Tips to Create a Pollinator-Friendly Garden
Transform your backyard into a beautiful garden and a pollinator haven with the tips discussed in this article.
If you have a bare garden in your backyard, why not turn it into a pollinator haven? Creating a beautiful garden in your backyard enhances your house aesthetics and provides a perfect space for relaxing in the evening or on weekends. And caring for your lush and stunning foliage keeps you busy and uplifts your mood.
Pollinator gardens provide an essential service to nature by providing food and shelter for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects. You can create a haven for these valuable creatures by incorporating bee-friendly plants into your outdoor space. Besides, you can also venture into beekeeping. Read on for our top tips to make your garden a pollinator haven.
Why is a Pollinator Garden Important?
Pollinator gardens are vital not only because they promote biodiversity but also because they help support the food web in a variety of ways. For example, as we know, honeybees are responsible for much of the world's crop production through their ability to spread pollen from one plant to another.
With pollinators, numerous species could reproduce or feed themselves adequately. Therefore, creating habitats that attract helpful pollinators is essential if we want future generations, human and non, to thrive on this planet.
How to Make Your Garden a Haven for Pollinators
Use these tips when creating your garden to make it pollinator-friendly.
• Choose Bee-friendly Flowers
Not all flowers appeal equally well to bees and other pollinators. This is because some flowers have more nectar than others, making them especially attractive as food sources.
Therefore, if you want to lure plenty of hungry bumblebees and honeybees into your yard, select flower varieties with large flat heads, such as daisies or sunflowers. They give the pollinators easy access to the nectaries within the petals. On the other hand, you must avoid flowers with small tubes or cones like lilies due to their difficulty accessing the nectar within them.
You can also opt for single or double florets over triples/quads since these require less effort when visiting each bloom, thus ensuring optimum energy conservation during flight periods between meals.
• Place Bee Hives in Your Garden
Since you are on a journey to create a pollinator-friendly garden, take it a notch higher and place a beehive in your backyard. Of course, you must choose your beehive carefully depending on the kind of bees you want to keep.
For instance, if you want to keep bumblebees, your research topic should be where do bumblebees live. This will indicate what type of flowers to plant and hive and what care is needed. And the end result is delicious honey.
• Plant Flowers that Bloom in Different Seasons
Select flowers that bloom during the different seasons to ensure your garden is always in bloom. According to many, winter is devoid of beauty and only snow, but it's not a wonder to see native wildflower species peeking out there among icy ground coverings.
During winter, you can try growing bulb flowers such as snowdrops, crocuses, arctic bells, fritillaria, and iris reticulata.
In spring, you can grow bulb flowers, such as crocuses, alliums, and allium siculum. Other flowers that are suitable for spring include borage, snapdragons, foxgloves, and poppies. But note that these flowers bloom in late spring.
• Summer and Autumn
Summer is bright, and it's always a time to enjoy nature's beauty in terms of the unique bounty of blossom-filled flowers and insects. But, if there is a time when your garden will look stunning for people and pollinators, it's summer.
When planting flowers during summer, you must differentiate between annuals, perennials, and biennials.
Annual flowers include cosmos, sweet peas, sunflowers, and nicotiana grandiflora. Perennial flowers include lavender, echinops, Agastache, Echinacea, open-flowered roses, geranium, Erigeron karvinskianus, and herbs like thyme, mint, and rosemary. And Biennial flowers include echium pininana.
Refrain From Using Pesticide
Pesticides are widely used worldwide; however, many contain harmful toxins that are harmful to pollinators. Pesticides have been linked to the reduced number of bee populations.
Some chemicals have been linked directly to the deaths of bee colonies in mere minutes of contact. Thus, avoiding pesticides and opt for natural alternatives is best. These natural alternatives include diatomaceous earth, soap oil solutions, vinegar & water mixtures, Neem moisture barriers, and physical barriers. These can sufficiently prevent infestations and prevent the death of the beneficial ones.
Ensure You Have a Source of Water
Bees need access to fresh and clean water to keep them hydrated. So place water trays strategically in your garden. It is essential to provide them with items they can perch on while drinking water, so ensure the water in the tray is shallow and place some stones in it.
Choose Plants With Fewer Petals
There are different varieties of flowers. Some have single petals, and others are multi-petaled. So, when choosing flowers for your pollinator garden, consider the number of petals.
The petals protect pollinator's food,
including pollen, nectar, and oils, which are
essential for their growth and development.
The fewer the petals, the easier the time the bees have when accessing the nectar. And the more petals, the harder the time they will have accessing the food. So while opting for single-petaled flowers is the ideal solution, mixing them up is best.
Don't Remove Weeds From Your Garden
Weeds are often viewed negatively and labeled as nuisances in gardens. However, some weeds, such as dandelions and thistles, are food sources for bees and other pollinators feasting upon them. While their stems act as shelter and nesting places for these insects.
Ensure Your Garden is Colorful
Pollinator gardens don't need to be limited to flowers; they can also include shrubs, trees, herbs, and grasses. These boast different colors and shapes to attract more wildlife.
Follow these simple tips on making your garden a heaven for pollinators. And you are assured that helpful insects such as bees will flock by the droves into your outdoor space, giving it life, energy, and charm each season.