The constant gardener
The best way to attract more bees to the garden
Bees love flowers. From them they get nectar for energy and pollen for protein and other nutrients. So, goal to have flowers for as many months of the year as possible, from the midst of summer when the bees are most active, through autumn when they will need to stock up for the chilly months ahead, and also winter itself when there isn’t much around.
Don’t limit their food supplies to perennial and annual flowers. Flowers on vegetables, herbs, shrubs, climbers and trees, as well as weeds (some other reason to let people dandelions and clover bloom in the lawn) are all fodder for bees.
Bees’ favorite flowers are yellow but they are also partial to blue, white, violet and purple ones.
For maximum pollen, choose blooms with single rows of petals rather than those with many; and heirloom plants within modern hybrids.
And if you’re feeding thembe the ideal host and give them something to drink too. Water at a shallow bowl using a stone for a landing site is ideal. It usually pays to keep along with weeds while they’re little. Nevertheless, if you like to let your
Flowers self-seed wait a little in order to be able to differentiate the unwanted and the welcome.
MAKE little but successive sowings of lettuce, radish and spring onions.
SOW beans, beetroot, rocket, lettuce, spinach and other leafy vegetables and salad greens directly into the garden. Not all herbs and vegetables need to be sun worshippers. For regions with less Sunlight, attempt coriander, mint, parsley, lettuce, peas, rocket and beets.
TOMATOES, corn, eggplants, chillies, courgettes, cucumbers, loofahs, melons, peppers, pumpkin may be planted outside in warmer districts; in more inland and southern regions wait till mid-November and the weather is much more settled.
IF YOU HAVE been growing the preceding out of seed, wait also, until the leaves appear before planting outside.
KEEP WATERING strawberries. They love it as they blossom and fruit.
The hunger games
FEED YOUR GARDEN. Proprietal fertilisers are often the easiest, such as Yates Thrive Granular Plant Food, which comes in five formulas targeting different plant groups. MAKE YOUR OWN fertiliser tea by soaking comfrey, seaweed, nettles, horse and sheep manure in water for several weeks.
DON’T FORGET YOUR INDOOR PLANTS.
They need regular watering over the summer months – and feeding. Daltons has specially formulated slow-release fertiliser tablets
SPREAD COMPOST around shrubs and trees. This will act as a food and mulch, and keep weeds down and moisture in the soil.
SOW ANNUAL AND PERENNIAL
FLOWERS, either under cover or out, according to their needs.
LEAVE DAFFODIL AND OTHER
BULB LEAVES for at least two months after flowering. The plant needs them in order
to manufacture food (photosynthesis), which is then stored in the bulb to secure next year’s growth.