Planting a Pollinator Garden When the Bees Need It Most
There is nothing more refreshing than sitting in your garden and watching the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds make their way through your beautiful array of flowers. Its hard to remember that they are looking for food as the flit from plant to plant. During the early spring and mid to late fall planting seasons food becomes an increasing problem for pollinators. Most gardens are planted with summer flowers that bloom spectacularly throughout those warm months. With some effort you can extend their flowering season into the early fall but soon enough those flowers are replaced by seed heads which provide neither nectar nor pollen (though they do produce food for the birds as they prepare for the cold weather too). Slated to increase by $10 billion by the end of 2018, the home and garden market is becoming an increasingly popular activity in the United States.
Near the end of summer into the beginning of fall garden centers often stock fall blooming plant and early spring bulbs. These plants are an excellent source of food for pollinating insects that struggle to find food sources when the weather is colder. Surprisingly enough, you don’t need a green thumb to plant for pollinators. These plants are often durable sturdy plants that can withstand a little neglect.
Fall Blooming Plants
There are a variety of plants you could put in your backyard that bloom in fall. Some great choices are Sedum Autumn Joy, Zinnias, and Coneflowers. These produce excellent pollen for your insect buddies while providing a beautiful display of color to accent those changing leaves. You local garden centers will have these plants in stock often starting mid August. And, not to be forgotten, is one of the most common fall annuals: Mums. These plants are available just about everywhere and can fill in where ever you need a nice pop of fall color.
Early Spring Bulbs
It’s important to remember the pollinators in early spring. Just as they come out of hibernation there are so few flowers available for them to pollinate that every little plant counts. Mid August is also the time to buy bulbs. These bulbs, which you would plant just before the first frost, will remain dormant in your soil until spring has sprung, providing the first flowers of the new year. Your most common spring bulbs are Daffodils, Tulips, and Irises, but for some real excitement you can try planting the fascinatingly beautiful Fritillary. This small delicate flower is either purple of white and can feature the most fascinating snake-scale pattern on it’s soft, tulip-like petals.
By taking the time to plant these colorful flowers in the fall you can support the pollinators when they need it most in both early spring and late fall.