Today's working bee was focused on the little critters that improve the ecosystem of a garden. We already have loads of bright flowers to attract bees and butterflies, and today we added two insect hotels for use by native bees, native wasps, lady bugs and spiders. Their heightened presence should do great things for the garden, ensuring our plants are pollinated and nasty pests (like aphids) are kept at bay!
We planted two pumpkin varieties: 'Wee B Little' (a compact variety that produces loads of mini pumpkins) and the 'World's Largest Pumpkin'. It will be very interesting to see how big we can get a pumpkin to grow with lots of worm juice and compost! In between the pumpkins we planted corn, and once the corn has taken off we will plant beans here as well. This is known as the 'Three Sisters' companion planting arrangement. Corn plants provide a natural pole for the beans to grow up, pumpkins work as a mulch by suppressing weeds and retaining soil moisture, and beans add nitrogen to the soil (which increases its fertility) and provide structural support to the tall corn plants. We can't wait to see how these three vegetables work together!
In this working bee we continued our critter battle The upturned terracotta pot did actually redeem itself and attract a few slugs, but to give our seedlings the best chance of survival we also put crushed egg shells around the plants to try and protect them. Let's hope it helps! We also made some markers for different vegetables so that people stopping by will know what's growing.
Read all about it: MUC Garden and Burnley Student Association share updates on their activities.