A worker bee gathers pollen and nectar from flowers to feed the colony, but while they are collecting their own food, they are also helping plants reproduce by pollinating them. Without flowering plants there would be no bees, and without bees there would be no flowering plants. That is why it is extremely important to take care of the natural environment and plant a variety of plants that bees will enjoy. When you take care of nature, it will take care of you.
It’s easy enough for anyone to add a few plants to their garden space that bees will be attracted to. Whether you have a great, big backyard or a tiny apartment balcony, I’ll show you how you can create a bee haven for all your friendly neighbourhood bees.
In Australia, it is a no-brainer to select one of our native plant species. However, a number of other plant species that thrive in Australian conditions are loved by bees, such as lavender, thyme, forget-me-nots and salvia. Check out this guide for an extensive list of plant species that Australian bees will love and enjoy. Today, i’ll show you how to plant lavender in your garden. Lavender is great for most gardens as it can be planted straight into the ground as a hedge or it can be planted into a pot.
DIY: PLANTING LAVENDER
- Purchase your lavender plant – Lavender can be bought from your local plant nursery or garden centre, such as Bunnings Warehouse. I’ve also seen it sold at Woolworths Supermarket for around $14 AUD.
- Purchase your garden supplies – If you don’t already have any, purchase a few gardening supplies such as gloves, clippers and a watering can. It is also good to purchase a bag of soil and a large pot if you need to.
- Choosing your location – Lavender is best suited to sunny, warm, dry conditions. It can tolerate all soil types, but they must be well-drained. To test if your garden soil is well-drained, dig a hole and fill it with water, then monitor how long the hole takes to drain. Any longer than one hour means the soil is not well-drained enough and your lavender will fail unless you improve your soil. Once you have chosen a suitable location, you can plant your lavender plant.
- Planting your lavender – If planting into the ground, dig a hole big enough for the plants root system to fit into. Gently tap out the plant from the pot it came in and place the root system into the ground. Refill the hole with soil to cover the root system and give your plant a light watering. If planting in a pot plant, place the root system of your plant into the pot, fill it with the soil you purchased and give it a light watering.
- Plant care – Lightly water your lavender plant and never over water it. You should also prune your plants in Summer by cutting off dead flowers and lighting trimming the plant back. Lavender also doesn’t need fertiliser or pesticides added to it, as the essential oils found in the plant act as a natural pesticide.
- Love your lavender – With the proper care and attention, your lavender plant will thrive and act as a food source for bees.