Preparing Your Garden for Beneficial Pollinators

You may already have a variety of vegetables and flowers growing in your garden.

But to make it an even healthier and productive ecosystem, you will need to make it pollinator-friendly by creating a safe haven they can’t resist. In return, they will stick around and help you maximize the growth potential of your garden space. 

Pollinators help us fertilize our plants, assuming a crucial role in the production of seeds and veggies. Pollination in your garden also encourages photosynthesis to take place, which ensures better plant growth and cleaner air for us to breathe.

A pollinator-friendly garden

The key to a pollinator-friendly garden are the plants you choose to grow. Having a diverse selection of plants is important, such as herbs and native flowers that bloom at different times of the year. This will help provide a steady supply of nectar and pollen, and encourage your pollinators and beneficial insects to stay throughout the year. 

Milkweed attracts butterflies to your garden | Vego Garden

Caterpillars feed on milkweed

No pollinator garden is complete without bees, and having a variety of flowers is the key to attracting them. Plant some coneflowers, sunflowers, or lavender and you will start to see them buzzing around your garden in no time. To attract butterflies to your yard, goldenrod, ironweed and bright colored asters are some of their favorites, while caterpillars love to feed on milkweed and dill. 

Attract hummingbirds to your garden | Vego Garden

Other important pollinators to have around include hummingbirds, which are known to visit up to thousands of flowers a day as one of the most prolific pollinators. Some varieties of hornets and wasps also act as pollinators, as do moths. Moths are basically nocturnal butterflies that pollinate plants at night. 

Depending on your local climate and soil conditions, wildflowers and native plants are both excellent choices to make your garden more pollinator-friendly. For flowers, focus on perennials as an easy and low-maintenance option, and be sure to select ones that have not been treated with pesticides or neonicotinoids.

Consider choosing plants and flowers that bloom at different times of the year, this will help you build a vibrant, diverse and colorful garden that is also a pollinator haven with abundant food sources all year round.

Choose the right spot 

The best spot in the garden to add your pollinator-friendly plants is usually the area with the most sunshine, as most pollinator plants have flowers that need ample sunlight to grow. Once you have found your spot, start planting at the right time of the year - which is usually early spring or summer, especially if you are starting from seeds.

Provide water 

Bees drinking from birdbath | Vego Garden

Just like all living things, pollinators also need water to grow and thrive. Including small pools, ponds or a birdbath with rocks in your garden, as a water source that doubles as a resting place - allowing pollinators to land safely and access the water with ease.

Give shelter 

Apart from food and water; pollinators will be more likely to stay if your garden provides them shelter as well. Incorporate piles of rocks, leaves or hollow plant stems in your yard as shelter for bees and butterflies. Also consider leaving some wild plants in your garden as nesting habitats.

Refrain from pesticide use 

To truly make your garden a safe haven for pollinators, it is important to avoid using pesticides with harmful chemicals. While they can repel pests, they are usually harmful to beneficial insects as well, affecting their ability to pollinate. Opt for holistic and natural pest control methods instead to ensure a pollinator-friendly environment. 

Inspire fellow gardeners

Finally, it is recommended to share your efforts in building pollinator gardens with friends and fellow gardeners who have a passion for sustainable gardening. We can truly make a difference to the environment by joining hands to support eco-friendly practices. 

By following these steps, you can create gardens that not only pleases the eye, but also support thriving ecosystems that will benefit all of us! Happy gardening! 

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