Importance of Attracting Pollinators
The reason behind attracting bees or other beneficial pollinators is the many different benefits they can provide the vegetable garden. The first benefit of attracting pollinators is the better production of plants. By transferring pollen from one flower to another flower can help plants produce healthy fruits. For crops that are self-pollinating such as corn, pollination is still very beneficial in order to help increase bountiful yields of crops for harvesting. The second advantage of attracting bees or beneficial insects is they help control pest pressures in the garden area. When pollinators are available in the garden not only are they transferring pollen but they are also eating unwanted insects that will overall reduce pest problems from the vegetable garden.
Planting Flowers That Bees Love
On this week’s episode, Travis has planted many different flower varieties that is helping when attracting bees in the vegetable garden. When attracting bees or pollinators, Travis has a designated flower area that has three different species planted on a double row to ensure he achieves maximum pollination. The first species of flowers planted is the Cosmos Versailles Mix which is a cut-flower that is a brightly-colored blend with strong stems that consistently bloom throughout the warmer months. The second species planted is the Benary Giant Zinnias Mix which has a variety of different colorful flowers that is known for being one of the easiest cut flower varieties to grow. The third species variety is the Ageratum Blue Horizon that creates tall, sturdy bloom clusters of vibrant blue or purplish cut-flowers. The reason behind planting these flowers on double rows is Travis is able to get maximum production in small space and he is able to suppress weeds that would otherwise take over the garden area. Travis also has a patch full of Pro-Cut Sunflowers that bees love and attract to in the vegetable garden. He recently planted a mix of several different sunflowers such as the White Nite, Lemon, Joker, Orange, Red Lemon Bicolor, and Plum all together and planted them using the garden seeder. When you direct seed these varieties you are able to get a nice stand of thick sunflowers or flowers in the area. Another benefit of planting the sunflowers so dense is you are able to get a nice stratification which means you achieve blooms that come out at around 5 or 6 inches tall and some at 8 or 9 inches tall.