Kiwi gardeners encouraged to plant to help bees

  • 16/09/2016

New Zealand is well into spring and Christmas is approaching fast, so now is the time to get the garden ready for the holiday season, New Zealand Gardener editor Jo McCarroll says.

There are three good things you can do in the garden this weekend, she told Paul Henry.

"For next to nothing you can buy a packet of seed and have hundreds of plants. If you're starting from seed you're having access to a lot of the varieties that you can't buy.

She says with seeds you can get "old fashioned heirloom varieties, some of the more unusual varieties that you might rarely see for sale".

It is Bee Awareness Month so the magazine is including a packet of "bee-friendly wildflower seeds" in its September issue.

"If you want to help bees one of the things you can do is plant with bees in mind, and that's planting the pollen and nectar-rich plants that give them the food that they need.

"Put in those open, old-fashioned flowers like zinnias or cosmos, or sunflowers, and leave your lawn long.

"Edible flowers, flowering herbs like rosemary, all flowering salvias are good for bees, if you leave your basil to flower that's great for bees."

"We don't have that many growing days left until Christmas, so if you put your earlies in now by the time the foliage appears it's 70 to 90 days away."