Earth Week in Your Own Backyard

Show big support for little critters by bringing Earth Week to your own backyard! Here are a few tips to support pollinators and other invertebrates, as the sun brings spring into full swing:

  1. Wait to Rake – In early Spring, many ground-nesting bees will use last year’s leaf litter for protection from both late season frost and heavy spring rains. Some chrysalides can overwinter on fallen leaves and dried standing organics. Embrace the mess and wait to clean up old organic materials until nighttime temperatures hover in the 50s.
  2. Help with Habitat – creating microhabitats for pollinators can be as simple as a pile of sticks! Enhancing habitats for pollinators can both create a safe space and continue to attract beneficial insects. Toss together a pile of sticks or rocks, or continue to keep the rake hung up and leave naturally occurring organic debris piles to work their habitat magic.
  3. Nurture a Native Garden – Continue building pollinator habitat and biological diversity at the same time by planting a native garden! Want to up the ante? Include Milkweed varieties in your new native garden for our monarch friends. Short on space? Consider a native “bee lawn” – low growing flowers such as clover and creeping thyme can provide the look of a lawn, and the resources for the pollinators.
  4. No Mow May – This movement has been gaining traction across the country, even in our neck of the woods here in MidCoast Maine! Let’s keep up the momentum and keep our mowers parked for the month of May. This allows lawn flowers, such as dandelions and clovers, to bloom and are some of the earliest resources for pollinators before other flowers bloom.

For additional resources on how you can support pollinators, visit the Xerces Society, USDA NRCS Maine, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.