Gardening to help restore nature


Gardening

Around 87% of UK households have a garden. That’s over 10 million acres, which is larger than all of Britain’s nature reserves combined!

Together, we have the opportunity to help restore nature, keep our soils healthy and protect the environment through our own patch of land, whether you have acres of space or a window box - we can all make a difference.

Grow a soil saving plant this month

Our soils are amazing. Soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and all of the world’s plants and forests combined, with nearly 10 billion tonnes of carbon stored in UK soils alone! We must protect them if we are to move towards a world with good health, in balance with nature and a safe climate.

By growing a soil saving plant, you're helping to look after your soil at home, attract beneficial insects and help soils lock in more carbon from the atmosphere, reducing our impact on the environment.

Try planting one of these in your garden, allotment or community patch:

  • Clover

  • Legumes (try french runner beans or sweet peas)

  • Cover crops like hairy vetch and cereal rye

  • Small tree varieties or fruit trees

  • Make your garden a wildlife haven

Around 87% of UK households have a garden. That’s over 10 million acres, which is larger than all of Britain’s nature reserves combined! Just think of the nature we could attract to these spaces if we all made a change. Even a small increase in bee-friendly organic habitats can boost bee numbers by a third!

Why not try:

  • Letting your lawn grow - Long grass provides a home for nesting butterflies and allows wildflowers to flourish, which provide nectar for bees and other pollinators

  • Saying no to pesticides

  • Adding a pond to your garden

  • Making a hedgehog hole - small gaps cut into fences allow wildlife to pass from garden to garden

  • Adding boxes, baths and feeders for birds

  • Making an insect hotel

Don't have a garden? Try planting in pots, windowsill growing or planting in your local community garden.

Plant one bee-friendly herb or flower this month

By planting herbs and flowers that bees and other pollinators love, you’re helping restore nature’s balance. Bees transfer pollen, helping flowers bloom and fruit and vegetables to grow. Try planting one of these in your garden, allotment or window box:

• Common poppy

• Evergreen clematis

• Foxglove

• Lemon thyme

Save and plant a new seed this month

Saving and planting seeds is a great way to become more self-reliant and to learn more about gardening and growing.

A good place to start is by choosing a self-pollinating plant, like beans, peas, tomatoes or peppers. Look out for your best plants and save your seeds from there.

Top tips

  • Get hold of some good quality seed compost and sieve it well if it’s lumpy, especially if you’re planting small seeds

  • Old cartons with holes punched in the bottom for drainage make excellent seed trays and you can put the lid underneath to catch any drips, or on top to keep the compost moist

  • Keep your seeds in an airtight container in a dry, dark place

  • Always sow more seed than you want as not every seed will germinate

  • Plant the seeds at the right depth - generally, that’s about as deep as the seed is big,