Barb Rinehart just got the news that our garden has been certified as Pollinator Friendly! Thanks to Barb for taking care of submitting the application. So what exactly is a Pollinator Friendly Garden and what is pollination?
According to the PSU Master Gardener site “Pollination, the transfer of pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of the same flower or of another flower, is vital to our food supply. Insects and other animals are a key element in facilitating this transfer. In fact, one of every three bites of food comes to us by pollinators!”
Throughout the world pollinators are in trouble. Both native bees and domestic bee populations are declining, affected by habitat loss, disease and contact with pesticides. Penn State Extension Master Gardeners have started an initiative to protect pollinators by planting pollinator friendly gardens and providing education for the gardening public.
Certified gardens provide the foods and habitats needed to support native insects and animals. Pollinators will, in turn, provide the pollination needed to protect our plant diversity and food sources. By growing a pollinator friendly garden we are supporting a healthy ecosystem which is critical.
In order to meet the criteria for the pollinator certification our garden had to:
Provide Food, Nectar and Pollen Sources, and Caterpillar Food Sources (host plants) by planting at least four native trees and/or shrubs, six native perennials and at least two native host plants. Additionally it has to provide a water source and places for the pollinators to shelter. Without these things pollinators cannot thrive or survive.
Since we planned our garden so that it would have as many native plants as possible as well as to meet the stated requirements for certification it was expected that we would qualify. Still it is wonderful to get the approval.
For More information on this topic check this link out.