When you are planning your spring and summer vegetable garden, be sure to include room for blooms that will attract bees to help pollinate your crops. Without bees paying a regular visit to your garden, you will have a hard time harvesting a bounty of plump tomatoes, bumpy squash, or delicate garden peas.
Crops that are grown for their fruit, like strawberries, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers, require pollination from bees.
Bees spend most of their life collecting pollen. When bees land on a flower, pollen grains become attached to the small hairs that cover their body. As bees collect pollen to take back to their offspring, they energise themselves with the sugary nectar that many flowers provide. Bees tend to focus their collection efforts on one type of flower at a time, transferring pollen from one flower to another, bringing about fertilisation. Without this pollination from bees, most vegetables would never set fruit or continue to reproduce.
Luckily, some of the best plants for attracting bees to your vegetable garden will be just as enjoyable to you as they are to these furry winged pollinators. Hardy Geranium Rozanne is happy to get to work on such an important task, and her gorgeous purple flowers will summon bees from near and far. Rozanne is a laid-back bloom who doesn’t need a lot of care; you can focus your efforts on coaxing beans and pumpkins from the vine, instead.
Rozanne can be joined by some of her bee-friendly friends to make your vegetable garden a true pollination party. Hyssop, common Jasmine, English Lavender, and Dame’s Violets are great company for the lovely and easy-going Rozanne.
How to Host Happy Bees
Once you have attracted bees to your vegetable garden with hardy Geranium Rozanne’s attractive blooms, you can keep them there with a little bit of bee know-how. Be the ultimate host(ess), and happy bees will keep coming back to your garden time and again.
Plant a large swath of a single bee-friendly flower, not a mixed border. Bees like to return to highly visible flower beds, so reward them with a large section of their favourite blooms. Plant your Geraniums near to your vegetable garden in a bed, containers, or hanging baskets.
While you may have an image of a beehive in mind, most bees live a solitary life. Females will dig short tunnels in the earth, so leave at least half of your garden beds un-mulched for these ladies. Some bee species prefer to make a home in branches or dead wood. You can attract these guests to your garden by drilling bee-sized holes in untreated wood blocks.
Avoid using pesticides in your vegetable garden. Some neonicotinoid pesticides can be highly toxic to bees for up to several days after an application. Pesticides don’t just kill on contact, either. Residual chemicals can remain on a plant, and be picked up by an unlucky visiting bee.
Geranium Rozanne and some of her darling friends are the perfect additions to your vegetable garden. Attractive blooms, plenty of pollen, and delicious nectar will keep the bees coming back to help pollinate your spring and summer crops. Rozanne is happy to get to work playing hostess for the guests of honour in your vegetable garden this season.