ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

The importance of a pollinator friendly garden

Due to their importance to the environment, gardeners should focus on making their garden friendly to pollinators.

Sargent's Gardens.jpg
Pollinators help immensely when it comes to fostering plant diversity. (Noah Fish / Agweek)
We are part of The Trust Project.

As warmer weather makes its way into the region, some may begin to think about starting their yearly flower garden . When thinking about what flowers to plant or fertilizer to use, gardeners should also consider another important factor: How can they make their garden pollinator friendly?

Pollination plays a vital role not only in making gardens bloom beautifully, but also from a food and plant diversity standpoint.

“They are carrying that pollen and creating a diverse number of lots of different kinds of plants, which is crucial for plant diversity,” said Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota Extension educator and associate extension professor.

While many think of bees when thinking of pollinators, there are many other insects and animals that also do pollination, such as beetles, wasps, bats, certain birds and even flies. Flies come in second as the most efficient pollinator in the world.

“Primarily we think of the most efficient pollinators and those are our honeybees and native bees in Minnesota,” Weisenhorn said. “Bees pollinate 80% of the foods in the world; they are extremely important.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The bees’ physiology helps them in their pollination efficiency. The hairs on their body attract and hold pollen grains as they move from flower to flower. Bees also visit one specific type of flower, gathering pollen from all the like flowers. Then they will move on to a different type of bloom.

“This is why we recommend that people plant many flowers of the same kind, because the bees will then travel from one flower to another like flower. They will bring pollen from one flower to the next because the pollen is compatible between the flowers. It makes for a very efficient way to pollinate these plants,” Weisenhorn said.

Weisenhorn also suggests gardeners stay away from pesticides in an effort to make their garden pollinator friendly. She suggests choosing plants that will naturally thrive in the garden's natural conditions. Therefore the soil’s health, overall sunlight and available space are important factors to consider.

“Very rarely do homeowners need to use any sort of chemicals in their garden,” Weisenhorn said.

Adding blooming diversity to a garden can also help boost pollination. Gardeners should choose a variety of plants that not only flower in the summer, but also bloom in early spring and late fall as well.

Weisenhorn encourages gardeners to reach out to their local extension educators or office if they have any questions or concerns about their gardens. They can also visit https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden for more information.

What to read next
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.
The awards recognize products designed for the commercial landscape and irrigation markets and are judged by the EPG Brand Acceleration staff. Judges take into account innovation, marketability and application within the market as criteria for the awards.
The gener8tor 1889 seed fund’s goal is to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Dakota through investing in local startups and attracting new startups to the state.
Wharam is starting "Do Life Health Personalized Precision Medicine" out of her home in Thompson, North Dakota, to bring pharmacogenomics to the region. Pharmacogenomics is essentially the study of DNA to determine how an individual will respond to their medications. The service is covered by Medicare and Medicaid.