You know the season is shifting from summer to fall as temps cool and leaves turn color, but did you know it's also a time of Nectar Flow? I use capital letters because this phenomenon is so important to pollinators as they get ready to hibernate or migrate. Simply put, nectar flow is when one or more major nectar sources are blooming.
And here in Minnesota it's a boom year for nectar flow. Chances are it may be in your area too. Abundant rain and moderate weather sees Minnesota and other surrounding states still green and growing even now at the end of September. This is great news for pollinators as they tank up to spend winter in hives and nests or starting lengthy journeys to overwintering sites.
Not every year finds nectar flow plentiful. Drought, erratic weather, indiscriminate mowing, pesticide use and other issues can bring shortages of these vital plants. The more fall blooming flowers you plant the better chance pollinators survive and thrive into the next year.
Across much of the Midwest, native plants like asters and goldenrod account for much of the fall nectar flow. But there are other flowers you can plant to help. Use this forage map to see the best plants in your region for all seasons of nectar flow.
Learn more about what you can do to help pollinators in my book: Pollinator Friendly Gardening: Gardening for Bees, Butterflies and Other Pollinators when it comes out February 1, 2016. Take advantage of the special pre-order price of $16.27 (reg. $21.99) on Amazon right now!
Here in my garden these eight showy perennials are the big players in pollinator support for fall: