It is No Mow May this month and World Bee Day on 20 May, so we're offering tips on how to make your garden nature-friendly.
To attract more wildlife into your garden, one simple thing you can do is avoid using pesticides. Pesticides kill the food birds and hedgehogs need such as insects, slugs and snails. Plants such as perennials that come back every year, are usually strong enough to survive attacks by pests.
No Mow May
Flowers in your lawn can provide a feast for bumblebees and other insects, so this month, put away your lawnmower and do your bit to stop their alarming decline. Relax with a cup of tea and enjoy the wildlife that may be attracted to the beautiful buttercups and daisies that are likely to bloom. The Royal Horticultural Society lists many other common lawn weeds as Plants for Pollinators.
Practical tips around May plants include:
- once the danger of frost has passed, put tender plants outside
- prune spring flowering shrubs such a forsythia once they have finished blooming
- avoid cutting hedges as birds may be nesting
- perennial candytuft and honesty bloom in May, both are RHS Plants for Pollinators.
Fruit and vegetables
For fruits and vegetables, you could:
- plant tender vegetables such as potatoes, courgettes, squash and tomatoes
- sow your vegetable seeds
- encourage pollinators on the vegetable plot by planting comfrey and purple fiddleneck (phacelia tanacetifolia). Comfrey leaves can be made into liquid fertiliser, and purple fiddleneck can be used as a green manure. Children will love growing purple fiddleneck because it flowers quickly and will be covered with furry bumblebees.
Sources: Gardening for a Wilder Kent / Bumblebee Conservation Trust: Gardening for Bumblebees / Royal Horticultural Society's Plants for Pollinators