• Green Tip: Plant a pollinator garden

    Posted by   |  July 29, 2016
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    Bees have been experiencing some serious hardship lately due to climate change and human activity. Bees are a critical pollinator — they pollinate and fertilize fruits and vegetables we take advantage of each day.  And of course, we can’t forget that they make honey.

    With that, our green tip this week is to plant a pollinator garden!  Once you do, you can then register your garden with The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, which aims to increase the population of bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinators throughout the country!

    A pollinator garden is not only sustainable, and healthy for the population of pollinator species, it is also an outdoor activity that is easy to maintain, and helps to keep you active outside.  Gardening isn’t just for people with yards, if you live in an area where you don’t have easy access to the ground, a garden can be planted on a patio, balcony, or other covered surface in planters and large pots.

    So, what should you plant in a pollinator garden?  If you are looking to attract a wide array of pollinators, you can find a list for the types of plants that will attract different species.  You can then look up your area and select your garden plants by referencing which native plants fall into your species category.  Native plants in the Northeast include milkweed, geraniums, wild bergamot, Virginia rose, and more.  Xerces provides an extensive list of where you can purchase these native non-hybridized plants.

    Pesticides are not recommended in pollinator gardens, and they often don’t require them anyway, as the native birds and bats attracted to the area can will go after the ants and other insects that may pose a threat.

    Planting your garden is just the start. Through the seasons, it may become an aesthetic resource for you, and it will provide several benefits to the environment including serving as a sanctuary for  pollinators, a resting place. Depending on the size and layout of your garden, don’t be surprised if it becomes a home for nesting and winter shelter for a host of different pollinators!

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