Summer is winding down and that means that fall and winter are right around the corner. If you are anything like we are, you’re already thinking ahead to next year’s garden and all of its possible needs. Something many people forget is the importance of pollinating insects. Did your vegetable garden not do very well this year? It may be because of lack of pollinators. Read on to learn how to make a home for the good bugs in your garden.
An insect hotel in your back yard may be just what you need. It’s the perfect time to make one since your pollinators will soon need a place to hunker down for the cooler months. Insect hotels are fun to assemble with the young gardeners in your life and even more fun to watch as they become populated with all sorts of different insects. We currently have an Insect Hotel kit that includes all the supplies to make your first insect hotel, even tools! An extra helping hand is all you will need. However, the directions on the box are quite basic so we’ll share how we put ours together here at the greenhouse.
First, lay the pieces out and separate them individually; being organized makes it much easier as you put your hotel together. Notice there are two different lengths of nails and pay close attention that these are used in the correct location. We found it was easiest to start by putting the sides onto the back of the hotel. For nailing the sides and bottom on, you will be using the shorter of the two nails. There is glue included with the kit and we used it on each connecting joint along with nails. Once you have the sides nailed onto the back, locate the bottom and middle dividing piece. Put the dividing piece into place before nailing the bottom on because there won’t be much wiggle room later on. It’s held in with pegs so we just put a small dot of glue on each peg before securing the bottom with nails.
Next, you can add the roof. Before any nails or glue come into play, make sure you know how the roof comes together and that the back of the hotel is flush with the roof. Once you understand where all of your nails will be placed, you can start with the final assembly. You will be using the longer nails to attach the roof and those extra helping hands come in handy. Have patience and let all of your glue dry well.
Once it is dry, you can begin “furnishing” your insect hotel with bedding materials. Place the bamboo loosely into the top portion of your hotel. The wood block with holes drilled into it will slide into the bottom portion of the hotel. What you are left with now is an open middle area where your pine cones can be loosely placed and covered with the metal screen that is included. Use your hammer gently on the tacks that are included because they bend easily. Add any finishing touches and, ta da – you’re done!
Hang your insect hotel in a nice, sunny area that will stay dry and safe from any extreme elements. Promote a good habitat for your pollinators so they can love you back next year and as always, happy gardening!