Hi, this is Jane from the Wild Bunch. As winter sets in, we may not feel like heading out into the wind and rain. But there is no need to feel guilty about being an armchair gardener during the worst of the winter weather! When the soil is wet or frozen, we do no good by trampling it. All this does is compact the ground, breaking the delicate soil structure created by worms, along with crushing underfoot valuable overwintering insects such as ladybirds that are tucked beneath the leaf litter. Much better to leave well alone, apart from topping up water and food for the birds.
Better we use our time catching up on reading about gardening for wildlife. Frome library has plenty of books on the topic, or check out the charity shops. However, watch out for the date published – some older gardening books may recommend using chemicals to kill insects, rather than environmentally friendly methods. Another great way to get up-to-date information and advice is to look at websites such as those of the Royal Horticultural Society and Somerset Wildlife Trust.
It’s also a good time to plan what to grow this year – whether in a window box, flowerpot, garden or communal open space. Growing from seed is a cheap way to fill your garden or open ground. If you saved seeds last year, now is the time to sort them. If not, help yourself to a packet or two from Frome Seed Library, located in the library. You can always save seed this autumn and donate back to them.
If you would like to join the Wild Bunch, to share ways to encourage wildlife in gardens and local open spaces, receive the newsletter, or suggest topics for the monthly gatherings, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or come along to our next gathering (about wild bees) – 1.30pm on Thursday 15th February at Frome Town Hall. We look forward to seeing you.