27 March 14

Pollinators in the Garden

Last week we attended a workshop put on by the California Center for Urban Horticulture on Gardening for Pollinators. A full morning of talks followed by a trip to the Honey Bee Haven, followed by a trip to the Arboretum Plant Sale (for the record, we bought a manzanita, three Spanish lavenders, a giant buckwheat and an ericameria). All but the lavenders should grow into large shrubs that qualify as four feet, and the lavenders should end up filling that slot.

Sketchnotes from pollinator gardening workshop I’ve written a blog post for the ANR Green Blog that provides more background, but here are the big take-homes for me from the workshop…

  • Planning for succession blooming (in the Central Valley, that means late winter through fall)
  • Putting plants in clumps at least 4 feet long if possible (honeybees, especially, like to specialize)
  • Putting in plants that provide both nectar and pollen (nectar is fuel for adult bees, pollen is protein for the young)
  • Using native plants where possible; they’re drought tolerant and have what our native bees need
  • Avoiding most-toxic pesticides and herbicides
  • Providing a clean source of water (a slow-dripping tap on a sloped surface is ideal; bees like to drink from very shallow sources)
  • Providing cavity nest holes in wood for carpenter and other bees
  • Leaving some areas of gardens unmulched for ground-nesting bees
Posted by at 08:10 AM in Gardening | Link |

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