Jun 05, 2024

How to Build a Beautiful Pollinator Garden

Spring has officially sprung, and the pollinators need your help!  

Pollinators are insects and animals that pollinate (or carry pollen) from plant to plant. This is an essential process in growing and maintaining plant health and diversity. The pollinator category includes certain birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and even some small mammals.  

These small but mighty creatures are absolutely critical every spring. That’s because a whopping 80% of the plants we need for food and industrial products require pollination. What’s more, pollinators like bees and butterflies help produce larger, more flavorful, and more abundant crops. 

But pollinators have been struggling in recent years. Unfortunately, factors like disease, parasites, habitat loss, and environmental degradation have caused a decline in the number of pollinators. You’ve probably heard that the bees, the poster child of the pollinators, are disappearing. 

Enter: The pollinator garden. If you want to provide some much-needed support for your local pollinators this spring, a pollinator garden could be the perfect weekend project. 

So, let’s cover a quick definition and then delve into all the necessary steps to build your very own pollinator garden! 

What is a Pollinator Garden? 

Pollinator garden: A collection of plants specifically designed to attract and benefit pollinators. The right plants for your personal pollinator garden will depend on your location but might include various annuals, perennials, shrubs, or bushes. 

How to Build a Pollinator Garden 

Pollinator gardens are not only beautiful, but they’re also oh-so beneficial to the local environment, flora, and fauna. If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, here’s how to get started: 

Plan Carefully 

Before you start digging up the backyard, you’ll want to do some research. Study up on the following factors: 

  • The ideal place for a garden on your specific type of property. 
  • Pollinators that are local to your area. 
  • Native plants that attract pollinators. 
  • Your area’s ideal growing zone. 
  • Soil, water, and sun needs for each plant type. 

When in doubt, you can always consult a professional. A local landscaper may be willing to offer some sage advice. 

Prep Your Garden 

This step will depend a bit on where you’re starting from, but you might need to remove some sod, build some raised garden beds, install a garden irrigation system, and so on. Whatever the case may be, just ensure you have adequate room for all your pollinator’s plants. 

You’ll also want to analyze your soil and ensure it’s up to snuff. You might be able to do this by just observing and touching the soil. If not, a soil test can clarify this quickly and easily. 

Plant Your Garden 

Now, it’s time to start planting! Start by picking up your desired seeds or seedlings. 

Seed packets usually come with instructions for planting on the back. Some seeds need to be planted at a certain width or depth while others are less finicky. Either way, for best results, you’ll want to follow the instructions to a tee. 

If you’re working with seedlings, you might want to chat with a clerk at the plant nursery or a local landscaper. They’ll have the best advice for getting them in the ground successfully. 

A butterfly on a pink flower in a pollinator garden.

Water Your Garden 

Most plants can’t survive without soil, sun, and—you guessed it—water. Once your plants are in the ground, you’ll need to come up with a watering plan. 

Some gardeners prefer automatic irrigation systems while others stick to the good, old garden hose. Either way, determine how much and how often you’ll need to water each species of plant.  

Once you’ve set up a schedule, you might want to add regular waterings to the household chore wheel or your daily to-do list. 

Weed, Weed, Weed 

If you’re not careful, opportunistic weeds can quickly take over your garden. And pollinators aren’t too crazy about most of these trespassers!  

Keep an eye on the garden and pull up any weeds you find poking through. Always make sure you get all the roots, so they don’t just bounce right back. 

Sit Back and Enjoy Your Beautiful Pollinator Garden! 

Now, there’s not much to do but admire all your handiwork. 

Continue tending to your garden and enjoy all the curious (and grateful) pollinators who come to visit. Consider making a list, or even a fun game, out of identifying the many different insects and animals that your new garden attracts. 

Final Thoughts: Building a Pollinator Garden 

With just a little research, some soil, water, and a few seeds, you can become an environmental steward this spring. Pollinator gardens are a fun and easy way to give back to your local community—and enjoy some beautiful blooms while you’re at it. 

And an added benefit? If those birds, bats, and butterflies could speak, we know for sure they’d be thanking you.  

Happy planting! 

* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with your mortgage advisor for more information.