Every year we make New Year’s resolutions that often don’t last past January because we always try to accomplish too much, too soon! Most of us will try to do a little less of one thing, and a little more of something else.
A survey carried out by The National Lottery found that 56% of people wanted to do exactly that - they want to do more to help wildlife. Yet 29% of those surveyed said they do not have enough time to do help wildlife and nearly a fifth said they don’t know how they can help. Helping nature and wildlife doesn’t have to be a laborious or expensive task if you take it one step at a time, and you can do it from the comfort of your very own garden. Here’s how:
Care for your lawn little and often
If you care for your lawn little and often, you’ll find that it will reward you handsomely for even the smallest of efforts you put in. Grass, just like any other plant, is a living thing that needs cared for. If you have ever noticed how a plant perks up quickly after being watered, then you’ll see the same in your grass when you carry out any kind of maintenance on it. One of the main reason’s homeowners switch to an artificial lawn is because they are frustrated with grass yellowing, bare patches and weeds – but all of these issues can be easily and quickly rectified / eradicated with small expenditure and a little bit of care. The RHS puts it perfectly:
‘The RHS always recommends that gardeners use real grass, which is available in a range of hardy mixes and suitable for most situations. We recognise that permeable landscape materials, including plastic grass, can offer a substitute in very high wear situations or where mobility and access is an issue, and there is no alternative to real grass.
We know that grass can mitigate flooding, cool the environment, support wildlife, produce vital oxygen and promote health and wellbeing when maintained correctly and urge gardeners to overlook small scale problems such as yellowing, bare patches, moss and weeds; all of which can be addressed if bothersome with minimal cost and effort".
As of now, artificial lawns cannot be recycled and go straight to landfill where they won’t biodegrade. Feed your lawn seasonally, aerate it to improve drainage, reduce compaction and enhance nutrient dispersal, remove thatch, weeds and moss and overseed if needed. All of these small steps (that don’t have to be completed on the one day or even in the same month) will greatly improve your lawns appearance – and who knows, you might just enjoy it!
2. Introduce a wild side
We can all agree that bees are inherently important to our very own existence and that without them we cannot possibly sustain our food sources. Wildflowers are particularly attractive to bees (we have a list of some of their favourites) due to their naturally open appearance, flat petals, sweet smell and sometimes tubular / bell-like blooms that offer them sanctuary while they percolate over pollen! Introducing wildflowers into your garden through a bed or border is not only a great way to provide a food source for bees but will also provide you with a delightful display of vibrant and versatile flora, year after year! Wildflowers aren’t like typical garden flora – they’re easy to sow, grow and are incredibly low maintenance. So, if you want to do your bit for the bees in 2020, sowing some wildflowers in January for them to bloom for you in spring is a great place to start.
Consider a no-mow area
For a grass seed brand that ‘bangs on’ about the importance of lawn maintenance and mowing, you may be surprised to hear that we do advocate a no mow area in your lawn. In fact, it’s rather stylish to have one! By saying no-mow, we don’t mean your entire lawn has to be left unmown and unruly. By even letting a small area grow wild (in a circle in the middle of your lawn, a path or border) your grass will begin to naturally cultivate and produce clover, dandelions, daisies and more. These are all great food sources for bees and pollinators and leaving this area unmown will save you a bit of work!
Every little helps
It may be the slogan of a well-known grocery superstore, but it couldn’t be more true. You don’t have to have a rolling estate, acres of land, or even a lawn to help wildlife. In a world of apartments and basement flats with paved-over gardens, there is still an opportunity to do your bit. Purchasing a planter or pot and filling it with wildflowers will benefit bees and pollinators, a bird feeder and seed will greatly support our native birds throughout the year and even leaving out wet dog food will be a welcome sight for hedgehogs, foxes and badgers. All of these things are low cost and easy to do.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not make 2020 the year you finally do your little bit to help the planet, biodiversity, bees, pollinators and your local wildlife!