I sowed the seeds for these flowers last year as a green manure to help boost nitrogen levels and retain fertility in the exposed soil surrounding the fruit bushes in my raised beds. In order to achieve such marvellous results , the idea is to chop down the green manure plants before they’ve finished flowering and set seed and then dig them in to the soil. However, they have been such fantastic sources of nectar for visiting bees and other pollinators in my garden, I’ve not had the heart to do this!
In theory, they shouldn’t even be in flower in my garden right now as they are supposed to be susceptible to winter frosts in the UK and so should have perished last year during the colder months. I’m glad they haven’t though as the surviving Crimson Clovers (Trifoliumincarnatum) and Phacelia (P. tanacetifolia ) have proved themselves to be outstanding flowers for the bumble bees and other pollinators visiting my garden right now .
I have no idea how long they will remain in flower and if they will survive the next winter frosts. I’m just glad they’re here. And so are my visiting pollinators!
If you have any exposed areas of soil in the sunnier parts of your garden(such as under fruiting shrubs and trees) and are looking for something which will help to protect your soil from leeching , help boost its fertility AND provide a great source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, then its well worth checking out Crimson Clover and Phacelia.