A buzzword currently heard a lot at Sargent’s is pollinators. Without them, humans and wildlife wouldn’t have much to eat or see. Pollinators play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables. Research suggests that some of our pollinators are in decline and many are wondering how to reverse this decline and bring back the pollinators. Are there things we can do? Thankfully, the answer is yes and it can begin in our own yards.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started in the right direction:
- Provide a diversity of nectar and pollen sources. Choose plants that flower at different times of the year and have a variety of flower colors and shapes to attract different pollinator groups (birds, bats, bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, etc.)
- Think about planting in clumps rather than single plants.
- Plant native plants. Native plants attract more native pollinators and serve as larval host plants for certain species of pollinators. As a bonus, native plants are easy to grow, drought tolerant and very tough, i.e. they can handle the demanding Midwest climate.
- Leaving patches of bare ground and brush piles will provide a “home” for a number of pollinators.
- Avoid or limit the use of pesticides. If you choose to use pesticides, follow the directions and apply responsibly.
Please visit us. Our knowledgeable staff is both willing and eager to assist you with your gardening needs and answer your questions. We offer helpful information and a variety of plant life that will enable you to create a landscape that’s not only beautiful but also inviting to our pollinators.
–Beth Philbrick, Sargent’s Garden Center Associate and Master Gardener