June 21-27 is National Pollinator Week!
Did you know that we are just entering into National Pollinator Week! We can all support “the birds and the bees” (and the butterflies, bats and other native species) in our home gardens. If you are growing fruits and vegetables it is critical to make a pollinator friendly habitat for successful food production.
A pollinator-friendly garden contains a variety of flowering plants that provide blooms from spring to fall. This will support the food needs of those small creatures throughout the season. Look for plants that have different flowering schedules or plant a variety throughout the season.
Here are three tips for making your garden “pollinator-friendly!”
Add flowers where you can! Some plants from the previous seasons may have “overwintered” in your garden and might be going to seed. These plants give additional pollinator support to your garden without any additional plant costs. So – if your cool season greens are bolting and flowering, leave them in the garden for a while until the rest of the flowers start to show! Another great practice is to “interplant” edible flowers with your vegetables. These violas (photo) can be used to garnish salads or drinks and will attract pollinators to help fertilize those zucchini plants once they flower! Try this with any fruiting plants that need cross pollination (cukes, zukes, melons, winter squash).
A water source is also critical to support pollinators. Give these creatures the liquid they need to survive and flourish in our long dry summers! Something as simple as a shallow dish, or more artsy like a decorative birdbath or hummingbird feeder or something as creative as these cute little bee cups! Just keep your vessels filled with fresh water!
Most importantly, make sure you garden using sustainable methods. Avoid using ANY chemical pesticides in the garden as you will be impacting “good” insects and songbirds as you try to get rid of the “pests.” There are alternative natural methods to keep pests under control. And you certainly don’t want to be eating those chemicals either!
Do what you can this year to support the natural world and improve your edible garden productivity! Reach out if you have a space you want to transform! I am happy to help you become Good to Grow in 2021! See you at the Wallingford Market!