One of the easiest ways for a gardener to support the environment is to get a garden started for our ever-so important insect friends!
(Honey bees, bumble bees, lady bugs/larvae, etc)
Different climates will determine which plants you should be using and when you should be planting them.
Ensure the flowers you plant are non-invasive in your region; native species are best.
Introducing invasive species to an area can have disastrous effects, like dominating the landscape by competing with native plants, or transmitting diseases that native plants or animals are not equipped to deal with.
Head to your local nursery with your loved ones & pick out your favourite “Cold-Hardy plants for Pollinators” and get to planting in the early Spring!
- Avoid hybrids as many of these versions of wildflowers, such as the “double- flowered” types, are bred to eliminate nectar and pollen to display more showy flowers – this does not provide any sort of nourishment for pollinators.
- Plant a wide variety of early, mid, and late season bloomers in large clumps, so they can easily be seen by pollinators.
- Eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden; even some organic-approved pesticides can still be harmful to pollinators.
- Provide larval host plants for butterflies to encourage them to lay eggs in your garden. You can watch the caterpillars grow and develop into more butterflies!
What you will need for this project:
- Potted Plants or a flat of flowers
- Garden, Garden Bed or Planter Box
- Gardening gloves & hand trowel (optional)
- Water for your plants
Now that we know which plants to choose, let's get dirty!
1. Check your Soil & Temperatures
If the conditions are right, most potted plants can survive in the ground. Search the potted plant you will be using online to see what temperature, sunlight and soil/water conditions it needs. We recommend letting the plant adapt to the temperature change by setting it outside in its pot for a few days prior to transplanting.
2. Prepare the soil
If you don’t already have a flower bed prepared, and are digging up untilled soil, it is a good idea to mix in some compost or a bag of garden soil. And make sure the ground is dry enough; moist soil is great, but digging in mud will result in rock-hard clumps.
3. Dig the hole
Make sure the hole is deep and wide enough to hold the plant’s root. You want to leave plenty of room to fill in loose dirt under and around it.
4. Carefully remove the plant from the pot or plastic
To do this, place one hand around the base of the plant, on top of the potted soil. With your other hand you will want to hold and turn over the pot so that the plant and soil slide out together. You’ll likely need to tap the pot to loosen the soil a little bit. You never want to pull the plant out, this could lead to damaged roots.
5. Loosen the root ball
If the plant has been in the pot for a long time, the roots will start to wrap around and match the shape of the container. Freeing up roots is essential for plant health in this situation. With smaller plants you can usually gently tease the roots apart with your fingers. Some roots will be lost in the process but new will quickly grow.
6. Place the roots in the hole
You don’t want to bury the plant. If the hole is too deep, simply place few handfuls of dirt in to provide a base. Carefully fill in loose dirt around the roots until the hole is filled Pat the soil down to eliminate gaps. You don’t want to pack the soil too tightly, solid enough to support the plant and hold the roots in place.
7. Water and care for your plant
When finished, thoroughly water the plant to help recover and get established in its new surroundings. Then follow the regular recommended care for your variety of flower.