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Five Tips for a Successful Pollinator Garden

Designing, installing, and caring for a pollinator garden is easier than you may think, that is if you follow a few tried and true guidelines. 

1)    Map out your garden space, ensure it has adequate sunlight. Most pollinator plants like full sun, well-draining soil, and a little protection from the wind. 
2)    Select your plants. This is the fun part! You will need blooms from late winter-early spring to late fall, masses of similar plants, such as multiples of beebalm, nectar plants (that part is easy) and a nice selection of host plants. Remember, we are supporting the entire life cycle of the pollinator from butterfly to caterpillar to butterfly. What the butterflies need differs from the caterpillars’ requirements.

3)    Add more native grasses. Native grasses are not a common plant for most gardeners, but they are vital to a successful pollinator garden. Not only do they support native moths, but they also lend excellent winter interest to the garden. 
4)    Prep the soil. Ideally, you should be able to plant with a simple hand tool. Good soil offers the plants air and water circulation, excellent drainage, and a weed free environment.
5)    Plant tight. This is not the time nor the place for mulch rings around plants. In a prairie, plants are touching and supporting each other as they grow in an intermingled manner.

6)    Now stop. No fertilizers, no chemicals to control weeds, no shredded mulch, and certainly no deadheading or cutting back plants in the fall. A well planned and planted pollinator garden can manage on its own quite well. All you may need to do is water the first year, as the plants get established, and remove weeds that will, over time, be blocked out by the lush stand of pollinator plants. 

If you are not sure where to start with your new garden placement or what plants to use, call us. We can design and install a new pollinator garden for you.

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