Create a Pollinator Garden
The food you eat and the wine you drink are all possible thanks to pollinators. In fact, 80 to 85 percent of our food and clothing are the products of pollinators, like butterflies, bees, bats and birds.
But due modern farming practices and climate change, the pollinator population is on the decline. The good news is, we can help them by planting a pollinator friendly garden this summer.
Here’s how you can build a pollinator friendly garden this summer (get the kids involved, too!):
Easy Steps to Planting a Butterfly Garden
Pick your site
- Make sure there is a lot of sun, plenty of water, and room to grow
- Go online or talk to experts in your area about native plants that attract butterflies and pollinators
- Determine when to plant
- Make sure to get a variety of host plants and nectar plants as well as annuals and perennials. More diversity and variety will attract more pollinators.
- Great resources for plant lists for pollinators include:
- Loosen the soil where you will plant, remove rocks and break up clumps of soil, dig down a couple of inches
- Remove grass, weeds, and invasive plants
- Bring in more soil, compost, or other organic matter if necessary
- Consider including flat stones where butterflies can rest and bask in the sun
- Also consider including a shallow pan with course sand: butterflies “puddle” in wet sand or soil to collect minerals
- Consider a bird bath or other shallow water source
- Follow directions from your local nursery or that comes with the plants, making sure to leave enough room between plants for them to spread and grow
- Water after planting, especially at the beginning to help the roots fown
- To help keep weeds and invasive plants from coming back, spread a thick layer of mulch around your plants.
- Even better, put cardboard or wet newspaper down around the plants before you mulch
- The hardest part of any garden is maintenance.
- Follow instructions to care for your plants including water requirements and pruning
- Make sure to weed the area on a regular basis so your plants thrive and provide the food and shelter pollinators need
Resource: Creating a Pollinator Garden from pollinator.org
- Steps for Creating Butterfly Garden
- Steps to Planting a Butterfly Garden
- Butterfly garden slides with speaking points
- Butterfly Garden Ballot
- Butterfly Garden Plant Identification Marker for Aster
- Butterfly Garden Plant Identification Marker for Monarda
- Butterfly Garden Plant Identification Market for Russian Sage
- Pollinator Meadow Sample Ballot
- Wildlife Refueling slides with speaking points
- Wildlife Refueling Station Class Ballots