Hello all you wonderful pollinator protectors! I hope you are off to a good start on your summer, or nearing the end of your school year with great excitement! We will be looking for pollinators this summer, and learning how to be good stewards to them in our own yards and communities. If you’d like to get the new journal with a packet of seeds, click here.
The most important first step any good pollinator steward can take is to plant some healthy forage, otherwise known as flowers. By healthy, I mean pesticide free, so this means organic plants or seeds. Organic is best as these plants will never contain systemic pesticides, the kind that get into every part of the plant, and even into the soil and surrounding plants!
Pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Insecticides kill insects, and, hello many pollinators are insects, so flowers containing this poison defeat the whole purpose of feeding them in the first place! Fungicides kill fungus, which disrupts the health of the soil, which we will get to in June. Fungicides also harm pollinators when eaten alongside insecticides, and, in fact kills many as a result. Herbicides are weed killers, and many of the plants we consider to be weeds also produce flowers that contain healthy pollen and nectar for pollinators. So, I suggest waiting until the flower is finished blooming, and then plucking the top of the bloom off before it goes to seed, and then pulling the rest of the plant if it is growing in a place you do not want it growing.
So, look for flowering plants or seeds that are organic. If the plant isn’t identified as organic, ask the nursery experts, and if they can’t assure you, don’t buy them. Always heir on the side of caution for the sake of pollinators. Don’t be afraid to choose a large variety of colors and shapes, as each group of flowers attracts various types of pollinators.
If you are in Colorado, June is Colorado Pollinator Month. Visit the website to see events happening near you! We will have lots of fun family activities!
I will send out another assignment on Friday, June 2nd! Keep it buzzing until then!