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We all know how crucial bees are to the planet, so it’s important to play our part in helping them thrive, especially if we have gardens and green spaces that we could use. And growing a bee-friendly patch of wildflowers can be an easy and inexpensive way to do just that.
Wildflowers have vibrantly colored petals and enticing scents, perfect for buzzing bees to land and shelter. They also provide a great source of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on,” explains Angela Slater, garden expert at Hayes Garden World.
Encouraging bees to our gardens with a variety of different wildflowers is a great way to help curb the threat of their declining population, and Angela has shared some of her best tips for creating a patch of wildflowers in your back garden. .
Here’s how to make your own bee-friendly patch of wildflowers:
remove the grass
One of the first things you’ll need to do if you’re planning to create a bee-friendly patch of wildflower meadow is to remove some grass.
According to Angela, this will reduce soil fertility, which is essential for a wildflower meadow as they need poor soil. “Fertile soil provides a beneficial environment for fast-growing grasses and noxious weeds that will compete with more fragile flowers,” she explains.
If you don’t want to remove the grass, it will be much more difficult to grow wildflowers from seed. This means you will end up having to use root ball plants instead, which can be significantly more expensive to plant.
Planting Using a Wildflower Mix
You can buy a mix of wildflowers and bee-friendly seed packets for less than £5 at your local garden center or even online. Once you’ve removed the grass, use these seeds to start seeding.
Keep the seeds well watered
Making sure to keep the seeds well watered is key when it comes to establishing plants. If you have a water meter or are in one of the areas of the UK that has recently been affected by drought, using water from a water tank connected to a downspout can be a great option to keep your water use down.
Once the wildflowers reach 5cm tall, you usually won’t need to water them again, as intermittent rain showers should provide them with enough water to flourish.
• How to start a patch of wildflowers from bare ground •
‘If you’ve decided to start a patch of wildflowers from bare ground, make sure you control weeds by digging, which will also bring less fertile soil to the surface. Then firm and rake the surface to make a seedbed; it’s always a good idea to spread the seed evenly across the patch,’ recommends Angela.
You also don’t want to add any fertilizer to your patch, as this will cause the grass to overgrow, flooding the wildflowers and making it difficult for bees to perch on them.
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