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Griesbach’s community garden in full bloom - Le jardin communautaire de Griesbach en pleine floraison

Tips to Make Your Yard Pollinator-Friendly

As the weather starts to warm and the sunshine lasts for longer, you might be looking for ways to make your yard more pollinator-friendly. Pollinators are an important part of the ecosystem, and they keep the flora of our community alive and healthy. If you want to make your yard a pollinator paradise this spring, follow our tips on ways to make your yard pollinator-friendly!

What are Pollinators?

Butterflies with surrounding flowers

Pollinators are animals and insects that move pollen from plants to help with the growth and reproduction of different plants. Flowers have male and female reproduction features that allow them to produce fruit and seeds. Pollination occurs when the pollen is collected from the male anther of a flower and moved to the female stigma, giving the flower a chance to reproduce through fruits and seeds. 

Pollinators are essential as without the small animals and insects, pollination would be far more difficult to achieve. They carry pollen from a variety of plants and allow them to produce seeds and thrive. Without pollinators, pollination would only be performed by the wind (which is not as consistent) or through manual means where people would be required to pollinate their own gardens and crops. There are plenty of different types of pollinators. Different pollinators found in Edmonton include:

What does Open Pollinated Mean?

Close up of bees on a flower.

Open pollination is a way to say the plants and flowers were naturally pollinated by external pollinators. Some plants have the ability to pollinate by themselves as their reproductive features are next to each other and don’t require the help of pollinators. If a plant isn’t able to self-pollinate, however, it requires the help of open pollination. When small animals and insects such as bees – or even the wind and rain – move the pollen around and pollinate the plants, those plants have been open pollinated. 

7 Ways to Attract Pollinators to Your Yard

If you’re looking to bring more pollinators to your yard, here are a few tips to attract them!

1. Don’t Use Pesticides or Herbicides

If you want to bring more pollinators to your yard, it’s important to avoid using pesticides. Strong chemicals are not only a lethal deterrent to pests and weeds, but they can also kill the good pollinators who are trying to help your garden.

2. Offer Pollinators Some Water

Pollinators, like all living creatures, need water to survive. If you have space for a water feature in your yard, this will be a fantastic way to attract pollinators as they look for a drink. Items that work include bird baths, ponds, fountains, or waterfalls.

3. Utilize a Variety of Plants

To keep your pollinators in your yard year-round, plant a variety of flowers that bloom the entire season. Not only is this a beautiful way to plan your garden, but it will ensure there are flowers and pollen available from the beginning of spring all the way to fall.

4. Avoid Bright Night Lights

Artificial lights can make for difficult terrain for a large number of birds and insects. If you’re not sitting outside, try to avoid having bright, artificial lights in your yard. Many pollinators are nocturnal, so by keeping your yard darker at night time you’ll attract more to your home.

5. Provide Safe Shelter for Pollinators

Pollinators need a place to raise their young, collect material for nests, and ensure that they have a safe spot to hide from predators. Leaving natural debris like leaves or lawn clippings can be a fantastic way to provide shelter for pollinators. 

Trees that are covered in flowers

6. Plant Shrubs and Trees

If you have the space, shrubs and trees offer hearty flowers that are ideal for pollination. Trees and shrubs attract tons of pollinators, including larger ones like birds, and they also offer a safe space for pollinators to hide and grow. 

7. Avoid Leaf Blowers

Rather than using a leaf blower, use a rake to tidy up your lawn. Leaf blowers are noisy which can deter pollinators, plus the strong gusts of air can destroy the habitats of the pollinators and dry out soil.

Best Pollinator Plants in Edmonton

Part of a beehive covered in mature bees

The best way to attract pollinators is through planting flowers with a variety of bloom times. You want to ensure you have perennials with spring, summer, and fall bloom times, plus some annuals! Some of the best plants to grow in your garden to attract pollinators include herbs such as basil and rosemary, flowers like marigolds, sunflowers, irises, hollyhocks, and aster! Are you looking for even more ideas on ways to plan your garden around pollinators? Download our pollinator-friendly garden guide!   

Griesbach Supports Pollinators

Our community is a wonderful environment for pollinators! Not only does Griesbach have multiple lakes for the pollinators to stop and have a drink, but over 23% of the land is dedicated to natural preservation with greenspaces, parks, and trees! The community garden also offers a wonderful place for pollinators to gather and spread pollen throughout the community. 

Honey from urban beekeeping hives

Village at Griesbach wants the whole community to be pollinator-friendly! That’s why we’ve partnered with Alvéole to bring bee hives to Griesbach! Our community has two amazing bee hives that will be working hard this pollination season to ensure that all our flowers and plants grow as effectively as possible. Installing hives is a fantastic way to help our community flora while also bringing awareness to the importance of keeping bees and other pollinators safe. If you want to follow along as we watch our bees grow and thrive in Griesbach, check out our Hive page!

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