Hot Garden Trend: Pollinator Gardening

Pollinator gardening refers to growing a healthy garden where pollinators can nest and gather nectar and pollen from the flowers. This type of garden help in preserving essential pollinators. In turn, these pollinators will help in making any garden thrive.

What You Should Consider

Did you know that 75 percent of the flowering plants in the world depend on pollinators? Having said that, it’s important to know that pollinators need your help.

The following are some of the things you need to consider to achieve a successful pollinator garden:
 
1. Create “landing zones” by planting in clumps as opposed to planting single plants. This will help pollinators in finding and using your garden.

2. Plant your garden in the sun. Bees like to visit flowers that are in the sun. Install a hummingbird feeder and create an artificial nectar. You can create the latter by using four parts water to one part table sugar.

3. Put something that is red in color on the feeder. Keep it free of mold by cleaning it at least twice a week using hot soapy water.

4. Place a bowl, shallow dish or birdbath and then fill with clean water for pollinators. Add half-submerged stones to allow perching.

5. Leave some areas conducive for the bees to build their nests. These can be either a bare ground or prefabricated cavities in wood. Also, leave some parts of the garden un-mulched to attract ground-nesting insects.

6. Use dead tree trunks and branches in the garden as essential sites for wood-nesting beetles and bees. You can also put a bee condo in the garden with a piece of scrap lumber that’s mounted under the leaves or to a post. Simply drill holes of varying diameter around 3 to 5 inches deep into the lumber.

7. Create a structured design by arranging the plants in your garden. By planting the tallest plants in the back part while the smaller-sized ones are planted in the front, you can have the opportunity to observe and enjoy pollinators that visit your garden.

8. Limit or eliminate using pesticides or herbicides in your garden. You can also incorporate plants that draw beneficial insects in order to control pests.

9. Create a damp area for butterflies and bees with the use of a drip irrigation line, a dripping hose, or a birdbath on bare soil. Place a small bit of wood ashes or salt into the mud and allow them to mix.

10. Choose plants with overlapping flowering times. This will allow pollinators and bees to forage continually in the garden.

11. Consider plants that are native to your region. Native plants are more likely to attract local pollinators.

12. Choose a variety of plants (at least 20 plant types) to create a garden with diverse sources of pollen and nectar.