Like butterflies? Here's how you can invite some over
Butterflies are pretty, but did you know they also help feed us? That's because butterflies, like bees and some other animals, are pollinators. Pollinators carry pollen, which fertilizes plants and helps them grow. You can thank pollinators for one out of every three bites of food you eat.
Pollinators need to eat, too, which is why it's important to plant plenty of things that they’ll find familiar and tasty. Fortunately, that's easier than you might think.
In this video, Amazon horticulturist Matt shows you how to prepare an outside site for native plants, sow the seeds, make sure they have enough nutrients to grow, and properly water them. If you don’t have a good place to plant the seed directly outside, no problem—you'll also see how you can start the seeds indoors to then bring outside once they start to grow.
What you'll need to do this at home:
- Seeds for native plants—ones that are accustomed to growing where you live.
- A patch of dirt outside—or a pot filled with dirt.
- Peat moss or compost.
- A way to gently water your seeds, such as a watering can or a hose with an adjustable nozzle.
- Patience! Depending on which seeds you plant, it can take weeks or months before you see results.
Words to know
As you watch along, listen out for the following terms; they're referenced chronologically throughout the video.
Horticulturist: Horticulturists learn about plants and use that knowledge to grow plants healthy and strong.
Native plants: Native plants are ones that grow in the wild in your area, as opposed to ones that people bring in from far away.
Pollinators: Pollinators are insects and small mammals that help plants grow by carrying pollen among them.
Aerate: Aerate means to punch holes in soil by pricking it and turning it with a rake or pitchfork.
Germinate: A seed germinates when a shoot begins to grow from inside it.
Cover crop: A cover crop is a type of fast-growing plant that will protect the soil and help feed other plants that are planted nearby.
Inoculate: When it comes to seeds, to inoculate them means to coat them with helpful bacteria that will boost the seed's growth.
Dormancy: Dormancy is the period when plants "sleep" over the winter.
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