Attracting Native Pollinators, a researched resource book for the subject described below, can be ordered from Amazon or the Xerces Society web site. Don eagerly encourages membership in www.xerces.org where an abundance of information and advocacy for invertebrate conservation can be found.
Meadows, pocket meadows and pollinator gardens are three versions of habitat restoration that can be created from lawn space. They are distinguished by size, amount of acceptable maintenance and similarly if plugs and/or sowing seed will be used to establish the new growth. They all have an essential requirement of site preparation. Wild flower seed must be given a “clean start”. The lawn or field vegetation must first be killed to avoid competition to the introduced native plants.
Site prep can be achieved by:
– applications of Glyphosate (Roundup)
– cover site with plastic sheeting – clear or black – results vary
– repeat shallow cultivate or roto till three times over summer season
(Site prep is commonly overlooked when starter seed packets are used. Surprisingly some wild flower seed require two years to germinate.)
Coreopsis and Brown Eyed Suzan are reliable in the first year.
Use Plugs for early visual reward and design control.
Smaller, more decorative pollinator gardens can be created with plugs in a manageable area of 10’ by 30’ or so, by laying 3” of untreated mulch down first.