Pollinators are responsible for one out of three bites of food we eat! Pollinators—butterflies, bees, and moths—also help repopulate plants and add diversity to the environment, making an ecosystem more resilient. Unfortunately, pollinators are in decline. Gardeners are crucial to helping reverse this trend. The simple action of sowing seeds is powerful. It can create habitats that protect and feed pollinators, strengthening their population.
The Four “P”s of Pollinator-Friendly Gardening
1. Plant flowers: Provide food for pollinators by sowing flowers, especially native varieties.
2. Plant diversity: Plant a diversity of bloom times, colors, and heights. By staggering bloom times, you provide a reason for pollinators to call your garden home throughout the growing season. Some pollinators are very small and need very small, open flowers in order to access the pollen or nectar. Sow a diversity of flower shapes and sizes, usually simpler (single vs. double petal) varieties of flowers work for more species.
3. Provide water: In your water feature, create small islands with stones where pollinators can land and climb in and out of the water.
4. Pass on pesticides: Look for organic ways to block pests, disrupt their life cycle, and invite their predators. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques utilize simple solutions, such as using a fabric row cover to block pests. Sowing varieties like alyssum and allowing dill to flower both attract beneficial and predatory insects.
Our friends at Botanical Interests® seeds have created a pollinator-friendly custom-blend flower seed mix, and 100% of the profits go directly to the Pollinator Partnership, whose mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. At this great price, pick up a few packs! (Sku 700608, $1.00)