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Ecosystem health, Medway monthly gardening – June

ecosystems image of bee pollinating flower

On 5 June, it’s World Environment Day. A day that is all about helping to restore ecosystems. Gardeners can play a big part in this.

To create a healthier ecosystem in your garden, try not to use pesticides. A garden without pesticides can provide food, shelter and water for wildlife.

It also helps predators such as birds, ladybird larvae and hover flies thrive and provide natural pest control.

June plants

Practical tips around June plants include:

  • leaving some of your lawn to grow through summer to see what blooms
  • sowing biennials such as foxgloves, sweet williams and evening primroses for flowering next year.

Bugs and bees

Using our tips, you will hopefully see some more:

  • butterflies – some butterfly larvae eat long grass
  • bees – bumblebees love foxgloves
  • small tortoiseshell butterflies – their favourite food is sweet williams
  • moths – moths enjoy evening primrose.

Fruits and vegetables

For fruits and vegetables, you could try:

  • pinching out the tips of broad bean plants to reduce blackfly or just leave ladybirds and their larvae to eat them
  • leaving last year’s parsnips in the ground so they can grow their beautiful umbelliferous flowers, loved by hover flies and other insects.

Hedges and trees for cleaner air

National Clean Air Day is 17 June. A scientific study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has shown that thick, dense hedges help absorb pollution from cars.

They found that shrubs with dense canopies and rough, hairy leaves are the best. A good example is the cotoneaster.

Shrubs that flower and have berries look great and provide food and cover for birds and insects.

Container grown shrubs can be planted any time. Just make sure to keep them well watered in their first year.

Sources: Gardening for a Wilder Kent / (RHS’s) hedge your bets with ‘super plant ’to fight air pollution

 

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