Gardeners and Pollinators

Our educational booth at the Minnesota State Fair is aimed at teaching fair-goers more about pollinators and their important role in our food system. There are a variety of factors in the decline of pollinators — habitat loss, diseases and parasites, pesticide use, climate change — it’s a long list.

Plant single flowers: Fewer petals equals more pollination.

Plant single flowers: Fewer petals equals more pollination.

But gardeners can help pollinators by creating the environments in which they thrive. Here are some of the basics of what a gardener can do:

• Grow pollinator-friendly plants. True native plants for your site are best because they are the plants native pollinators developed among.

• Choose a mixture of plants for a continuous sequence of flowering from spring through fall. Be sure to include early bloomers, such as crocus and even dandelions, and late blooms, such as asters.

• Reduce or eliminate pesticide use. Control pests by incorporating plants that attract beneficial insects.

Adding water to your garden will draw in a variety of pollinators -- birds, too.

Adding water to your garden will draw in a variety of pollinators — birds, too.

Design a garden with lots of features that pollinators need, including sources of water, mud holes, bits of bare soil and brush piles and other places to nest.

• Even small urban landscapes play an important role in supporting native pollinators when there is a diversity of plants and gardeners follow pollinator-friendly practices.

Check out our booth at the fair for even more information about how you can help pollinators.

1 Comment

  1. […] 9. Gardens matter to pollinators. Pollinators are more than just honeybees — way, way more. In fact, it’s the native bees that do most of the pollination of plants in our area. Creating a garden that helps pollinators is not difficult. The three most important things: use mostly native plants, think about the full life cycle of the pollinator, and add water and shelter as well as nectar. Here are a few more tips. […]

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