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Planting for Pollinators
Click on the link above for a list of pollinator friendly flowers!
Pollinators love flowers! As long as you have flowers in your garden, you will likely have pollinators.
According to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), animal pollinators are needed for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants and one third of human food crops. Pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, birds, and bats.
A successful pollinator garden will have a diverse variety of plant species, with an emphasis on native plants. Natives are adapted to our climate and soil, and our native pollinators. Use a wide variety of plants that will bloom from early spring until late fall. Be sure to include some night-blooming flowers to support the moths and bats. And if you want butterflies in your garden, you will have to grow plants for their caterpillars as well. That means there will be leaf damage, so place those plants where they will be less noticeable, or be willing to accept the damage.
Also, be sure to include a water source if possible. Even a shallow dish on the ground near the garden is sufficient to allow bees and butterflies a place to drink.
And remember to leave the first dandelions of the season in the ground for the bees! Once other plants have started blooming, go ahead and dig them up. If you must use pesticides, do so sparingly, and at night, when bees are not present.