realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Video: A wild flower meadow

In this video, Dan and Henrietta Neuteboom describe the benefits of a wild flower meadow for fruit trees or an orchard.  Wild flowers attract a large number of insects for many months of the year, above all bees, which ensure good pollination. And a wild flower meadow is very beautiful in itself. Click to watch.

Good pollination for many fruit crops is vital for regular cropping. The problem is that most fruit crops flower early in the growing season, when it still can be very cold and wet. These are not the climatic conditions favourable to many pollinating insects. For good cross pollination we therefore have to rely on insects such as the bumble bee, when the weather is too cold for the honey bee.

A bumble bee in a wild flower meadow

A bumble bee in a wild flower meadow

It is for this reason that creating areas of wild flowers is vital. Particular attention must be given to the choice of various flowering species. There has to be a regular food supply, in the form of flowering plants throughout the growing season. That means from March to some time in September. In our experience, a combination of annual single blooms and regularly flowering shrubs is the best way to provide adequate food for the pollinating insects. Another point is that it is better to have lots of flowers of a relatively small number species such as dog daisies, primroses, lavender and clover, rather than a more extensive range with just a few flowers on each shrub or annually flowering plants. However overall, the most important requirement is to provide enough flowers on plants and shrubs which are able to supply nectar and pollen during the full length of the growing season, so badly needed for the insects’ survival during the winter months.

Click here to read more about wild flower meadows and fruit growing.

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