It’s summer! You can start to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour: your wild flowers should be in full bloom, insects will be feeding on the pollen and nectar, and birds will start feeding on any soft fruits and berries.
Water will soon be evaporated from the ground so try to use mulch on surfaces to keep water in. You can use water butts to conserve water for your plants and to keep your pond topped up. If the weather is very hot keep any containers or bird baths topped up daily. It’s helpful to have various saucers dotted around the garden, on the ground and higher up, so different species can have a drink.
If your compost bin is looking too dry you can also add a bit of rain water from your water butts. Use a fork to turn it over to aerate it and activate the bacteria that will turn your waste into lovely rich compost to put back into your wildlife garden.
Watch for birds fledging their nests this month. Birds nest right throughout the summer so try not to cut back shrubs or hedging too much, if at all. With all these youngsters around, it’s a good idea to keep your bird feeders well topped up. Find out what you should be feeding the birds in our video here.
The warm summer nights will bring in moths attracted to highly scented flowers such as honeysuckle. This in turn will attract bats, so keep your eyes open for them! To find out more about helping and attracting bats to your wildlife garden, check out our video here.
Now is also the time to collect some seeds and take cuttings. You can collect foxglove seeds for next year and take cuttings from dianthus. Also sow autumn flowering bulbs such as autumn crocus (colchicum autumnale) and tie in climbers such as honeysuckles and clematis. Remove the leaves of early vigorous plants to allow smaller flowers the chance to come through and provide later food for bees and butterflies.
Continue selective weeding to remove vigorous unwanted weeds but remember that plenty of wild plants commonly described as weeds, such as dandelions, are loved by bees and other insects, so don’t be too hasty! Your lawn can become a valuable resource to wildlife by mowing less frequently – flowers provide nectar for insects and the seeds provide food for birds. What’s more, keeping your lawn longer helps it retain more water.
Enjoy the summer!