IF YOU WANT TO HELP POLLINATORS AND MOTHER EARTH:

 

 

PLANT FLOWERS:

  • It doesn't matter where you plant flowers, every flower matters! I have had a container garden for the past seven years and I started on the 16th floor of a tower. Where there's a will, there's a way.

  • Try to plant Native plants; our Native species need more love and attention!

  • Pollinators love to visit multiple flowers at once. If you plant bunches of the same flower it is easier for them to move around, but this is not crucial.

  • Single or semi-double petal flowers are the best for pollinators. Double petal flowers do not offer much and pollinators have very little use for them even though they look pretty. I know some mixed packages of seeds contain some double petal flowers as I have planted these before. They end up being planted because they are part of the package, but definitely focus on the single or semi-double petal flowers the most.

  • Creating biodiversity is key; we want to support all creatures. Do your best to plant flowers that bloom during all seasons. This includes late Winter, Spring, Summer, to early Fall. There needs to be food at all times of their lifecycle so some planning is involved when it comes to the flowers you decide on.

  • Speaking of biodiversity, the notion within our society in North America about the "perfect lawn" needs to be a thing of the past. Just putting a lawn down is not the way to create the biodiversity that nature needs to thrive.

ELIMINATE THE USE OF PESTICIDES:

  • If you use these to spray on plants or what humans consider weeds (dandelions!), you will be killing all the creatures that visit them. This includes your fertilizers that go into the soils. The roots will then soak up these nasty chemicals and feed them to the ones who feed on the flowers.

  • There are ways to deal with certain situations more naturally. For example, if you have a large aphid infestation, purchase ladybugs to release. Yup, you heard me correctly; you can buy bags of ladybugs and release them into the infested area. A ladybug larvae consumes more than a mature ladybug but this is a good natural solution. A few aphids here and there are nothing to worry about and would not require a large bag of ladybugs. Other beneficial insects like wasps will enjoy those and help in the garden as well.

 

MMMMM WATER! DIY BEE BATHS:

  • Bees and other creatures, like wasps, love and need water just like humans do.

  • Unlike humans though, they cannot swim, so we want to make sure there is a safe place for them to land so they do not drown.

  • To make a super cool bee/creature bath:

    • Use a shallow glass or ceramic bowl/plate. A large bird bath is also a nifty option.

    • Find rocks, shells, marbles, wine corks, sticks, or anything else that could float or stick out of the water.

    • Try to place in the shade if possible; the sun will not only heat the water but it will also evaporate it.

 

KEEP YOUR PROPERTY "MESSY", LOVE LEAVES, AND AVOID A LEAF BLOWER*:

  • "Leave the leaves" is a thing! Not just for bees, but for a lot of creatures and your garden health. That does not mean you have to leave the leaf where it lands. Sidewalks and driveways can still be cleared, but remember: leaves are not litter!

  • Layers of leaves shelter bees, beetles, butterflies, moths and more, and they feed creatures like earthworms.

  • They also work like a mulch to protect your garden from harsh winters. 2-3 inches of leaves help protect the roots from the cold, and when it rains they help with keeping nutrients in the soil instead of nutrients leaching out.

  • Using a rake is great and gets you moving; I am strongly against leaf blowers. 

  • Leaf blowers create air and noise pollution and some towns and cities have banned them. The worst part is they kill beneficial insects and harm their homes. So please, pick up a rake or broom and say "no" to leaf blowers.

    • *That being said, it depends on your specific situation. I am more so speaking regarding small properties. A very large property or commercial business with a concrete parking lot would be different. There are certain places where sweeping wouldn't be practical. It is about what works best for you, the planet, as well as the time of day they are used.

  • Do Spring clean up instead of Fall clean up! Like above, many overwinter under the dead foliage you leave in the Fall. This helps protect pollinators and other creatures which helps our ecosystems.

  • Allow flowers to go to seed in the late Summer and Fall. Seeds provide food for many like birds and squirrels. I tend to experience what I call "Sunflower massacres".

  • In the Spring, wait until the temperatures are consistently above 10 C (50 F) before cleaning things up. There are plenty of things to do around your garden instead of disturbing these habitats that may or may not host creatures that need to emerge.

ORGANIC GARDENING:

  • Use organic seeds, soils and fertilizers. These are all very important components.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL NURSERIES:

  • A lot of big box garden centers are full of plants that may have been treated or grown with pesticides. Keep this in mind while deciding on what you want to grow and who to support.

  • Your local nursery is not only more likely to grow their products on a more environmentally friendly level, but you would be supporting a local small business.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BEEKEEPER:

  • While honeybees are not Native to North America, they are still incredibly important for pollinating certain plants and food crops. 

  • They are incredibly hard working people with a love for Mother Earth and most of them even teach others about ways to help as well as beekeeping.

  • Products like honey (health benefits), beeswax candles (cleans the air and burns longer) and beeswax wraps (less plastic) are not only great for humans but they are golden for this planet environmentally!

AVOID HATING ON DANDELIONS AND WEEDS:

  • Dandelions are literally one of the first foods available to pollinators yet the public seems to think they are bad or a "weed" destroying their "perfect" lawn.

  • IF you must get rid of them, please dig them out to compost or relocate them so pollinators can enjoy them. Spraying them is not the answer and will benefit no one.

SPREAD AWARENESS TO OTHERS:

  • I am just one person trying to help this planet, but if I can spread information like this to another person, and so on, the world will be a better place. Let us make a better future for all, creatures, animals and humans.