Gardening While Isolated Video Series Starts April 20

AMES, Iowa – One activity that can bring a smile to your face while staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is starting seeds for your upcoming garden. As part of the “Gardening While Isolated” series, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach invites the public to watch the “Promoting Pollinators” video April 20 at noon during a Facebook watch party.
The video will be shown on the ISU Extension and Outreach Facebook page. It was produced with Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University, and the Iowa State University Department of Horticulture.
In this video, viewers will learn about the importance of pollinators, such as native bees, honey bees, bumble bees, flower beetles, hover flies, hummingbirds and butterflies. Pollinators are essential in keeping our food supply going in the U.S., as 35% of our grain, fruit, nut and vegetable crop plants rely on pollinators to carry pollen from male to female flower parts to enable reproduction and fruit/grain set.

Starting a pollinator garden

You can start your own pollinator garden at home, ordering seeds from one of the many seed houses in the Midwest. Secure your potting mix and seedling trays (or pots, if only growing a few plants) from open garden stores in your area.
Place your seedling trays in a sunny location in your home, and take outside on warm days, when the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to bring in at night until night-time temperatures reach 60 F. You can also order and set up grow-lights, to provide a more even light, if you have room in your house or basement.
Taking time to design your pollinator garden is recommended. With some colored pencils, you can draw a basic structure with native pollinator trees and shrubs in the perimeter, followed by a variety of perennial and annual flowering plants that pollinators prefer for nectar and pollen (see plant lists in references below).
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