Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have likely heard about the concern surrounding the declining bee population. For good reason, we have had inquiries increase about pollinator gardens! Check out our top three tips to create your perfect pollinator garden and help the bees, as well as other pollinators, survive.
- Space Considerations
- Many people think that in order to help the bee population, you need a ton of space to plant a pollinator garden. While having a huge area in your yard dedicated to pollinators would be ideal, even those living on a very small plot of land can help out.
- If your goal is to have a thriving garden, your choice of space needs to be in an area that receives direct sunlight for a good part of the day. Pollinators love to sit in the sun and many of the flowers they enjoy require at least partial sun (6 hours a day). Be sure the area you select is not overly windy.
- Plant Considerations
- Native plant choices are ideal! The bees, butterflies, and other pollinators love plants that are meant to be in our area. See the chart below courtesy of Michigan State University and Project Green.
- Select plants that bloom not only in early Spring. Pollinators need nectar all throughout the summer and into the fall as well.
- Avoid hybrids and ‘wildflower seed packs’. Hybrids are beautiful, but they do not produce much nectar. Wildflower does not mean good pollinator plant. Some are not selected with the area they are to be planted in mind!
- Maintenance Considerations
- Select plants that will grow at various heights.
- Weed your garden bed, so plants can thrive.
- Follow guidelines for cutting back your perennials after the season.
- Select as many perennials as possible so there is less work for you each year.
For more information on pollinator gardens in Michigan, check out the resources MSU has to offer…https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/pollinator-planting/pollinator-gardens/