You’ve probably heard that many of our crucial pollinators are disappearing and require our assistance. These nectar- and pollen-seeking animals are essential to the development of our gardens and crops.
In your garden, pollinators move pollen from flower to flower, assisting in the fertilization of fruit, vegetables, and plants. While some plants require pollinators to bear fruit at all, others are capable of self-fertilization but gain from pollinators’ larger and better yields. In addition, know the ultimate guide to survival gardening.
Among them are flies, moths, wasps, bees, birds, butterflies, beetles, and bats. Pollinators can even include larger animals like lizards and geckos. To facilitate fertilization, they all assist in moving pollen from male flowers to female flowers. Many of them are merely looking for nectar and happen to spread pollen while doing so. But because they actively seek out and spread pollen to feed their young, bees are typically regarded as our most effective pollinators.
Why Pollinators Are Crucial in Gardens
Your plants need pollinators to produce. Flowers would wither away without pollinators, never producing any fruits or vegetables. Pollinators are necessary for your plants to produce viable seeds if you want to save seeds. Even though some plants will self-pollinate in the wind, when pollinators step in to help with production, even these plants can profit and grow more prodigiously.
Pollinator Attraction Dos and Don’ts
The tens of thousands of species of pollinators and their various requirements could occupy a lifetime of study. However, there are a few fundamental, simple steps you can take right away to entice a variety of helpful pollinators.
Plant a Range of Floral Species
Different types of pollinators are drawn to flowers of various sizes, shapes, and colors, and they are active feeders at various times of the year. So that your pollinators have a never-ending menu of choices, plant a variety of flowering shrubs, trees, and plants to produce blooms from early spring through late fall.
While some pollinators need easy access to pollen from simple flowers like daisies or coneflowers because of their smaller stature or shorter tongues, others need long tongues to suck nectar from foxgloves.
Pollinators are growing hungrier as cities grow and yards get smaller. Important pollinators have been drastically reduced due to a lack of food sources. However, you can still contribute by including vibrant flowers on your balcony or small yard to satisfy neighborhood nectar-seekers.
Avoid Using Pesticides
Another significant pollinator killer is pesticides. Avoid using them in your yard whenever you can, especially close to your flower garden. The fact that many pollinators, including wasps and ladybugs, eat the pests you’re trying to get rid of is one benefit of them. Protecting your pollinators will help them naturally ward off pests. Neonicotinoids are an insecticide that harms bees, so take extra care to avoid products that contain them.
Put Out Bird and Bee Baths
In many places, summers are growing longer and drier. Bees, birds, and other pollinators require backyard water sources more than ever to survive the hot months. To provide the bees with a place to safely stand without falling into the water, use a shallow dish with some rocks as a bee bath. To prevent mosquitoes, make sure to regularly change the water.
Avoid Over-Cleaning Your Yard
Nothing at all is one of the simplest things you can do to draw pollinators. Don’t get rid of every leaf. Don’t remove all the pinecones and needles with the rake. Dead logs should be left in the garden’s corner. Bees and other pollinators can use these materials to build habitats. Some even advise allowing a few clover and dandelion flowers to bloom in your yard. The pollinators adore them.
The Weeds Should Remain in Your Yard
While you should keep your garden, and beds weed-free to give your plants enough room to grow, you should think about letting the weeds grow on your lawn. Dandelions and clover, two common yard weeds, are fantastic food sources for bees and butterflies. Pollinators will be drawn to your yard by the abundance of blooms, where they will happily spend time pollinating your lovely garden as well.
Attract Pollinators to Your Garden
Use top-notch soil that offers the kind of environment their roots will adore to give the plants in your pollinator garden a strong start. In addition, find out what grows best in wet soil.
Blend It Up
Pollinators react differently to various colors. Hummingbirds fly to blooms with red tones first, while bees favor blue, yellow, white, and purple hues. Red and purple hues are butterflies’ favorites. Choose plants that bloom at various times, so you can have blossomed throughout the growing season and cover your yard with flowers in a rainbow of colors. Planting flowers with a variety of bloom forms some tall, some short, some wide, and some narrow will aid in attracting pollinators from a range of habitats.
Provide Pollinators with a Source of Clean Water
Even bees and butterflies experience thirst and require water to survive. Each year, many of these tiny creatures perish while attempting to get a drink and slipping. Consider including a watering dish with rocks in it so that there is lots of room to remain dry while drinking.
Combine More of One Plant with It
Bees and butterflies can more easily pollinate your plants when you plant a large area of the same thing. If you don’t have the space for this, you can benefit from gardening techniques like square foot gardening that allow you to grow more plants in a smaller area. The bees will come to your yard to further explore if you have flower beds and pots with lots of the same flowers.
Utilize Organic Methods
This one can be challenging and time-consuming. The use of OMRI-certified organic products is not implied. Pollinators can be severely harmed by products that are not harmful to humans or plants. Neem oil is a prime illustration.
Give Shelter and Water
If you give the pollinators food and water, they will look for a place to live and frequently find tiny cracks in your home where they can rest and reproduce. Simply construct or purchase an insect hotel and be sure to place it in a shaded area of your vegetable garden, to avoid this. Many flowers that attract pollinators are vulnerable to damage from slugs and snails.