Bee active this winter

Wednesday 20 May, 2020
A trial is under way to increase knowledge and understanding of pollinators and ways to attract them to productive gardens using indigenous flowering plants.

Up2Us Landcare Alliance, part of the From the Ground Up project supported by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, is trialling ways to increase the number of pollinators in the garden for more efficient and effective production.

Up2Us is working with a Mansfield organic vegetable gardener to trial different native plants, such as common fringe-myrtle and purple coral-pea, that will be planted strategically around the landowner’s vegetable plot.

The landholder is also using this opportunity to diversify her income by selling native flowers as well as vegetables.

Goulburn Broken CMA project officer Kerstie Lee says growing food requires pollinators, and pollinators can range from the European honeybee to other species including native bees, wasps, flies, beetles and moths.

“We’re really interested to know how to attract pollinators to productive vegetable and fruit gardens all year round,” she said.

 “It’s a really timely trial as people are more interested than ever before in growing their own food, especially fruit and vegetables.”

“But whether it’s a small backyard garden plot or a large productive vegetable garden, all food plants need to be pollinated.”

Up2Us project co-ordinator Kim Magnay said she loves the fact there are insects working diligently in the garden and all she must do is to provide their food and habitat.

“The best time to start planting for these pollinators is now.”

 Findings from the trial will be shared with interested growers.

The From the Ground Up project is supported by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. For more information about the project and integrating native vegetation into productive areas, please contact Kerstie Lee on kerstiel@gbcma.vic.gov.au or 0437 310 840.