As a homeowner, you try to balance being environmentally friendly with having a beautiful house. You don’t want to use harsh chemicals or toxic products, but you also want to maintain your home’s value while making it a great place to live.
There is one way to balance the two: Create a bee-friendly garden in your backyard. Gardens are beautiful and enhance the value of your home, but by focusing on what bees need to thrive, you’re also helping the environment. Here’s how you can do both.
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Yes, Bees Need Your Help Now
Why are bees so important? For starters, they are disappearing in alarming numbers. Entire bee colonies are collapsing, leading to the lowest bee populations in the past 50 years. This has several causes, but a big one is loss of habitat. As more homes are built, food sources for bees are being plowed under.
This is a problem because, as BumblebeeConservation.org explains, bees are vital to your food supply. They are supreme pollinators, and many food crops depend on bees to grow a new harvest each year. Some of these plants include apples, strawberries, coffee, and watermelons. If bees continue to disappear, these foods might disappear as well.
Picking The Right Plants
Believe it or not, fall is a great time to start a bee-friendly garden. Doing so will provide bees with food and shelter now and in the coming years. You can do this by focusing on the right plants.
Opt for native and adapted plants better suited to your local soil and climate. These types of plants will attract local insects, including pollinators like bees and hummingbirds, which will help the environment. Specifically, HGTV.com recommends planting:
To keep things bee-friendly, plant plenty of flowers. These produce the nectar that local bee populations need to stay healthy and active.
You can also plant spring-blooming bulbs in fall. This way, they can start growing now so they’re ready to pop come warmer weather, ready to feed the bees. In addition, many pests disappear in fall. Just skip the fertilizer for now. Some growth is good, but you don’t want your plants growing too much only to be nipped by winter.
Fall Gardening Tips For Any Garden
As you plant bulbs and hardy plants in the fall, there are a few things you need to do differently than spring planting. Right At Home has a great list of fall gardening tips so your family garden looks great and helps the bees:
Mark locations of any perennials so you don’t accidentally plant over them.
If you have any herbs in your garden, dig them up and bring them inside in a planter.
Plant vegetables like cabbage, grapes, peas, and spinach now to get an earlier crop come spring.
Replace any annuals with hardier mums for a splash of color during fall.
You will also want to clean and compost dead plants, including the inevitable falling leaves. Such debris can block sunlight from plants (now and in spring). Composting creates great fertilizer for your garden. You should also trim away dead parts of plants including tree branches.
Gardens Can Do A Lot For You
When you have a beautiful fall garden, you’re increasing your home’s value and curb appeal (even if the garden is in the backyard). To do this, start by picking the right plants and then following the fall gardening tips above. This garden will also help protect bees who desperately need our help. Higher home value and better for the environment is a nice combination, isn’t it?