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Tidewater Gardening

with small holes. You can make it yourself, or buy them commercially. If you want more detailed information on making your landscape pollinator friendly, check out the Million Pollinator Gardens website at millionpollinatorgardens.org. If you did not do it in March, your herbaceous perennial bed will benefit from a good cleaning and liberal fertilizing. Perennial gardens can most easily be cleaned by raking with a good steel lawn rake. Old plant tops that are not removed by raking should be cut with a sharp pair of grass clippers. If you mulched your perennial bed last fall, as you should have, avoid raking and simply clean each plant by hand so as not to disturb the mulch. After you have cleaned your garden, examine it carefully to make certain that each plant will have sufficient room to grow. If your plants appear to be crowded, now is the time to divide them, and probably give a few to your friends and neighbors. Fertilize the perennial bed with two to three pounds of 5-10-5 or 5-5-10 fertilizer, or its organic 1-21 or 1-1-2 ratio equivalent, per 100 square feet of bed. Water the fertilizer in after application. Avoid applying a high nitrogen fertilizer to the bed as it will promote leaf growth at the expense of f lower production. Spring is a good time to increase the variety of perennials in your

linator favorites. Check with your local garden center for suggestions for the best pollinator-attracting plants for your area. To attract pollinators, it is important to plant f lowers in groups. Choose one type of f lower and plant them in a group covering 10 square feet or more, increasing the chances pollinators will see them and drop in for a visit. It is also important to find the best location for your plantings. Make your f lower bed suitable for pollinators by situating them in a sunny place with minimal disturbance from wind and foot traffic. Providing shelter for the pollinators is important. Encourage pollinators to live nearby so they visit often. Beehives are just one option. Many pollinator species create tunnels and nests underground or in trees. Leave a patch of bare ground for pollinators to dig nests, or provide a wood block drilled

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April 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times April 2016

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