Spring has been much delayed in my part of the country. It’s following a long trend of cooler than normal weather. We are about the only place on the planet that’s abnormally cool so I suppose I should not complain. But this trend has persisted for a couple of years and it’s getting tiresome. I’m sure the Californians would be more than delighted to trade with me.
Many of you are probably already experiencing lots of pollinators. So far, I have only seen a few native bumble bees on the rare warm days that we have had. (Interestingly enough, as soon as the bumble bees came out, wasps were not far behind!)
But there’s another pollinator that’s going to be emerging soon, one that pollinates some of our spring ephemerals. This one is less well-known as a pollinator (but very well-known as a pest!) so I wanted to draw your attention to it.
Of course I am talking about one of my favorites, the ants. Perhaps I like them so much because I live in a region without fire ants.
But once I discovered that ants are one of our primary pollinators of spring wildflowers, that endeared them to me even more. For a closer look at which wildflowers, see my post of last year.
As if it isn’t enough, ants are great aerators of my heavy clay soil. What more could an organic gardener want?
So before pulling out some sort of bug spray, please, if the ants are not invading your home, just leave them alone.
And if the ants are marching in a nice little trail toward the house, why not head it off with a swipe of soapy water instead of a toxic chemical? Do we really need to interrupt their progress with such heavy-duty methods all the time?