This coming weekend and the rest of May are times when Minnesotans traditionally buy bedding plants and perennials. There is a lot of evidence that certain chemicals used by some nurseries are causing great harm to bee and butterfly populations. How can you make purchases that support the health of our pollinators?
Read more about pollinators here : what they are and why they are so important.
The chemical to avoid when buying plants is called neonicotinoid or neonic for short. Some garden centers, including Lowe’s and Fratallone’s Ace Hardwares, have phased out using this chemical. At Home Depot, look for plants saying “Neonic-free” on the label, as some plants do still contain the chemical. ASK a garden center employee and say that you are avoiding this pesticide, so they know it is important to their customers.
You can also support some local garden centers that have been influencers and leaders in phasing out neonics. Mother Earth Gardens has two locations in Minneapolis; Eggplant on Selby in St. Paul is another option.
This weekend is also the premier plant sale in our area, the Friends School Plant Sale, and they have pledged to not order from growers using neonics.
Other pollinator-friendly gardening tips include:
Buy organic seeds, which cannot be treated with neonics.
Choose recommended nectar-providing plants from the website resources of the locally-based Pollinator Friendly Alliance.
Follow the new trend for No Mow May, which provides early food for bees and other pollinators in the form of clover and dandelion blossoms in your lawn. Some larger cities in the metro area have actually adopted this practice.
The Climate Action team thanks you for all your efforts to live more sustainably!