Alright, so veggie gardens. Veggie plants have flowers…they need pollinators, so how do you get even more of them coming to your garden than usual? You invite them!
No, this does not require printing invitations or licking envelopes and stamps…but it does require bright colors, flowers, and efficient yet safe pesticide and pesticide-use.
Here are some ways I have created an eco-friendly and pollinator-friendly garden environment. And…besides the fact that I’m doing it in an eco-friendly way and efficient with my pollinator-invites…it’s just too much fun to see all the beautiful bugs and flowers. It’s a great way to sit, relax, and take in God’s beautiful creation.
**And I make a note here…I am in no way the type of person that hates humans and hugs trees, but I do find the things of nature much more efficient, safe, and beneficial than man-made chemicals that are a part of so much of our world, today….just sayin’**
Alright, so…a few things you can do to make your garden an eco- and pollinator-friendly environment:
1. Use what you have (including garden waste) to improve your garden…check out a previous blog I wrote on this, but use things such as cut limbs and tree trunks to improve your garden in a cost-efficient, and eco-friendly way.
2. Compost, compost, compost! Whenever you cook things (like the berry pies, vegetarian spaghetti, garden salad, veggie soup, or chicken & veggie soup), mow your yard, vacuum your rugs…compost the waste to use for fertilizer and pot-filler to help fertilize your plants. Also…it’s cost-efficient because you aren’t wasting stuff from your household and kitchen, and it can improve your garden.Also, recycle old pallets to build a compost shelter. **Make sure not to compost dead plants with fungus, cooked foods, or meat products. They can hurt your new plants, they don’t decompose well, or attract creepy, nasty animals.**
3. Get ornamental plants from a local garden store or nursery to plant around the edges of your vegetable garden. This will attract all sorts of pretty pollinators like butterflies, honeybees, dragonflies, damselflies, and other bees. I found a special deal at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement- the lawn and garden manager has a $20 cart deal: load up 1 very large rolling cart shelf with as many plants from the “sale wracks” and only pay $20 for them. I ended up getting 39 plants for $20…mathematically…it turned out to be about .50 per plant…and these were 2.5 quart plants (shasta daisies, coreopsis, hollyhocks, salvia, lantanas, verbena, lamb’s ear, and more…). The plants didn’t look great, but if you trim back the dead, plant, and regularly water them, they’ll start to look great soon enough.
4. Allow natural flowering vines to grow around the edges. I have vines like honeysuckle and passion fruit vines growing around the edges. Not only do the flowers look amazing and grow fruit, they also attract bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and more.
5. Use organic-ready pesticides to protect your plants…but be careful where you spray it! Organic-ready pesticides (I use “Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew” and Ortho EcoFriendly Bug and Disease Control brand). But again, be VERY careful where you spray it. As much as you want to protect your plants from bugs and disease, you don’t want to treat your plants in a way that will harm the bees. Spray along the leaves, stems, and base, but avoid the flowers so the pesticide won’t harm them, too.