Just as long as there is a garden, the bees will always be alright.
In our earlier introduction to beekeeping, we deliberately raised the alarm bells. We wanted to show just how precarious the state of our earth’s natural resources and climate conditions are at this point in time. There are those scientists who are already suggesting that we have already reached that point of no return. They suggest that it is no longer feasible – it always still is, by the way – to endeavor to reduce global pollution levels and to do everything as sustainably as possible to help all our natural habitats replenish and grow once more, but rather to prepare for the inevitable.
It is a harsh statement to be making at this point in time. But let us face the facts, because that is what scientists rely upon before telling us what we need to know, things are not getting any easier. We, as humans, may not notice this too much, but the bees are, quite literally, fighting for survival. One inevitable fact we need to get used to is that of drier conditions and warmer temperatures. Fortunately – we are not scientists, but we are optimists – there is still much we can do. If you are that keen on getting your organic garden on the go, why don’t you look into dry weather gardening.
The scientific, or horticultural, term given to this practice is xeriscaping. In layman’s terms it simply means that we need to acquire a lot more resourcefulness in terms of utilizing minimal amounts of scarce water resources to successfully carry out our organic gardening and landscaping initiatives. Xeriscaping is not landscaping per se. What it also means is that by putting this specialist, and yet still basic, form of gardening practice into place, you are being water wise. This labeled practice comes from the Greek word of xeros, meaning ‘dry’. Do not be alarmed. This does not mean that you need to ready yourself for planting orchards of cacti.
There are numerous plant species that remain bee-friendly owing to its colorful array of flowers and rich store of pollen and nectar, that have the never say die ability to cope and thrive in dry weather conditions. But do not for a moment think that you will have your work cut in half as a result. Just because your dry weather perennials do not need vast quantities of water to survive does not mean that owing to not having to water the plants as often as usual, you will not be applying the needed horticultural TLC (tender love and care).
There is still much work that needs to be done to ensure that your organic garden thrives in dry weather conditions and it remains a haven for those much-needed bees. Let us leave you then with just a few xeriscaping principles for you to apply, if needs be.
The organic angle
Xeriscaping means that you will also be eliminating the use of chemical pesticides for once and for all. Dry or wet weather conditions, it really makes little difference, your garden will always thrive if you dutifully and diligently use little to no pesticides and fertilizers. There are other alternatives, such as mulching which will compensate you and your garden quite nicely. And natural fertilizing techniques, if you will, will also see to the effective use and conservation of water resources, if this becomes necessary.
The plants that will thrive
Careful selection of the correct and most suitable plants for your dry weather garden is going to be crucial. To ensure that you plant well, some extra spade work as it were is required on your part. You need to research your area’s unique climatic conditions and source those particular plants that will do well on scarce resources and natural fertilizing. And let us not forget the important role your bees will be playing in ensuring that plants continue to be cross-fertilized every year that goes by. It is pleasing to note that even if online research proves to be a challenge for you, you are still going to find numerous plant varieties that will be xeric as the term goes.
A natural process that aids nourishment
The process of regularly mulching your garden is as organic as can be. The good thing about mulching is that little effort in allowing this is required on your part. Just to emphasize, mulching, if allowed, is a natural fertilizing and moisturizing process. About the most you really need to do here is to not rake up all those dead leaves. Allow them to coat your soil and allow them to decay. Forget about aesthetics. But in any case, isn’t a natural look more pleasing to look at.
Being water efficient
No matter how you approach this necessary task, some form of watering will still be required in order for everything to come up roses as it were, year in and year out. The work is being carried out by you as always and all that is required is some innovation and rolled up sleeves application to ensure that you are always being water efficient, and never wasting a drop of those precious resources. If needs be, you can install your own water reticulation system that allows you to control the amount of water needed.
Gardeners will always need to work
Give the bees a break. They are always working and if your garden is properly prepared, they will continue to do so, long into the future. But in order to keep your garden in prime condition and bee friendly, you still need to regularly maintain your garden. And let it be said that it is more fun than sheer hard work that is to say that you are really going to be enjoying your organic gardening in the future. And what is more fun than regular pruning, shearing and trimming and digging.