving the weeds in your lawn. Common yard weeds like dandelions and clover are amazing food sources for bees and butterflies. Having a yard full of blooms will help attract pollinators to your yard where they will happily spend time pollinating your beautiful garden as well.
Add a hummingbird feeder
Many people do not think about hummingbirds, they think about pollination but these small birds are great for pollinating your garden and even eating all unwanted insects like aphids and ants. To help attract these pollinators to your garden be sure to add a hummingbird feeder that you properly clean and restock every couple of days.
Build a bug house
Bug houses are a great way to invite beneficial insects to your garden including solitary bees that will act as pollinators to help your garden thrive. Make sure your bughouse is made of natural materials that have not been treated with chemicals that could hurt the insects you want in your garden.
Provide a safe water source for pollinators.
Bees and butterflies get thirsty too and need water for survival. Many of these small creatures die each year by trying to get a drink and losing their footing. try adding a watering dish that has rocks in it so that there is plenty of space to stay dry while taking a drink.
Plant more of the same plant together.
When you plant a big patch of the same thing you are making it easier for the bees and butterflies to pollinate your plants. If you do not have room for this you can take advantage of gardening methods that put more plants together in a smaller space like square foot gardening. Flower beds and pots with many of the same flowers are great for attracting the bees to your yard where they will further explore.
Plant plenty of native plants
Pollinators are native to a specific area and tend to gravitate to native plants that they are best suited for. This doesn’t mean that they will not seek out your other plants but means that adding native plants to your yard and garden will help to attract more pollinators to your garden where they will continue to work.
What plants are great for attracting pollinators?
Milkweed – This plant is essential to helping the monarch butterfly thrive. This endangered butterfly prefers milkweed and will visit your garden where they’ll lay their eggs on the plant and pollinate other flowers in your garden.
Coneflower – Coneflower or Mechanica is a popular purple flower that attracts butterflies while having medicinal uses.
Black-Eyed Susan – This flower is well known for its ability to attack bees and butterflies making it a favorite in garden beds.
Morning glory – If you want a flower that will attract bees and hummingbirds while not taking up a lot of space you can not go wrong with classic morning glories that can be grown up a fence, over an arbor, or on a trellis leaving more space in your garden.
What not to do when you want pollinators in your garden
Do not buy your plants from a big box store where the seedlings are transplanted from one state to another. These plants are sprayed with harmful pesticides to help prevent the spread of harmful insects from one place to another.
These Chemically sprayed plants often kill off bees and other insects that land on them in the early days after planting. This can be harmful to bees that are desperately searching out food at the start of the season.
Do not use pesticides that are harmful to beneficial insects in your garden. Using organic pest control options like neem oil and attracting insects that act as predators is the easiest way to keep insects under control without harmful chemicals that will kill off the good insects with the bad.
Do not clean out your garden beds too soon. More and more people are realizing that beneficial insects like butterflies and ladybugs are wintering over in the fall leaves, garden beds, and old plants. To help give these small creatures a chance to avoid cleaning everything out for the year until after things have warmed up a bit and the new eggs have had the chance to hatch.