Gardening is a brilliant way to relax and take your mind off stressful things that might be happening in your life. Amy from @Chicksandveg found this out, and now she’s passionate about encouraging everyone to have a go at growing and harvesting their own vegetables. She’s teamed up with us to share what she’s sowing and growing this month to attract bees, and how you can do it too.
“I started gardening out of necessity initially, to try and keep on top of an overgrown and unloved garden. But after the loss of my best friend, I turned to gardening as a way to keep my mind and hands busy. I soon uncovered that it taught me so much about patience and overcoming things out of your control (Great British weather I’m looking at you!). I don’t think I ever stuck at a hobby until I found my love of shovelling soil and sowing seeds.”
Amy is happiest when she’s getting her hands muddy, pottering around her cottage garden in West Norfolk. She’s recently expanded her plot and added some new beds to allow her to pack in even more veg and flowers into her little haven. With PlantGrow’s help, she mulched and filled her beds over winter to prepare for the 2021 growing season; now the soil is loaded with nutrients, it’s ready to give her crops what they need to grow happily.
Alongside trying lots of new varieties of veg, Amy’s grand plan for this year involves growing her own wedding flowers! She’s going to expand her cutting patch and create a whole bed of dahlias, and she recommends growing flowers alongside your vegetables.
“Many act as great companion plants, serving as a distraction for pests attacking your precious vegetables – nasturtiums and marigolds are firm favourites to dot around the patch to try and distract some of the insects you don’t want on your veg!” Both nasturtiums and marigolds are easy to grow – Amy often pops them in pots so she can move them about.
Probably the most important role of flowers, other than to bring a smile to your face, is to attract our favourite garden friend – bees! Pollinator-friendly plants should be a must for any avid vegetable-grower. It’s a great idea to pop these in pots too; Amy sets them outside her greenhouse to welcome bees in and dots them around her beds.
Here are Amy’s top pollinator-friendly flowers that she’s sowing and growing this month:
“Many of these blooms are perfect for cutting and making arrangements to pot in vases around the house. March is a busy month for seed sowing as the days are longer and warming up. Whatever you’re sowing this month, add some flowers to your seed trays and I promise you and the bees will thank you in the summer!”
You can follow Amy as she gets ready for the growing season at @Chicksandveg on Instagram or watch her in action below.