Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
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Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Include those, and the butterflies, birds, flies, bees, beetles and more will flock to your garden. Understanding the specifics of what pollinators need at what time of year and incorporating those in your garden will also help ensure your edibles produce bountiful fruits, your garden looks and smells fantastic, and the beneficial creature population is not out-weighed by pests.
Begin by appreciating that most of the “pesky bugs” we encounter in a healthy garden are actually beneficials rather than pests. Insecticides used to beat back pest insects won’t discriminate between the good guys and the bad guys; they’ll kill them all. And, unfortunately, it takes significantly more time for the beneficials to repopulate the garden than it does for the pest insects. And, many of those beneficials – from birds to beetles to bees - not only pollinate your plants, but they also act as predators against the pests. If their population is decimated through the use of pesticides, it can be very difficult to regain balance and natural harmony in the garden. Creating a pesticide free habitat creates a safe world for your beneficials.
Once you recognize beneficial pollinators come in many forms, it’s time to begin selecting plants to fit the diets of their various lifecycles. Even many ugly flies are good in the garden – parasitizing caterpillars and cutworms as infants then pollinating flowers like Queen Anne’s Lace as adults. Understanding the lifecycle of each pollinating insect helps gardeners design with plants that attract egg-laying adults looking for a good meal for themselves and their progeny. For instance, gorgeous swallowtail butterflies swarm into gardens planted with fragrant, nectar-rich summer phlox; plus, they can’t resist laying their eggs on swaying summer dill, which feeds their young when they hatch as caterpillars.
If watching nectar-seeking hummingbirds fly through the garden fills you with happiness, add in maples to feed them early in spring, witch hazel for much-needed mid-winter nectar and fuchsia for summer and late fall. Quickly, you’ll find they prefer your flowering plants to any feeders hanging about. Plus, as they fly about sipping nectar, they’ll likely eat up a few aphids and other soft-bodied pest insects along the way!
If your goal is to attract pollinating insects for the purpose of increasing your food production, plant a banquet of their favorite pollen and nectar-rich flowering plants near your veggie garden. Wild bumblebees will make their way to your tomatoes and pumpkins on their own, but to get the honeybees to visit them, you may need to plant lavender, thyme, borage or other favorites of the honeybee nearby. Perennial favorites like Echinacea and rose, which honeybees cannot resist, bloom in-step with summer crops, making fantastic lures to bring the bees toward your crops. This amounts to a bit of garden trickery, but every creature wins!
Lastly, when you’re designing your pollinator garden, don’t forget to include water sources. Insects and birds are drawn to spaces that offer fresh water as well as food. Water sources high off the ground will appear safe and attract songbirds. Sources with twig bridges, cork or glass floats or wet stones will allow bees to safely land, drink and not drown in the process. Of course, be sure the water you provide moves or is changed regularly to stay fresh and to remain free of pesky, disease-carrying mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae prefer to develop in stagnant water, and it takes about four days (or more) for them to hatch after being laid.
Looking for more plant ideas to entice the pollinators to your garden, opt for a few of these easy favorites to get started: sedum, heuchera, dill, maple, rose, apple, Manzanita, Pieris, clematis, fuchsia, peony, cat mint, Mahonia, Ribes, thyme, oregano, borage, strawberry, and blueberry.