Plant a Florida Pollinator Garden
Green Works Orlando has partnered with Seed2Source by Sustainable Synergy to bring organic, non-GMO seeds directly to citizens of the City of Orlando. The program will increase the number of household gardens in the City by creating a more streamlined avenue for seed distribution as well as through targeted education and outreach. This unique model supports residents of multifamily properties to utilize their space for our City’s pollinator population.
What can a pollinator garden do?
- These flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators to your garden, which is the first step in sustainable gardening. By planting a pollinator garden, you provide the shelter these beneficial insects and birds need to hide from predators, get out of the elements and rear their young, as well as the pollen and nectar they eat.
- Even a small garden makes a big difference. A patchwork of pollinator gardens in neighborhoods, cities and rural areas around the country could provide enough habitats to restore healthy communities of pollinators.
What seeds are provided?
- Each package of pollinator seeds includes a variety of 25 wildflower pollinators such as:
- Clover, Texas Bluebonnet, Baby’s Breath, Blue Fax, Evening Primrose, Cornflower, Plains Coreopsis, Sweet Alyssum, Scarlet Flax, Indian Blanket, Black-Eyed Susan, Cosmos Sensation, Sulphur Cosmos, African Daisy, Baby Blue Eyes, DWF Red Plains Coreopsis, Painted Daisy, Poor Man’s Weatherglass, Rocket Larkspur, Yarrow, Drummond Phlox and Purple Coneflower.
- These pollination seeds are all sourced within the U.S. and packaged locally in Central Florida. The seeds are individually packaged and are hermetically sealed in Mylar packaging to maximize freshness and sustainability (protecting the seeds from harmful out sunlight, air and moisture).
How Do I Get Started?
One of the best things about pollinator gardens is they are easy to grow! Do you have a very small space? Partial shade? Live in an apartment or condo? No problem! You don’t need a large space or even full sun available to have an impact; any size garden can attract and support pollinators. Many space types can be easily adapted with containers or planter boxes too.
- Pollinator seed pack
- Container/pots (unless planting direct into the ground)
- Organic soil
- Choose a spot that gets five or more hours of direct sun a day.
- Prepare your organic soil by clearing the area of all existing growth. Simply dig up everything that is growing, turn the soil and rake the area flat. If this is an area that has never been gardened, you may need to till the area up to remove growth.
- For container gardens, simply add organic soil to your desired container.
- Mix the seeds with sand for better visibility and scatter the seeds directly on top of the soil. If you are sowing a larger area, we recommend using a seed spreader; if not, you can sow by hand.
- We recommend lightly compressing the seeds into the soil, making sure not to bury them. You can either walk on them, use a board or if you are sowing a larger area, rent a seed roller.
Water so that the soil is moist, not soaking wet, until the seedlings are about 4-6″ tall. After that, the seedlings will survive on natural rains. If you are experiencing very dry weather, we recommend watering occasionally.
Water plants thoroughly when planting, then water as needed until they are established and putting out new foliage. Once plants are established, irrigation should be needed only during extended dry periods. Learn to recognize when plants look wilted and water them then. Over-irrigation can cause fungus and rot, which can kill your wildflowers. It can also cause them to grow too quickly, becoming more susceptible to pests and diseases, or too tall, requiring staking.
Pollinators should not need fertilizer. Applying fertilizer can produce plants that grow too quickly, which can lead them to become pest and disease prone, and too tall, requiring staking. Fertilizing also encourages weeds, which can easily out-compete wildflowers.
If you want wildflowers to persist on their own in your landscape, you’ll need to allow for self-seeding, especially for annual or short-lived species. Keep open, lightly mulched areas available for seed to germinate.
- Planting a pollinator (bee & butterfly) garden in the City of Orlando overview provided by the University of Florida IFAS Extension: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/types-of-gardens/butterfly-gardens.html
- Planting tips provided by the Florida Wildflower Foundation: http://flawildflowers.org/wildflowers_naturally.php