June 20th is the start of summer (6.34 PM, Yay!) and also the beginning of National Pollinator Week. It’s a week set aside to educate folks about the decline in pollinators and what we can do to make things a bit easier for the little fellas. Gardeners don’t really need to be reminded of this, we’re partners in the garden. But Pollinator Partnership has made it a little easier for us to know which plants will offer them the most benefit and will grow well in our specific ecoregion.
All you have to do is go to their Regional Plant Guide page and fill in your zip code. That will take you to the ecoregion most aligned to your growing conditions. Mine is Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province, which takes in most of the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and parts of, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Whew, that seems like a diverse area, but there you go.
The important point is that the Guide tells you what pollinators are in your area, what they look for in plants, their food, water, and shelter needs, the best spots to attract them, and of course, the best plants to grow. Don’t worry, it’s not a list of tiny native plants that you need to bend down to see. There are a lot of nice shrubs and perennials, many you are probably already growing. So if you’re looking for more bees, butterflies, bats, or beetles, this is a great place to start.
You can also check out the USDA’s Gardening for Pollinators for more useful tips and resources to attract a diversity of insects to your garden. More insects, more flowers and food.
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