As this is Pollinator Week (June 19-25), let’s think about planting for pollinators. Gardening to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, which are drawn to nectar and pollen-rich flowers, adds activity, sound and beauty to our garden. But more importantly, it helps ensure their survival.
Most have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, a worldwide die-off of honeybees, upon whom we depend for pollination of over 140 food crops such as blueberries, apples, cucumbers, squash, peaches, avocados and strawberries to name only a few.
Early research has linked this mysterious decline to the use of neonicotinoids, a nerve-agent class of pesticides. As a systemic pesticide, every part of the plant takes up the chemical, becoming toxic to anything that eats its leaves, roots, pollen or nectar. To make matters worse, it can persist for months or years in the environment, contaminating soil and ground water.
I’ve always gardened organically because…
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