Pollinator Independence

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When I think about our country’s independence, I think about personal independence and how important food supply is to that. In maintaining a steady home food supply, one of the things you need is a steady supply of feed for your pollinators. I have been paying a lot of attention to trying to have a steady supply of nectary plants throughout the summer, and in our hot desert summer that can be difficult. Currently, the poppies are pretty much finished blooming, and I find that cardoons and artichokes are extraordinarily attractive to bees when allowed to flower.  I have a number of cardoon plants that grow beautifully in our hot summer and alkaline soil but have not turned out to be much good for eating; one day soon I will post on that depressing topic.  But the plants more than earn their keep by feeding my bees in fiery July.

Keep the pollinators in your thoughts when you do any yard planning and planting. Remember that they are extremely sensitive to sprays, and in my opinion there is not a good justification for a home gardener to use insecticide sprays in the garden.  Look around your neighborhood in July and August and see what is blooming or ready to bloom, and think about providing some of it for the bees and wasps.  Right now cardoons are front and center in my garden, cutting celery that I allowed to bloom is drawing beneficial tiny predatory wasps in large numbers, and sunflowers are just starting.  I planted a few cannas this year in order to do kitchen experiments with the bulbs in the fall, and as long as they are kept well mulched and given some water they sail through the heat, and those flowers also seem attractive to bees.

Bless our bees, because oh, how we need them.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. […] Source: Pollinator Independence | My urban homestead […]

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  2. I absolutely love the last picture! Loved the post too!

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    • Posted by wooddogs3 on July 6, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Thanks so much. There are times when I want to cry as I watch our lovely bees go about their business.

      Reply

  3. Ha, yeah we are growing cardoons as well and I don’t have the patience to do all that’s needed to prep them for actual eating – so they’re just pretty leafy additions to the garden 🙂 We also have a ton of artichokes as well, and they grow so fast that most end up being decorative as well which our bees adore – I love watching the bumblebees go face down into them, blissing out…very similar to what the sunflower bees do with a big ol’ mammoth Russian sunflower!

    If you’ve not heard of them before, get seeds for Bee’s Friend at the nursery, they are beautiful, grow fast (about 3′ tall), and as per the name, the bees LOVE them!! We planted them near our hive and both the honeybees and bumblebees go nuts 🙂

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  4. […] Pollinator independence. Albuguerque urban homestead. […]

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