To connect everything, let’s have a look at herbs, their flowers, and how they help pollinators. For starters, many of you may be asking, what exactly is a herb? General usage of the term "herb" differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs; in medicinal or spiritual use, any parts of the plant might be considered as "herbs", including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, resin, and inner bark (and cambium).
So let’s dive in deeper about our herbs. It’s the ultimate goal of each plant to bolt and produce seeds. When herbs bolt they transition from a mostly leaf-based plant to a plant that has mostly flowers and stems. You will notice when your herbs have bolted. It will be happily flowering! However, when this happens the herb loses flavor. At this point the plant is putting all its energy into creating seed.
So let’s talk about keeping those herbs fresh. Here are some practical tips and advice.
- To enjoy that fresh flavor of your herb for a longer period, plant them tightly.
- Keep them well-watered.
- Cool the roots with an insulating layer. This helps stave off the heat and preserve the flavor by delaying the bolting.
- Let your herbs bolt! Let them fully develop their flowers so bees and other pollinators can enjoy the flower nectar.
- Install another row of herbs that you can harvest later to keep enjoying flavorful herbs.
These helpful tips help us see the cycle and connection with the environment, pollinators, and pollination. Once plants begin to grow, pollinators come and pollination occurs. This is Mother Nature and part of a continuous cycle. If we don’t support this cycle, many things will go wrong with our environment. We do face a shortage of bees and monarch butterflies. Yet when our herbs bolt they provide what birds, bees, monarchs, and other animals need to be excellent pollinators and help the earth.
Thank you for tuning into our blogs on pollinators. Whether your garden or farm is big or small, there is so much you can do to increase the presence of pollinators in your community to improve the environment!