Posted 8th May 2018 by Peter Byrne
If you're planning to follow Alan Titchmarsh's advice to create a plot for pollinators in your garden, these tips could help
1 Measure a square metre of outdoor space as a plot for pollinators - fill this with open-flowered, nectar-rich plants. Find a sunny, sheltered position and group pots together on a patio, grow plants up a fence or wall, and commit an area of a flowerbed.
2 Keep your plot regularly watered. Ideally, this should be done from a water butt as this is more environmentally friendly. Frequent watering will prevent plants from drying out during a spell of hot weather, particularly when in containers, and helping flowers to produce more nectar.
3 Water the soil and not the plant - larger leaves can act as an umbrella which prevents water getting to the roots. Remove the rose from your watering can to get nearer the plant base if necessary.
4 A layer of mulch on the surface of the soil around the plant helps to prevent water evaporation and suppresses weed growth.
5 Choose peat-free compost and cut down on your use of plastic. Recyclable and recycled containers can be used, or alternatively be creative and turn tins and tubs into plant pots. Remember to drill drainage holes in the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
6 Dead-heading after flowering keeps plants looking attractive and encourages blooms.
7 Encourage your neighbour to plant a plot for pollinators - this will create a flowery super highway for pollinating insects where you live.
8 Avoid harmful pesticides - instead, remove slugs and snails by hand instead. Night is the best time to catch marauding molluscs in action. Once you've caught them, release them a safe distance from your plot.
Image courtesy of Butterfly Conservation