Dr. Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful
Next week is National Pollinator Week, June 20– 26, an annual celebration supporting pollinator health, initiated and managed by the nonprofit organization Pollinator Partnership. It is a time to raise awareness about pollinators and to spread the word about what we can do to protect them.
KLB is doing a lot of work to ensure that we have a pollinator-friendly garden located at the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway. The Reading Garden is shaping up very well. KLB is working with several summer camps and programs to spread the word about how important it is to have gardens and how vital our pollinator friends are. Some people may think they don’t have a green thumb — like me — or don’t have space or time to garden, but there is more than one way to garden at home!
Elizabeth Flaherty authored a piece called “24 genius gardening hacks you’ll be glad you know.” In it, she gives a wide variety of uses for old sponges, toilet paper rolls, recycled aluminum cans and more. The following are are a couple of ideas I hope you find useful:
• Plant-in-a-Pot Landscaping Design: Ever wish you could reorganize your garden after seeing how the mature plants look? Here’s an intelligent way to do it. You’ll need a bunch of pots of the same size so that they’ll nest in each other. Put your plants in doubled containers, and then bury them at ground level. Whenever you want a change, lift out the top pot and put it in a different one. This method is great for easily bringing plants indoors over the winter or quickly changing out seasonal plants and allows easy experimentation with the color and placement of your plants and flowers.
• Cardboard Seed Tubes: Save your toilet paper and paper towel tubes for an easy and green way to start seeds. First, cut the tubes into 2-inch lengths and set them in a waterproof tray. Fill the tubes with potting soil and plant your seeds. When the seedlings are ready to move to the garden, plant them in the cardboard tube; the cardboard will decompose. Be sure to keep the tube below the soil surface so it doesn’t absorb moisture away from the roots.
• Healthy Plant Hydration: Water settling at the bottom of pots can lead to root rot. To combat this problem, cut up old sponges and put them in the bottom of your pots. The sponges act as a water reserve and keep moist soil longer, and they create necessary air space while preventing water from flushing out the bottom.
Fourteen years ago, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as National Pollinator Week marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. It has grown into an international celebration, promoting the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, moths, wasps and flies.
Lisa Choeun, the KLB volunteer coordinator, has scheduled many great activities throughout National Pollinator Week. For more information, please visit our website at www.keeplibertybeautiful. org and our Facebook page.
Simply put, pollination is the transfer of pollen in and between flowers of the same species that starts fertilization, ending in the successful production of a plant! Pollinators’ excellent work helps give us the food we put on the table and the simple smile we get from seeing a beautiful flower bloom.
Here are some ideas on how you can make pollinators’ jobs a lot easier:
1. Plant a pollinator- friendly garden with various flowering and native plants to give a succession of blooms from spring to fall.
2. Minimize the use of pesticides, even organic ones.
3. Provide a source of water. KLB will provide free pollinator planting kits to help start your garden; just visit your local library in Hinesville, Midway or Fort Stewart to pick up a kit. We also have contests and other giveaways scheduled.
To learn more about National Pollinator Week or KLB, check out the Keep Liberty Beautiful Facebook page, or contact us at (912) 880-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga. com.