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Simply peg out, sow and grow. A great introduction to “no-dig” gardening for young and old alike!
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The kit contains a generous sized piece of our garden felt (60cm x 35cm), a packet of annual and perennial wildflower seeds, a bag of Sheepwool compost, and eight bamboo skewers so you can peg it down as a whole or cut it into two.
The great thing about this mat is that you don’t need to prepare a bed or anything. No weeding or raking or anything first. Just peg the mat down firmly in the place you want the flowers to grow. Make sure it’s nice and wet, then sprinkle the seeds all over. Then lightly sprinkle over the sheep wool compost. Keep it moist and the seeds will start growing in a week or two.
It’s best to sow them in the spring or early summer. However, if you want to give them a head start you can cut them into two and put them in seed trays, to get them started indoors. Once the seeds start sprouting you can cut the felt into bits and put the wool into pots, out on the bed where you want them to grow, or even in hanging baskets. You can get imaginative and plant them in any kind of container you like, even old boots or watering cans!
Insects are attracted to all kinds of flowers, but our native insects have evolved to work with our native wildflowers. Some insects are multi-taskers and some are specialists, relying on just a limited range of species. So it’s good to use native wildflowers for native insects.
Our gardens provide a wide range of flowers, extending beyond the natural growing season of our native wildflowers. These can provide valuable food sources for insects, especially at the beginning and end of the season. Sadly the number of wildflowers has decreased over recent years so by having them in the garden or by having exotic flowers that flower earlier or later than native ones, there is more of a food source for our insects.
The Royal Horticultural Society did a study to see whether native or non-native plants were best for pollinating insects. The conclusion was that a mix of both was beneficial, with a greater proportion of native ones. Read more about it here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/pdf/conservation-and-biodiversity/wildlife/plantforbugsbulletin1.pdf
Look out for their Perfect for Pollinators logo for the best plants for our pollinating insects.
Perfect for Pollinators seeds of course! A mixture of annual, biennial and perennial plants. These are:
Common Agrimony, Borage, Wild Clary, Red Clover, White Clover, Corn Cockle, Cornflower, Ox-eye Daisy, Wild Foxglove, Common Knapweed, Greater Knapweed, Purple Loosestrife, Wild Marjoram, Meadow Cranesbill, Musk Mallow, Common Pooppy, Ragged Robin, Sainfoin, Field Scabious, Teasel, Birds-foot Trefoil, Kidney Vetch, Viper’s Bugloss, Yarrow, Yellow Rattle. The species included in this mixture create an attractive display from May to October and is suitable for creating habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. It contains a wide range of species to create a diverse environment and range of food to support local wildlife.
Here, let Professor Dave Goulson explain it: https://www.somersetwildlife.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/FULL%20AFI%20REPORT%20WEB1_1.pdf
It’s easy to like the “good” insects like bees and butterflies, and harder to like the ones that bite or sting or chew your clothes. But they’ve all got a role to play. Our clothes moths products are to control clothes moths in the home, but out in the wild they do a great job of cleaning up fur, feathers, skin, stuff that would sit around for a long time if the clothes moth larva wasn’t there to chew it up and then hatch into bat food.
The wool will biodegrade and provide nutrients for the plants over about a year. The annuals / biennials will bloom once, produce seeds which will be eaten by birds or re-seed if they can. The perennials should keep going indefinitely.