Pol­li­na­tor-friendly ed­i­ble plants

Eastern Courier - - LOCALJOBS -

Five herbs pol­li­na­tors

As you gear up to plant, plant, plant this spring, pack these bee- and but­ter­fly­friendly plants into your gar- den.

In­deed, don’t hes­i­tate to put them in pots, con­tain­ers and ev­ery spare strip of space you have!

Some plants pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen; oth­ers only one or the other.

Five flow­er­ing veg­eta­bles that bees, but­ter­flies and pol­li­na­tors love

1. Beans: Good early food source that pro­vides both pollen and nec­tar. Beans, in­clud­ing broad beans, flower from mid­sum­mer through au­tumn. 2. Bras­si­cas: These in­clude mus­tard, broc­coli, cab­bage and cau­li­flower that can be planted suc­ces­sively all year round. They pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen from spring to au­tumn. 3. Cu­cur­bits: Plant cu­cum­ber, zuc­chini, melon and pump­kin in full sun. They flower from spring to au­tumn, to pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen. 4. Fen­nel: Bees love this hardy peren­nial though it pro­vides only pollen. It flow­ers in late sum­mer to au­tumn. 5. Bor­age: Just as we have learnt to love the flavour of the flow­ers, bees love the nec­tar and pollen in them.

that feed

1. Chives: A peren­nial that does well in the sun. It flow­ers in sum­mer to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen. 2. Co­rian­der: An­other sum­mer favourite, it pro­vides only nec­tar for pol­li­na­tors. An an­nual that self­seeds, though you can sow reg­u­larly if you like. 3. Rose­mary: Great for feed­ing pol­li­na­tors as it flow­ers from win­ter to sum­mer. Nec­tar in win­ter is par­tic­u­larly pre­cious as there are far fewer food sources for pol­li­na­tors then. Rose­mary is a peren­nial that likes full sun and well-drained soil. 4. Thyme: You can plant dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties for ex­tended flow­er­ing to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen in spring or sum­mer. Thyme is a hardy peren­nial that likes sun and free-drain­ing soil. 5. Win­ter sa­vory: A peren­nial that re­quires a well-drained, sunny sit­u­a­tion. It flow­ers in sum­mer to pro­vide nec­tar for pol­li­na­tors.

Fruit trees & shrubs that also feed pol­li­na­tors

1. Ber­ries: Blue­ber­ries flower in spring and sum­mer to pro­vide nec­tar for pol­li­na­tors. Rasp­berry and black­berry pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen in spring to mid­sum­mer. 2. Citrus: You can plan your citrus va­ri­eties to flower for most of the year, pro­vid­ing your­self with juicy and nu­tri­tious fruit, and at the same time, nec­tar and pollen for the pol­li­na­tors. 3. Pas­sion­fruit: Ex­tremely use­ful as to can flower twice a year (Fe­bru­ary-April and Ju­lyNovem­ber) to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen. Pas­sion­fruit needs a warm, frost-free lo­ca­tion in full sun. 4. Ap­ple, pear, peach and plum trees are all fan­tas­tic for pro­duc­ing not just fruit for us, but also nec­tar and pollen for the pol­li­na­tors in late win­ter and spring.

123RF

Bee pol­li­nat­ing a pur­ple bor­age flower in gar­den.

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