The beauty of pollinator gardens

Published 12:24 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

By: Phyllis Goodwin, MSU Pearl River County Extension Service Master Gardener

 

As a Pearl River County Master Gardener, my concern for the future of our native pollinators led me to my style of gardening.  I like to offer as much nectar and pollen as I possibly can, with as many native plants as possible.  Native plants hold up in the heat of our summers, usually require less water, and have more to offer to our local pollinators.   My favorite pollinator garden is my raised bed filled with a good quality topsoil and enhanced with compost and manure.  This year I have planted “Husker Red” Penstemon, Hyssop Blue, Cardinal Flower and Gulf Coast Penstemon to name a few.  I like to use a timed-release fertilizer three times a year using the holidays, Easter, 4th of July and Labor Day as my reminders. 

I do have several in-ground gardens throughout my yard planted with more native plants.  However, I have planted several non-native flowering plants such as Pentas, which are originally from Africa.  I consider Penta plants a magnet for butterflies; they love them.  Lantanas are another good choice and came to us by way of Mexico. 

When making an in-ground garden, I like to use half native soil and half garden soil.  I also add compost and manure and then blend well.   My native plants love this mixture.

You don’t need a large area to create a pollinator garden.  All you need are a few pots on your patio with selective plants.

The Master Gardener program has provided me many opportunities to see beautiful gardens and nurseries, meet great gardeners, learn volumes and serve the community.  If you are interested learning more about the Master Gardener program, call 601-403-2280. Come join us and have fun!