JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (June 13, 2023) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Master Gardener Program is celebrating National Pollinator month by sharing information and resources to help create a garden for your favorite pollinators.
Pollinators include more than just butterflies and honeybees. Did you know, there are 450 native bees in NYS? Pollinators also include an assortment of wild native bees, beetles, moths, bats, wasps, birds, specialized flies, and other beneficial insects. They all play an important role in pollinating plants. They have very basic needs– food, source of water, and shelter from wind and heavy rain. You do not need a large plot of land or large garden space to create an inviting refuge for pollinators. In fact, you can start with just a couple of container pots!
There are some considerations before you head out to your favorite local nursery! First, you’ll want to identify your space. You can start small and always build on later. Take note if the garden site is sunny or shaded and if there is easy access to water nearby. Whenever possible, choose native. Native plants are important because they have co-evolved with native insects, birds, and wildlife. It’s important to maintain that ecosystem. Native plants also have a remarkable root system, compared to non-native plants (EPA). These deep roots reduce soil erosion, water runoff and help to store carbon.
Consider your local conditions when choosing the right plant(s). Do you live in a swampy area, do you have acidic or alkaline soil, is your soil type sandy, clay or loamy, do you reside in an urban/rural/suburban environment.
Include plants that serve as food for all stages, such as caterpillars, as well as those that provide nectar and pollen for adults. The best nectar flowers are fragrant, have a long season of bloom, and provide a sequence of bloom throughout the season. Clumped or massed plantings are most effective in attracting butterflies and bees. Flowers that are flat-topped or clustered provide landing platforms and easy access to nectar. Plant flowers with a variety of shapes, like tubular, bowl-shaped & flat-topped, to appeal to a large variety of pollinators. Blue, purple, white, pink, yellow, orange, and red flowers may entice butterflies and other pollinators to your yard. Consider being a part of the monarch butterfly conservation efforts and designate your property as a "Monarch Waystation". For more information, visit: https://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/
Visit our website or contact your local Master Gardener program for a list of recommended pollinator plants to choose from: https://chautauqua.cce.cornell.edu/gardening
Additional pollinator resources:
The Master Gardener Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
Last updated June 13, 2023