From the time a seed gets its appropriate space to flourish, to the time it blossoms, everything makes a garden beautiful and full of life. In this process, pollination plays a very important role. Pollination is the process of fertilization in plants, in which the pollen grains are transferred to the female part with the help of various aboitic and biotic agents. You cannot attract abiotic pollinators like wind and water but you can follow some tips on how to attract biotic pollinators to your garden. There are around 200,000 varieties of biotic pollinators and some of the most common ones are hummingbirds, bats, moths, bees, beetles, flies, butterflies, etc. In this article, you will learn how to attract pollinators to your garden which will help you to get the best varieties of flowers throughout the years.
How to Attract Pollinators to your Yard?
Pollinators help in the process of fertilization and many plants do not produce fruits and seeds without the process of pollination. So, in order to get the plants pollinated, you need pollinators. As pollinators are of different species and varieties, you need to first think about the kind of pollinator you want to attract in your garden. The following points will help you with some tips on attracting more pollinators to your garden.
Water is a necessity for any living creature. Birds and insects come a long way to your garden and water can be the best option to get them attracted. Place a container filled with freshwater in the garden. Make sure it is easily visible. You don't need to fill a lot of water hence, take a big but shallow container. You can use deicer for the winters to prevent the water from freezing. In summers, these water containers will be of great use as thirsty birds and insects will take a halt at your garden for sure. Some pollinators like male butterflies love to linger around puddles. You can make small puddles in your garden or can just place a basin with some sand, gravel and water in it. If you already have a pond then don't worry at all as you are already attracting a lot of pollinators.
Select Native Plant Varieties
Native plants do not require extra care and this is the reason they can be grown easily and blossom well in their season. This will attract a lot of native pollinators and specially a lot of butterflies. Researches show that native plants attract four times more native pollinators than other exotic plants. Native plants are a rich food source which help the pollinators to survive and stay in your garden for a long time. It's not that you have to plant just the native ones. Try to get more of the native varieties than the exotic ones.
Selection of Plants
We can say that attracting a pollinator is all about selecting the appropriate plants. In the above point, we have seen how important it is to go for native varieties but even then you need to select the plants very carefully. Try to get a diversity of plants in your garden which keep flowering through the year. You can get plants which blossom in summer, spring, fall, or any of the other seasons according to their life cycle. This will help your garden to blossom throughout the year. For example: azaleas, buddleias, daylilies, coneflower, lilacs, butterfly bush are some of the flowers that attract butterflies. Avoid getting hybrid plants as non-hybrid or natural plants are more attractive to pollinators.
Colorful Flowering Plants
There are many flowers which look attractive to us but we have to decide the flowers keeping the pollinators in mind. You need to have colors that attract pollinators to your yard. Blue and yellow are among the most attractive colors that attract bees to your garden. Yellow appears blue to bees and they love blue. Hence, they are attracted towards yellow (that appears blue) and blue flowers. Similarly, hummingbirds like red flowers. Similarly, different colors look attractive to different pollinators. Hence, choose colors according to the pollinators you want to attract in your garden. The shape of the flower also plays an important role in complementing the color and attracting pollinators.
Plant them in Clumps
Clumps of flowers look more attractive than a single flower. Hence, try to plant these flowering plants in clumps rather than planting them far from each other or in a single row. This will not only attract more pollinators but will also improve the look of your garden. Try to make these clumps four feet or more in diameter.
Provide Material for Nesting and Shelter
Providing material for nesting and shelter may help you to get lots of pollinators. Bee houses, bat houses, nest boxes, etc., will be of great help. Some farmers and gardeners provide special nesting sites for the pollinators in order to improve their productivity. You can also provide them with the log of a dead tree or long pipes or tubes, on which they can start nesting. Shelter is also an important point to keep in mind. Provide some shelter which may help the pollinators to protect themselves from the sun, wind, rain, etc. It is a fact that the population of the pollinators is decreasing across the globe. So by giving them a nesting place you will also help in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.
Pesticides are used for pest control but sometimes these pesticides may also result in the death of the pollinators. Hence, try to avoid the usage of pesticides as far as possible. If necessary, start with the least toxic pesticide and follow the instructions given on the label. Avoid using pesticides when the pollinators are present which is usually in the morning.
These are some of the most important ways to attract pollinators to your yard. These small creatures can create wonders in your garden. So, just follow the points given above to see the magic of these pollinators and enjoy the beauty of your garden throughout the year.