I consider myself a natural gardener, or at least as natural as I can be. No ‘store bought’ potting soil, no chemicals, just as organic as possible. One of the best ways to help your vegetable garden (and flower beds) is to encourage more pollinators to take up residence. Those hummers, butterflies, bees (and even birds and bats) are a crucial component to the health and well being of your gardens. When you have an abundance of pollinators you know you’re doing something right!
Some gardeners, even organic gardeners can sometimes find it difficult to beckon enough beneficial bugs and critters to their property but there are some things you can do to entice them!
Ways to Attract More Pollinators to your Garden:
#1: Get Rid of Toxic Pesticides and Weed Killers
If you’re a natural or organic gardener you’re probably already doing the most important things to attract pollinators, but you have to think about non-selective pesticides and weed-killers. There’s a lot of both pesticides and weed-killers that can runoff causing trouble down the way. Do your best to avoid altogether any chemical pesticide and weed-killers
More natural, organic gardening practices will aid in creating a welcoming environment for these beneficial creatures and make it easier for them to live in and pollinate your garden.
#2: Plant the Right Flowers
Did you know that some pollinators are just downright picky? Some like certain flowers better than others. Hummingbirds and bees like bright colors and bell shaped flowers (makes sense doesn’t it?). Flat top flowers are preferred by butterflies. Flowers such as sunflowers, salvia, bee balm, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, and blanket flower are all flat-ish providing nice landing spots.
If you don’t know which to plant consider planting flowers that are native to your area. Mother Nature put them in your locale for a reason. Learn to embrace local and regional flowers. The more variety you have blooming the better your chances of attracting the right pollinators and beneficial insects all season long.
The Monarchs have been asking for our help. If you can find them, purchase local milkweed and plant in your yard to help out the butterflies. Do NOT dig from the roadside. The milkweed growing in the roadside ditches is mature, leave it be, besides a mature milkweed doesn’t transplant well due to it’s long taproot.
#3: Provide Shelter
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Once you’ve attracted those bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden be sure to provide some kind of shelter for them. You don’t need to buy ‘butterfly houses’ just made sure to leave a rotting log, or provide plants with large leaves.
#4 Nourishment & Hydration
While butterflies (and other beneficial insects) will be attracted to a natural environment filled with colorful flowers they also need food and water. Hummingbird feeders not only feed the hummingbirds, but butterflies are attracted to them too. A birdbath or shallow dish will provide water for birds and butterflies (and bees…)
Always change out the water on a regular basis as mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.
By losing the chemicals and adding more flowers you should be able to attract more friendly pollinators to your garden.