More on Gardening for Pollinators with Aoife Munn
Managed for wildlife – that’s what all our gardens and other green spaces ought to be, according to horticulturalist and sustainability expert Aoife Munn.
She zoomed in on Sat 20 March 2021 for a super-engaging and interesting online gardening class, attended by three dozen of eager Skerries people.
This seminar, which was part of our Biodiversity / Pollinator Action Plan, focused on the importance of a positive, integrated approach to gardening for pollinators.
No chemicals, and a multi-pronged way of dealing with pests, as well as choosing the right plants for the right season – those were just a few of the ideas Aoife shared with us.
As a community, we ought to be thinking of corridors for pollinators, for the bumblebees and their winged friends can not travel very far, so having places to snack in between is very, very useful.
The “Managed for Wildlife” sign, by the way, is available to download on the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan website pollinators.ie
Aoife currently runs weekly classes online for Fingal County Council, which are announced on Mondays on their Social Media pages – you’ll have to make it to the FCC Facebook or Instagram page fast, though, as by Tuesday the spaces tend to be filled!
This week, Aoife has kindly sent us the following pointers regarding wildflowers:
Wildflowers – tips by Aoife Munn
- Do not use any chemicals like weedkiller or bug spray anywhere (but particularly not close to your wildflower area). These have a huge effect on biodiversity in your area and if you are thinking about setting up a wildflower area, have a chat to people living in the area to see if you can discourage them from using chemicals too.
- Where you get your seed really matters. The only three places to get Irish seed in Ireland are: www.wildflowers.ie or Traditional Irish Native Wildflower Mix or https://www.thegardenshop.ie/seeds/flowers/wild-flowers/ (only the own brand ones here!)
- Sow your wildflowers on specially prepared soil where there is no grass (Fork it, Rake it, Gardeners shuffle, Rake it again). Edge the beds well to stop grass encroaching.
- Remember sowing rates are important to get a good mix of species (1.5g -3g per meter)
- Yellow rattle can be used to supress grass.
- Or if it is poor bare soil just rough it up with a rake and sprinkle the seeds.
- Sow when the soil is warm and moist so Spring and Autumn are best
- If we get a very dry spell give them some water.
- Use signage from biodiversity Ireland to let people know what you are doing. https://pollinators.ie/resources/
- Collect the seed when it is ripe (it is brown and rattles)
- Cut the area back once a year
- Take lots of pictures and when posting on social media use the hashtag #Communities4Environment