Tomato Plants
Q.

will row covers keep pollinators away

Zone zone 9 Barstow Calif. | childofGOD added on May 20, 2016 | Answered

I am having difficulty attracting pollinators. I have planted a whole bunch of different flower colors and varieties along the fence line 3 ft. wide and 15 ft. long, behind the vegetable plants so they would have to fly over the vegetable plants coming and going, thus spreading pollen. I put out hummingbird feeders as well. Last night I added more blue colored flowers along the sides of where the tomatoes, eggplants, bell pepper, and cucumber plants are. I have done many joyful hours of research before getting started. This is my first year to garden here in the Mojave dessert. I'm in zone 9. I started on virgin ground with a water hose, a shovel and a rake back in late March, as I learned to plant here early spring because it gets so hot and dry in summer months. I have had so much joy in seeing life pop out of the ground that all the hours I spent hand tilling have been quite the reward so far. Is it possible since this ground and yard have never had a garden or even flowers and trees that pollinators won't be attracted the first year or even 2? I know that bees like best the color of blue, then purple then orange yellow and white, the hummingbirds like trumpet flowers or bell-like flowers and I want to bring in butterflies also. I know this is more of a story than question. I just don't have anyone around here to glean from. I have spent many, many hours on the internet. I would like a real live person this time. Thank you for your website and for the time you spend answering all of the many people that you do. Many thanks from the joyful, hopeful gardener in Barstow, Calif. Zone 9 Ronda P.S everything is blooming with many flowers but all seem to be male, so I can't even hand pollinate. Any advice on this?

A.
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Humus
Answered on May 21, 2016

Hi there
I live in Brussels, Belgium not the Mojave desert...But bees are bees, flowers are flowers, and nature responds to: respect and consistency

Grow local flowers. Grow a variety of those plants so that you can have flowers nearly all year round. Don't forget herbs. They get covered in bees over here

Two days ago,I was visiting one of my clients and complemented her on her flowering bushes. Then I noticed how many bees she had buzzing about. I said that where I live we surely don't have bees like she has. Ahh, she said, come with me... She took me round the back of the garden and showed me....her 2 bee hives :-)

I drove back thinking how I could start one too...

This brings me to my second point...
When you are driving around and you see a great veggie garden, or better still a gardener quietly working, well stop the car and walk over. I have not met a gardener who wasn't DELIGHTED to share!

Third point:
I have been subscribed for years to a magazine called Mother Earth News. Go on their site.... Lots there...

Good luck there

Peter in Brussels

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