Take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Pollinators need your help! Pollinators are responsible for one out of three bites of food we take each day, and yet pollinators are at a critical point in their own survival. Many reasons contribute to their recent decline. We know for certain, however, that more nectar and pollen sources provided by more flowering plants and trees will help improve their health and numbers. Increasing the number of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes will help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of pollinators across America. MPGC hopes to move millions of individuals, kids, and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and the healthy food people eat.

This challenge is being launched by the National Pollinator Garden Network, an unprecedented collaboration of national, regional, conservation and gardening groups to support the President’s Executive Strategy to “Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.”

Here’s how you can help:

1. Plant a pollinator garden – any size is great. From window and patio planters, to home gardens, to pathways and roadsides, to acres of prairies and meadows – all can help.

2. Support pollinator friendly businesses – Purchase plants or seeds from nurseries, garden centers, and seed suppliers who offer pollinator-friendly plants and seeds suited to your local area.

3. BEE counted – Add a photo of your garden or landscape to the SHARE map. Anyone and any size garden can join in the campaign to reach one million sites for pollinators.

Pollinator gardens should:

1. Use plants that provide nectar and pollen sources

2. Provide a water source

3. Be situated in sunny areas with wind breaks

4. Create large “pollinator targets” of native or non-invasive plants

5. Establish continuous bloom throughout the growing season

6. Eliminate or minimize the impact of pesticides

If you would like more information on this important challenge for our pollinators, visit their website at Millionpollinatorgardens.org.

You can also find great information about attracting pollinators to your garden by visiting Ohioline.osu.edu.

As I take my daily “walk about” I always have my phone handy to take photographs of what’s going on as far as blooms, butterflies, etc. The bees have been so busy foraging that I am able to get close ups without utilizing my zoom. Sadly, there will be a third less daylilies blooming at my house thanks to my deer “buddies.” We have corn planted in all the fields around us this year, so the nibblers have moved their grazing closer to my flowers. Hostas are also being trimmed selectively by deer as well as my little family of bunnies residing under my big Blue spruce tree in the front yard.

Are you harvesting from your garden? Have you harvested your garlic scapes?

Remember to email your gardening questions to Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer Mike Hannah at mhannah2@msn.com.

I’m headed out to the lower hillside where my thistles love to grow…..game on!