February 2021 - 19

ECO-FRIENDLY
IGCs should offer a variety of
plants that provide pollen and
nectar throughout the year.
safe practices can be one of the most impactful ways to
promote pollinator health. By creating signage describing
these pollinator-friendly practices and keeping low- and nopesticide
use plants available in inventory to choose from,
customers can make informed plant choices.
Other impactful ways to promote pollinator-friendly
strategies are to offer discounts on pollinator-friendly
plants, such as coneflowers, each week (see sidebar, " 5
Award-Winning Pollinator-Friendly Varieties, " on page
20). In addition to offering discounts, emphasizing the
importance of pollinators during gardening workshops and
when hosting school groups are other fun ways to promote
stewardship and educate the public.
Grower-Retailers
If you are a grower-retailer, reducing, refining or eliminating
the use of pesticides on plants where possible, especially
when plants are in bloom, will help protect pollinators from
accidental exposure. Adopting Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) practices can help protect beneficial insects, reduce risk
to employees, and save money through more efficient and
effective pesticide application. IPM practices include spraying
only those plants with a pest problem of economic significance
and only when the pest is at a vulnerable life stage, thereby
limiting pesticide applications to only those applications that
are likely to be effective and efficient.
Another strategy is to target pesticide applications to
the relevant plant part; for example, by closing sprayer
nozzles to only spray tree canopies, not trunks, for certain
pests. Directed sprays, such as those that are applied with
a hand wand, can also focus applications on the intended
part of the crop plant. Similarly, using laser-guided
spray technology to sense the plant's presence and its
characteristics can greatly reduce non-target application
and drift, which can reduce the potential for accidental
pollinator exposure.
These tips act as a great starting point for garden centers
who want to become more pollinator friendly. Educating
your customer about the importance of pollinators, making
pesticide applications in a way that minimizes risk to bees
and other pollinators, and by fostering pollinator-friendly
habitats, your store and your customers can help maintain
healthy pollinator populations in their communities.
For more information, retailers, landscapers and nursery
producers can contact their county UT-TSU Extension office.
To learn more, visit https://extension.tennessee.edu/
Pages/default.aspx
Trystan Bordeau is Extension intern and Amy Fulcher is
associate professor and Extension specialist, Department
of Plant Sciences; and Laura Russo is assistant professor,
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, at University
of Tennessee.
AH_LGR_GoToGrow_3.35x9.7_Jan_FA.indd 1
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Join us today, and see how
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February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2021

February 2021 - 1
February 2021 - 2
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