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Five Tips For Pollinator Garden Success

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Five Tips For Pollinator Garden Success. Growing a pollinator garden encourages and supports the drastically declining wild and domestic populations of pollinators. Attracting bees, butterflies and birds is a fun and important project. These five tips will help you encourage pollinators in your own backyard garden.

Bee in Borage. Pollinators LOVE Borage!

Bees of all types goes crazy over Borage. It blooms for months supporting bees and attracting them to our garden. Our tomato harvest next to this borage was easily tripled! So borage will be staying in our garden!

Dave and I noticed several years ago our local pollinators were struggling. We live in a large rural wooded and fielded area. Our property is large with diverse natural, domestic and planted landscaped areas. Pollinator heaven, you would think! We decided we needed  to support the bees

Join us this week for another Tuesday In The Garden Blog Hop! Our theme for this hop is Garden tips!  At the bottom of this post you will find links to all the other contributors for this blog hop. I know you will enjoy visiting each of these gardeners blogs.

Helping our Pollinators

Do you love colorful flowers in your yard or patio? Is companion planting with flowers something you want to try in your veggie garden or greenhouse? Pollinators are here to help make your fruits and veggies abundant. Bees, butterflies and birds of all sorts will busily pollinate your flowering trees, plants, herbs and bushes from early spring to late Fall until the cold forces them into hibernation.

Bee on Cone Flower

Bee on Cone Flower or Echinacea.

 

Watch as bees of many varieties ATTACK our late blooming False Aralia bush in this quick video. This is November 10th on a warm day. I was amazed by this frenzy of activity outside my living room window.

Bees of all sorts are dying off

That’s a big part of the reason we went organic in our garden, yard and property management. I also began feeding the hummingbirds in early spring. Next, I may start bird feeders and nests for the Mason bees. All of our beneficial garden friends need our support. Butterflies require particular plants to draw and support their populations. Please check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for more local information.

The commercial honey bee population is in serious trouble. Our commercial hive populations are now down about 50 percent in the U.S.. Other pollinators are also declining. Some of the wild populations of bees and butterflies like the Mason and Bumble bees and Monarch Butterfly are dwindling dangerously.  The Rusty Mason Bee is now on the endangered species list.

Pollinator Garden Tips

Bees come out when the temperatures reach about 50 degrees and the spring flowers bloom.

In very early spring through late Fall various bees need to feed

Organic potted flowers on a patio or balcony provide nectar. A shallow bowl of water will help sustain those tiny travelers. Bulbs, like Hyacinths, smell wonderful, draw the bees, and look pretty too! Plant flowers, trees and bushes in your yard that provide continual bloom throughout the year.

Bee in Borage

Bee in Dave’s Garden Borage.

Bees love purple, blue and yellow flowers making them great color choices for a pollinator garden. Even a pot of pansies is a bright spot of color that adorns the bleakness of cold dreary days and supports early spring bees.

Dandelions

Dandelions provide vital spring food to bees. Don’t poison these!

Dandelions and other spring blooming weeds are also important to pollinators. Please do NOT spray these pesky early weeds with toxins. The pollinators are highly attracted to them! Dandelions are healthy for us too! Make them into a Spring Green Smoothie!

Pollinator Garden Tips

Growing herbs for the kitchen and pollinators is a win win for your kitchen and the pollinators. This is a target  pollinator garden drawing bees and butterflies of all types. They are in there. Just too tiny to see!

Without pollinators to pollinate our food crops and the food of our meat producing animals, humans are in trouble. The diversity of our world’s plant life would severely falter without pollinated plants. Our world would lose untold flowering plants that provide pharmaceutical medicines, culinary flavors and beautification of our world. Pollinators provide one in three bites of our food. Losing these vital living resources that our food supply relies on would be very sad indeed.

Bees in Oregano

Close up of Bees in our Oregano. They go CRAZY for it!

Home gardeners can make a positive difference and enjoy our favorite hobby. Get the kids involved!

Gardening of all types is a wonderful family project. Pollinator gardens provide talking points to help children appreciate the place pollinators have in our world. This science project is highly rewarding for everyone. Pollinator gardens are lovely and useful.

Lizard tail is found in marshes and popular in backyard ponds

Pollinators love the pond plant Lizard’s tail. Bees also drink from the constantly saturated wet moss along the ponds edge.

Teach kids about their natural world. Help them learn about the ecosystem they will inherit and must protect.

Encouraging Pollinators in your Garden:

five tips for Pollinator Garden Success

Even into late fall Nasturtiums and container plants support local bees.

Find your U.S.D.A. Garden zone and look for pollinator attracting plants for your local climate. Encouraging wild populations of butterflies, bees and birds is so important. Plant native plants that the pollinators need along with your other garden choices. This will help the pollinators complete their lifecycles.

Five tips for Pollinator Garden Success

Companion Planting with Pollinator attracting flowers

Use flowers and herbs in your garden to draw bees and pollinate your flowering veggies, like tomatoes and peppers.

Our greenhouse beds (Pictured above) have nasturtiums, lobelia and marigolds growing in the tomato and pepper beds. These companion plants draw the aphids to themselves. They also attract numerous varieties of bees to our tomatoes and peppers.

Pollinate the veggies and feed the bees. Win win! Bees love the purples and orangey yellows. We love not having to spray our tomatoes with ‘Set On’ or hand shake the bushes as we did a few years ago.

  • Purple Cone Flowers support late pollinators

    Echinacea is a flowering perennial that bees love. This purple coneflower blooms late into the summer providing late bee varieties with much needed food.

    Getting off to a good start:

    •  For best diversity and  support of pollinators find out which plants your local pollinators prefer and grow them!
    • Grow non invasive flowering plants for your own sake. Many herbs (like mint and Oregano) are highly invasive and will quickly overtake other plants. If you really love these flowering herbs, (the bees sure do)  try planting invasive species in containers. We have so much room on this property, we just let them go and weed out the extras.
    • Provide a water source your pollinators can easily access without drowning. Our pond has wet moss in the shallows that is always full of thirsty bees. Deep pools of water often drown bees. Bees need constant access to a very shallow water source. A wet mossy edge on a water feature in your yard or garden can provide that.
    • Go organic! Scientists know at least part of the bee decline is due to incorrect and overuse of home garden chemicals such as neonicotinoids herbicides like Roundup. Bee colonies now have this systemic toxin in their honey and hives. That means we are eating it too when we enjoy the natural sweeteners they produce. Let’s clean up our yards!

5 Tips for Pollinator Garden Success:

Here is a pinnable image for you that Summarizes the five tips offered in this post.

5 TIPS FOR POLLINATOR GARDEN SUCCESS

The Five Tips For Pollinator Garden Success:

  1.  Ask your local nursery and food co-ops for organic herb and vegetable seeds and starts. The treated seeds and starts we pick up from our local stores and nurseries are often treated with harmful systemic chemicals that are a known contributor to bee decline.
  2. Situate your pollinator garden in a sunny area with windbreaks for protection. Place a good water source for the pollinators nearby. This provides access and protection to the bees and offers them a drink to keep going.
  3. Group colorful “pollinator targets” of native or non-invasive plants. Pollinators travel long distances, up to twelve miles a day for bees. Draw them to your yard with large colorful plantings.
  4. Create a continuous bloom cycle throughout the growing season. From early spring to late Fall with flowering bushes, perennials and annuals. Plant varieties of  annuals, bushes and perennials that bloom early (Forsythia, tulips,Lilac,Pieris,early rhododendrons). In the high summer months (roses, viburnums, Day lily, peony, butterfly bush). And late bloomers to support fall pollinators (false Aralia, mums, dahlia, gardenia).
  5. Provide nesting habitat for wild Bee and bird populations.  For example: Mason Bees pollinate even more efficiently than honey bees, are easy to manage and rarely sting. Mason bees are easy to support with nesting boxes. They do not use hives. For more information on Mason bees visit  This site . Kayti gave Dave a bee house last year and it’s Completely full of mason bees!

Five Tips for Pollinator Garden Success. Flowers that attract pollinators.

 

At the bottom of this post are links with more information on the pollinator issues. Please get informed and help save your food supply. We need pollinators, and right now they need our help.

Please Click on each of our contributor links below and enjoy blog ‘Garden talks’ and inspiration from our knowledgeable Tuesday In the Garden participants. Happy Gardening!

 

Hearth And Vine

Hearth and Vine

Frugal Family Home 17626478 1312285848818298 5954755366525838325 n

 

Simplify Live Love 17861838 10211632132066388 5716820815223567035 n 1

Angie The Freckled Rose 17800487 2976870220828 5121366467945138390 n

An Oregon Cottage: 17634529 10211087657779905 6273086352609786690 n

Creative Living with Bren Hass 17880551 10211658947242168 6272881974366005454 o

 

 

Tips for Pollinator Gardening Success-pin image

Pollinators are a vital part of our food supply and we are sharing our top tips to encourage and support pollinators in your backyard garden with design and layout ideas as well as the best plants to include. #pollinatorgarden #ideas #design #layout #nativeplants #backyard

Pin it:

Tips for creating a successful pollinator garden-pin image

Five Tips For Pollinator Garden Success. Growing a pollinator garden encourages and supports the drastically declining wild and domestic populations of pollinators. Attracting bees, butterflies and birds is a fun and important project.

Check out these links for more info on Pollinators:

A site devoted to promoting pollinators- MillionPollinatorGardens.org

Find Plants suggested for Pollinators listed here- http://www.sunset.com

More info on attracting Beneficial Bees- http://www.gardeners.com

All sort of info on various conservation issues including pollinator resources- The Xerces Society

How to build a successful pollinator garden-pin image
Five Tips For Pollinator Garden Success. Growing a pollinator garden encourages and supports the drastically declining wild and domestic populations of pollinators. Attracting bees, butterflies and birds is a fun and important project.
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Jan

Monday 10th of February 2020

Love your interest! Last year I put out slices of watermelon and the butterflies just loved them! We spent hours watching them eat those slices—till the birds discovered them! At Christmas the bees also love my white camellia bush!

Diane

Monday 10th of February 2020

Hi Jan, How interesting! I never would have thought to try watermelon for butterflies. Thanks so much for sharing your tips on supporting pollinators. I'm committed to making our property better able to sustain them. I'll be writing more on the subject. Love your input. Have a great day!

Angie

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

I’m always trying to attract pollinators to my yard! It makes me sad when I notice people close by use harsh chemicals in their yard. I really notice this decreases the population of good bugs. I love the video you included. I will have to look for that bush to add to my yard! I even keep dandelions and dead nettle in my yard for the bees. Your photos are beautiful and all the tips you shared are so helpful!

Diane

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

Thank you Angie! I am so concerned about this issue. I'm happy to know other home gardeners are taking good care of their pollinators. Too often people resort to chemicals in their yards not realizing how much of a negative impact it makes on our pollinators. My False Aralia bush is the latest blooming bush We have. Now that the bees have found it I realize how important it is to them. Going to take good care of that bush :) Have a great day and happy Gardening!

Jami

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

These tips are all spot on, Diane! I was so sad to move away from my brother-in-law's bee hives, we had incredible pollination from them. And it was fun to watch them at the bird bath, too - providing a water source is a good thing, too. :) Love that video of the active bees - in November! wow.

Diane

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

Thanks Jami, We love that our neighbor has bee hives! They are already buzzing around a bit even in this cold rainy spring.I hope you are enjoying gardening in your new place!

Shelly

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

Thanks for so many great tips! We plant flowers around our yard and we feed hummingbirds year round. I plant my mint in pots to keep it confined and the bees just love it. They also love the raspberries and blueberries. I love it when I see bees in our garden.

I also have grown artichokes and let some go to flower. They really attract the bees to the garden.

Last year I kept noticing dead bees caught in spider webs in our pole beans. We didn't get many beans last year and I think it was because a spider living in the beans kept killing the bees. I searched for that darn spider to kill it but I could never find it. I'm hoping that doesn't happen again.

Diane

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

Yikes! Shelly I have never would have thought spiders could kill so many bees like that. It's fun to garden for the pollinators. I'm going to get some Mason nesting boxes too.

Michelle Marine

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

I love that picture of the spider web, Diane! Beautiful. Great tips - I always look out for bees and butterflies in my garden too. I'm thrilled every year when I find them. They are hard workers and we can't garden without them. <3

Diane

Tuesday 11th of April 2017

Hi Michelle, Our beautiful gardens are a perfect place to increase pollinator health and habitat. Bringing about a solution in our own backyards is the best way to make a positive difference for them and keep our gardens diverse and plentiful. Have a great start to spring gardening!

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