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How to Start a Pollinator Garden

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

[Article written by Lori Luscombe]

I think we all enjoy seeing a butterfly floating in the air or a bee foraging around on a flower. We need to save these sights for us, our children and grandchildren to enjoy also. Planting a pollinator garden can be fun and something everyone can do.

Take a look at your around your yard, do you have an area to put in a few flowering plants. Do you have part of your existing garden to turn into a pollinator garden. You can even grow some plants in pots.

I started from scratch.

First I picked a site and transformed it by getting rid of the unwanted weeds, grass and debris. Try and dig them out and try to get rid of all the root system or they will grow back. Please avoid herbicides this can kill what you want to attract. Then add compost or manure or both to the soil, mixing it into the soil you already have there, so the new plants have something to eat, nutrients.

Now if you are like me you are now dirty for head to toe, so we may want to get cleaned up before we go to a nursery to pick out the plants.

Before I go to the nursery I want to make a plant check list and what would be good in my location. What is the size of my new garden. Is it in a sunny location or shady, is the soil going to be dry or moist. What colours will look good in my garden. I make a list of what plants I am looking for going using the native list of plants listed on our brochure.

We get to the plant store and look around, if I need help I ask the clerks. The best way is to read the tags on the plants. This should tell you height of the plants what location it should be planted in and what soil conditions it needs. It will tell you if it is a Perennial which means it comes back every year, Biennial which takes 2 years to complete it’s life cycle and Annuals which only has a 1 year lifecycle, some reseed themselves for next year. It also states the growing zones.

We buy our plants and get home to plant them. I would leave them in the pots and put them on top of the garden so I can get an idea of where I want to plant them and the spacing I need for them. Then we dig a hole twice the size of the pot our plants are in. We take the plant out of the pot and untangle the roots some, so the roots stop growing in a circle and chock itself. Put the plant in the hole add dirt around the plant and press the soil. We press the soil to get rid of the air pockets. Continue till all your plants are in your garden.

I did this many years ago and now The only grass I have left is the dog run. One thing to keep in mind a garden is never truly done there is always room for one more plant so enjoy!

Connect with Pollinator Pathways Project



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