Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Pollinator Garden

Would you like to grow a Pollinator Garden? Now is the time to start planning what pollen plants to use that will help pollinators thrive from spring through fall.

Early spring: Winters are cold and pollinators rely on blooming trees in spring, but early-blooming flowers will help provide additional resources.
Agrostemma                                                          Osteospermun
Baby Blue-Eyes                                                     Parsley
Bishop’s Flower/Ammi magjus                             Pea
California poppy                                                    Poppy
Cerinthe                                                                 Sweet Alyssum
Chives Clarkia                                                       Viola
Clover Dianthus                                                    Wallflower

Late spring through summer: Choices abound. Many pollinator favorites are annuals that can be easily, and inexpensively, grown from seed.
Bachelor’s buttons
Basil                                                                      Lovage
Black-eyed Susan                                                 Monarda
Blanket flower/Gaillardia                                      Portulaca
Borage                                                                  Squash, Pumpkin
Butterfly Flower/Asclepias                                   Thyme
Calendula                                                              Tickseed/Coreopsis

Late summer into fall:  Sunflowers, agastache, herbs and marigolds supplement late blooming perennials to help sustain pollinators into the fall.
Amaranth                                                             Salvia
Cleome                                                                 Scabiosa
Dahlia                                                                   Sunflower
Marigold                                                               Zinnia
Mexican sunflower/Tithonia

-       Flowers clustered in clumps of at least four feet in diameter are more attractive to pollinators. But don’t let this deter you if you own a small garden, just plant more then one plant. Any odd number combination, three, five, seven is more pleasing to look upon and we will also be enjoying the garden.
-        A succession of flowering plants that lasts from spring to fall will support a wide range of bee species.
-        Flowers of different shapes will attract different types of pollinators.
-         Pesticides are a major threat to insect pollinators, so I caution against using any organics’ as they can be just as deadly as a chemical.
-        The value, in dollars, of pollinator’s services to our food business is estimated to upwards of $4 billion.
     So why not consider a pollinator garden.  As well as helping the pollinators, we have the joy of seeing flowers from spring till fall, and winter is only around the corner and it seems to last longer the older I get.

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