Fall Gardening for Pollinators
October has arrived and with it comes the flavors and colors of fall. Pumpkin spice pops up practically wherever you go. And there’s nothing like a freshly picked apple or glass of apple cider.
Pollinators know it‘s fall too and they could use some help from your garden. This time of year is known as nectar flow, where many major nectar sources are blooming. They want their own fall fixes as they prepare to hibernate or migrate.
Fall is a fantastic time to add late-blooming flowers that will provide food for traveling pollinators, and extend the color of your garden. Plant them in groups so bees will have no trouble finding them. Be sure to select native plants with bloom times overlapping throughout the growing season to ensure pollinators will always have a variety of foraging options. Some plants are better pollinators than others, so choose types that grow well in your area. Remember to add varieties that provide year-round beauty like hydrangeas and dogwood. Zinnias are a great option too, as they are laden with nectar and thrive across the vast majority of the growth zones — they also bloom late into the fall.
You may also want to plant perennials in your autumn garden, as these plants will come back year after year. Some of our favorite varieties include Aster, Autumn Joy Sedum, Black-Eyed Susans, Catmint, Daffodils, Daylilies, Echinacea, Joe Pye Weed, Shasta Daisies, and Verbena Bonariensis.