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Pocket Pollinator Gardens

Category: Pollinators | Posted by: White Oak Gardens

What is a pocket pollinator garden?

It is a small space dedicated to flowering plants that helps bees and butterflies survive and thrive. This style of gardening provides food and shelter for wildlife including caterpillars, beetles, birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Biodiversity is key when it comes to supporting this wildlife, and local plants function much better in that role.

Since the mid 1850’s there has been a steady increase in the number of exotic, non-native plants that we have brought into the United States to fill our garden beds. These plant choices along with the well-manicured lawn and plants being on their own islands in a sea of mulch has become the norm in many neighborhoods.

It is becoming more evident that these sterile systems may look “nice and neat,” but they are a detriment to our environment because they provide little to no resources for our native wildlife. Our ecosystems are fragile and being attacked by many exotic plants that were once, or are still, being used as popular landscaping additions (purple wintercreeper, English ivy, maiden grass, callery pear, etc.) Because of this continued awareness, overall acceptance of native plant gardens is starting to take root.

To help your native plant patch gain acceptance to those who may wonder why you decided to allow your yard look “messy,” it is a good idea to place a sign in the area explaining what your intentions are. You could also place a border of rocks or fencing to help it look more like an intentional project.

We have partnered with Ohio Prairie Nursery Seed Co. to provide customers with their very own packets of seeds to get started on this venture.

Two choices of seed mixes:

‘I Have Clay Soil’

This is good for most areas where clay soil is found. May still need to amend your soil if clay is very compacted or puddles for an extended period of time during the year.

‘Ohio Native Plant Month’

This mix contains grasses and wildflowers that will typically reach a height of 3.5-4 feet once established. It is combined with a mix of fast-flowering annuals so that you can experience a pop of color in your first year.

These seed packets contain species of plants that are all native to the Ohio River Valley and the surrounding regions.

Convert part of your lawn to a pollinator patch! Each packet should cover roughly 25 sq. ft. of space. Please keep in mind that these mixes will take 2-3 growing seasons to fully establish and may display stunted growth as it works its way into the earth.

“Know Where You Throw”  -Be sure to grab a bag of rice hulls to mix with your seed before spreading to more easily identify where you have cast your seeds.

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