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If you garden, you know the importance of pollinators. Pollinators are the bees, bugs, butterflies, and birds that help to pollinate flowers. Without pollinators we wouldn’t have any fruits nor most vegetables (things like eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers are all botanically fruits because they form from a flower). Each year, as we have added to our garden, we have added a few things to help attract pollinators to the yard – lilacs, cannas, gladiolas, and all of the various fruit and flowering vegetable plants. This year we are taking it a step farther and adding an actual pollinator garden, and to do it for only $3!
A $3 Pollinator Garden?!
You read that correctly! We are putting in a pollinator garden that will include 40 different types of flowers – a combination of annuals and perennials – and we are doing it for only $3 thanks to our local Dollar Tree store.
Dollar Tree carries a variety of gardening supplies. The fruit and vegetables seeds are usually 2 for $1 which is a great way to start gardening on a budget. They have window garden kits, herb garden kits, peat pots, hanging baskets, potting mix, seed starting mix, garden gloves, garden tools, some fertilizers, a variety of pots and planters, and they are all only $1 each.
Then there is the seed we purchased for our pollinator garden. Dollar Tree carries wildflower blends from American Seed. Each boxed seed blend is enough wildflower seed to cover a 100 square foot area! I purchased 3 boxes and plan to over seed an area that is about 250 square feet. I purchased a Bird & Butterfly Blend, Hummingbird Mix, and Sunny Area Mix for a total of $3 in seed!
These seeds can’t be planted until after the threat of frost has passed, so in my area, that means after April 20. Leading up to that day, I will prepare the soil by adding compost and clearing it of any weeds or overgrowth that remained from last year. Then on the first nice day after April 20, I will mix all 3 boxes of wildflower seed together, and spread them over the area where I want my garden to grow. We will then tamp down the soil with a roller (or by walking on it), and water it every few days keeping the soil moist but not soggy. The seeds should germinate within a few days, and within 1-2 months we should begin getting blooms. By late June, our pollinator garden will be in full swing!
Since these seed mixes include some perennials, in future years we can expect to get blooms even earlier depending on Mother Nature.
With more than 40 different annuals and perennial seeds in the mix there will be a lot of color and a lot of variety for all sort of pollinators. My children are really hoping that we bring many butterflies and hummingbirds to the yard since those are their favorites.
Annuals & Perennials in the Mix
Crimson Clover Moss Verbena
Dairy Pink Cow Cockle
Prairie Blazing Star
Purple Prairie Clover
You can buy American Seed at your local Dollar Tree stores, and other area retailers.