- Pollinators — including butterflies, bees and birds — contribute to our food sources, crop production and economy.
- To continue enjoying gardens and produce, we must work to maintain pollinator populations.
- Your yard can become a beautiful pollinator haven in a few simple steps.
The sun is out and it’s time to enjoy it. If you’re completing any DIY yard projects to keep up with landscaping trends this summer, consider planting a pollinator garden. Not only do pollinator gardens add a beautiful touch of color to any yard, they also help support the environment.
Here are insights you can use to better understand the importance of pollinator gardens and advice on how to create one.
What is a pollinator garden?
A pollinator garden is created for, you guessed it, pollinators! Pollinators are any species that collects pollen from one plant and delivers it to another. It’s important that this transfer of pollen happens, because without it, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy fruit from trees, flowers from gardens or plants in nature.
Pollinators may be bees, butterflies, birds or bats. These little insects and animals play vital roles in the health and growth of our plants and ecosystem. But, due to habitat loss, pesticides and other factors, pollinators are in trouble.
Movements like the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge are driving restorative action so that pollinators have room to thrive. In fact, the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge has surpassed its goal of registering one million pollinator gardens. Raising awareness about pollinator gardens is the first step and now it’s your turn to pitch in.
Why are pollinator gardens necessary?
Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we take each day. Plus, they contribute to healthy air, rich soil, and crop production. From the growth of plants to the impact produce has on the economy, pollinators are contributing more to our daily lives than the untrained eye can see.
How can I plant a pollinator garden?
Creating a pollinator garden can be simple. In fact, with these beginner landscaping tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a breathtaking garden that serves a greater purpose in your yard. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Empty green space
- Garden tools to break the soil
- Extra dirt and mulch
- Seeds and/or plants
To begin, choose the location of your garden. Any spot in your yard will suffice, but for the biggest impact, consider that butterflies enjoy basking in the sun and insects will benefit from some shelter from gusty winds. Once you decide where to place your garden, you’ll need to prepare the soil in that spot. To do so, remove the grass and rake the dirt below. Extra soil can be added to the area if needed. After the ground is prepped, you’re able to begin planting. Consider these tips when creating your pollinator garden:
- Purchase plants that have not been treated with pesticides or insecticides, which will kill off the pollinators that we are trying to help.
- Choose a variety of pollinator plants, including colorful flowers, Black-eyed Susans and Milkweed.
- Group similar flowers together — insects tend to have favorite flowers, and creating patches of flowers will make their job of pollinating easier.
- Plant perennials to ensure that your pollinator garden will last year after year.
Once your garden is complete, you can enjoy its beauty and the company of the pollinators. Be sure to follow the “Three W’s” of gardening during this time:
- Watch the growth and progress of your pollinator garden.
- Water your flowers to keep them healthy and strong.
- Weed the garden if necessary.
Keep in mind, a pollinator garden can be any size. So, if you only have space on the balcony of a condo, you may still consider adding pollinator-friendly planters on your deck to create a small, yet effective space of refuge for pollinators.
If you’re hoping to continue enjoying the sweet taste of honey and the sight of colorful summer gardens, it’s time to protect our pollinators. Give bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects and animals a safe haven by planting a pollinator garden where you have space. And, if you’re hoping to spruce up your home to sell this summer, reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents for additional help.
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