Easy Tips For Growing A Pollinator Garden!
Creating a pollinator garden specifically tailored to the New England region can help support local pollinators and enhance the natural beauty of your yard. Here are some ideas for a New England pollinator garden:
Native Plant Selection
Focus on incorporating native plant species that are well-suited to the New England climate and provide nectar, pollen, and habitat for local pollinators. Some examples of native plants include wild columbine, milkweed, asters, goldenrod, bee balm, New England aster, purple coneflower, Joe-Pye weed, and black-eyed Susan.
Plan your garden to have a variety of plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season. This provides a consistent food source for pollinators from early spring to late fall. Include early bloomers like bloodroot and trillium, mid-season plants like coneflowers and black-eyed Susans, and late bloomers like goldenrod and asters.
Incorporate plants of different heights and forms to provide diverse habitats and foraging opportunities. Combine taller plants like sunflowers or Joe-Pye weed with mid-sized flowers such as butterfly weed or bee balm, and lower-growing plants like creeping phlox or moss pink. Include shrubs and trees like viburnums or serviceberries for additional structure and shelter.
Include a shallow water source like a birdbath or a small pond with rocks or pebbles to provide water for pollinators. Be sure to keep the water source clean and refill it regularly to maintain its freshness.
Groupings and Clusters
Plant flowers in clusters or drifts rather than single specimens. This helps pollinators easily locate and access the nectar and pollen sources. Grouping plants of the same species together also increases the chances of successful pollination.
Minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden. Pesticides can harm pollinators, so opt for organic and sustainable pest management practices, such as companion planting, crop rotation, and natural pest predators.
Add Native Grasses
Incorporate native grasses like little bluestem, switchgrass, or Indian grass. These grasses offer shelter and nesting sites for ground-nesting bees and other beneficial insects, while also adding texture and visual interest to the garden.
Maintenance and Care
Regularly maintain the garden by deadheading spent flowers, removing weeds, and providing appropriate irrigation. This helps keep the garden healthy and attractive to pollinators.
Remember, it's essential to research and choose plants that are native to your specific location in New England to best support the local pollinator populations. Consulting with local garden centers, native plant societies, or extension services can provide further guidance on suitable plant species for your area.