Whether you’re a keen amateur gardener, or just someone who likes to potter around your flower beds, here are some things you can be doing in your garden this spring. Plus we share with you some great tips on how to help some of the busiest workers in our gardens – our bees.
- Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants
- Water early and late in the day to get the most out of your water
- Regularly hoe off weeds
- Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days
- Plant out summer bedding plants
- Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges
How to Bee friendly in the garden
As well as pollinating our plants and flowers, bees help to bring our gardens to life with their antics and buzzing. Here in the UK we have 270 species of bee, of which the domestic honeybee is just one. Most of the latter are kept in hives. The others are wild, including 24 species of bumblebee living socially in nests. The rest are solitary, such as masonry and leaf cutter bees.
Due to habitat loss, intensive farming (we’ve lost 98% of our wildflower-rich meadows since 1940) and pesticide use, bees have been in decline and gardeners can do a lot to help.
Our gardens cover roughly one million of the total UK acreage of 60 million acres, and by making them bee friendly, we can help link their wild refuges.
- Go pesticide free.
- Grow a long season of nectar and pollen rich flowers such as borage. Bee species have varying tongue lengths, so a mix of flat and tubular flowers caters to all.
- If you find what looks like a dying bee, it might just have run out of fuel. Fully stoked with nectar, a bee runs for about 30 minutes. Place your torpid bee on a flower or near some sugar water and it might revive.
- Both bumble and solitary bees rely on rustic, undisturbed areas so leave a part of your plot wild and untouched.
- In small plots with few nesting sites, add specially designed bee boxes for nests and hibernating queens.
- Join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust