Pollinators will aid in the success of your food garden. However, how can you get bees and other pollinators to visit? These guidelines will assist you in attracting more pollinators to your yard.
What Pollinators Are the Most Beneficial?
Let’s talk about pollinators for a minute. While most people think of bees when they think of pollinators, there are a variety of different insects and animals that will pollinate your veggies and fruits.
Butterflies, ants, moths, wasps, flies, and beetles may all contribute to the pollination of your food crop. Even bats and birds, to their surprise, may assist in pollination.
Bees, birds, and butterflies will be the emphasis of this essay since they pollinate the most and are the simplest to attract to your garden. And, in many cases, what you do to attract one pollinator will also help you attract others.
Flowering Plants for Your Vegetable Garden
Adding flowers to your vegetable garden is one of the finest methods to attract pollinators. However, not just any flowers will suffice. There are a few things you need know, such as which flowers attract bees and how to place them so that the bees can locate them quickly.
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Plant flowers in clusters.
If you place your flowers in groups, bees and other pollinators will have an easier time finding them. Instead of planting one coneflower and one sunflower here and there, group them together. For your bees and birds, a large swath of flowers is almost like a landing zone at the airport.
A gathering of sunflowers on the north side of your garden and some low-growing zinnas on the south or east side will feed the bees while also providing you with blooms to cut and bring inside.
Planting oregano, rosemary, and sage together will give flavor for your meals as well as a pollinator smorgasbord.
Plant specific flower varieties.
Pollen collection is simpler for bees on single flowers than on double blooms. Coneflowers, asters, sunflowers, and, of course, daisies, all have daisy-like flowers that attract bees better than roses and peonies.
Zinnias, for example, are available in single and double forms. Choose solitary flowers if you have the option to attract the most bees.
Many birds, particularly hummingbirds, enjoy cone-shaped flowers like trumpet honeysuckle and lilies. Our hummingbirds like the crimson salvia in front of our house.
Also, pick native species when selecting pollinator-friendly plants. Plants that are native to your region will attract birds, bees, and butterflies, rather than that one-of-a-kind specimen that you try to maintain alive each year.
Choose floral hues that will attract the pollinators you want.
According to research, certain flower hues are more likely to attract bees than others. Flowers in the hues blue, white, yellow, and purple are very attractive to bees.
While other colors of flowers may appeal to bees, blue, white, yellow, and purple seem to be their favorites. So, to attract more pollinators, put a couple of those hues in your food garden.
Red flowers are preferred by hummingbirds. The hummingbird feeders are crimson for a purpose. (Public Service Announcement – If you use those feeders, make sure they’re clean and the syrup is replaced twice a week.) Red food coloring should not be used. It has the potential to be poisonous to birds. The red on the feeder is all it takes to entice them in.)
Hummingbirds will flock to your yard if you plant a cluster of red flowers or ones with a trumpet shape.
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Plant flowers to provide color to your home all year.
Rather of growing a single species of flower that only blooms in the summer, consider planting a variety of flowers that bloom at various periods. Planting a variety of flowers throughout the year will provide food for bees and other pollinators.
Plant peas, hellebores (Lenton Rose), bleeding hearts, and lungworts in the spring. These flowers will provide nectar and pollen to bumblebees when they emerge from hibernation early in the year. (Fun fact: Honeybees don’t go dormant over the winter.) In the cold, they cuddle close, vibrating to stay warm. They will come out of their nest on warmer days.)
Plants for summer color are typically not difficult to get by. Many popular flowers and plants, such as salvia, yarrow, oregano, daisies, and bee balm, attract pollinators. Bean blooms, squash and zucchini flowers, and cucumbers are all flowers that attract pollinators to your food garden.
Asters and sunflowers are especially good at bringing pollinators to your yard in the autumn. Allow a plant or two to blossom and go to seed when your basil begins to wilt in late summer or early autumn. The basil in my backyard garden seems to be a favorite of the bees.
Pesticides should not be used.
Avoiding the use of pesticides is one method to assist maintain the pollinators you do attract. Many organic insecticides may damage bees as well. If you must use a chemical pesticide, do it in the afternoon and keep it a way from the blossoms of any blossoming vegetables.
If you don’t use pesticides, you shouldn’t use them on your grass, either. For bees and other insects, dandelions and clover supply much-needed food.
Provide a Water Supply
Pollinators such as bees and birds need water, so providing a water supply near your vegetable garden can help attract them and keep them coming back. A small container filled with stones is an excellent method to offer water to bees. Add a few stones to a birdbath to provide a location for bees and butterflies to settle and drink.
Butterflies enjoy somewhat murky water, thus a persistent mud puddle may provide them with plenty of water and nutrition. If there are no puddles nearby, they will drink from the same water source as bees.
Pollinator Habitats Should Be Protected
While most people associate bees with hives, many bees actually build their nests under the ground. And, contrary to popular belief, around 70% of bees are solitary organisms.
Don’t till your garden to conserve bee habitats. Tilling upsets their nesting sites and may result in the death of the bees. While we love mulch as gardeners, try to keep at least a few places unmulched. This provides a home for the bees.
Make hiding spots for birds, bees, and butterflies. Pollinators may survive and hide under a few old rocks or a tiny brush pile. You may also keep birds and bees close by by providing fake nesting boxes.
Some plants, by their very nature, attract more pollinators than others. It’s not only flowers that draw people in. These lists of fairly common plants can help you determine what to grow in your vegetable garden to attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
Attractive plants for bees
Bees like a wide variety of flowers, herbs, fruits, and even vegetables. Some of these are almost certainly already flourishing in your garden.
- Button of a bachelor
- black-eyed susan is a kind of black-eyed susan.
- bumblebee balm (monarda)
- flower in a blanket (gaillardia)
- hearts in scabs
- bumblebee balm
- sage pineapple
- Glories of the morning
- bumblebee balm
- myrtle crepe
Plants including zinnias, nasturtiums, bee balm, asters, yarrow, and oregano may be included on more than one list. These plants are great for attracting a wide range of pollinators to your yard.
In conclusion, attracting pollinators will almost certainly boost the yield of your garden. However, the plants you use may both feed and beautify your garden. Another way to enjoy the beauty of a vegetable garden is to sit on the porch in the early morning or late evening while the birds sing and the bees swarm about.
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