Last week was National Pollinator Week. While internet outages and family obligations prevented this post from going live in the correct week, our pollinators deserve an extended celebration.

Bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds all serve as pollinators for plants in our landscape. Here are a few tips to help you attract a variety of pollinators to your garden.

  • Plant flowers that are attractive to different kinds of pollinators. Each pollinator has preferences that can include flower shape, color, and scent. Plant native plants to attract native pollinators.
  • Try to have flowers blooming throughout the entire growing season – spring, summer, and fall. Having multiple plants blooming at any time is best.
  • Provide a habitat for pollinators’ young. Plant host plants for caterpillars, provide cover and nesting areas for birds and bees.
  • Use Integrated Pest Management. Remove pests manually if possible. Avoid or use pesticides minimally, following all labeled instructions. If pesticide use is necessary, spray when pollinators are less active.
  • Provide a water source. A birdbath, pond, or shallow basin allows pollinators to have a drink or bathe while visiting your garden.

If you haven’t “liked” the NC Extension Master Gardeners page on Facebook, I recommend it: https://www.facebook.com/NcExtensionMasterGardeners There were so many fascinating posts about pollinators last week.

For more information, including plant lists and pollinator photos, visit http://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-pollinatorconservation/

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-Ann Barnes