How to Attract Pollinators to your Garden
Some plants in your vegetable garden need to be pollinated. Some of these can be done by hand, but you may want to attract natural pollinators like bees instead.
There are many reasons to grow flowers in your yard, but if you want squash or cucumbers then make sure they’re pollinated! When it comes to fruit trees and berries there’s a whole other set of considerations for both the bees and butterflies that will visit.
One thing is certain: having plants blooming at different times during the year helps out with pollination. This gives pollen-gathering insects more to choose from on those days when their favorite plant isn’t flowering yet.
Use Flowers to Attract Pollinators
Attract beneficial insects to live in your garden by planting a variety of flowers that those helpful bugs find attractive. The more diversity you have, the better!
Some plants that attract pollinators include lavender, sunflowers, and geraniums. Not only should you plant flowers like this around the outer edge of your garden, but also in among your vegetables if your garden layout has room.
Some gardeners like to alternate their rows so that some are vegetables and the next row is flowers. You don’t want your flower plants to overshadow or outgrow your vegetable crops, which need plenty of sunlight in order for them grow well.
Types of Flowers to Repel Pests
Planting flowers to help with pollination is easy! Some popular choices are Borage, Calendula, California poppy and Chamomile. Nasturtiums are used as traps for pests while Marigolds emit a natural chemical which repels insects who feast on plants like tomatoes.
Add Variety to Attract Diverse Pollinators
The flowers in your garden are not just for looking pretty. Some of these plants also offer food and repellent benefits to protect nearby vegetable gardens from pests. Some of these harm both the crops above ground and below.
Not all pollinators are attracted to the same color, so it’s a good idea to switch it up and have reds, pinks, yellows and other colors. You’ll find out pretty quick which insects like which colors. Such as bees preferring yellow, while butterflies seem more attracted to reds.
Start a Butterfly Garden
Do you want more pollinators visiting your backyard? Start a butterfly garden and combine flowering plants with the right soil conditions. Butterfly weed, Joe-Pye weeds, honeysuckle bushes attract bees because they are all nectar sources for their favorite food: pollen!
Make sure you don’t plant poisonous plants anywhere near the food you’ll be eating because they not only repel the helpful organisms but poison humans too! Oleander is an example of a toxic plant.
Do some research to see which companion plants attract more of the kinds of insects that you want in your garden as well as repel unwanted insects. Not all vegetables should be grown side-by-side, but certain vegetable gardens or insect farms are designed so that these natural partners grow together for maximum benefit. Mainly, by attracting good bugs with one plant while repelling bad ones with another!