Skip navigation.

Plants for Bugs

RHS research project monitoring insects in native and non-native garden border plants.

The last straw

Posted by Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs on 06 Nov 2012 at 09:36 AM


You might be forgiven for thinking a few careless scarecrows had been visiting Plants for Bugs this last week, given the amount of straw strewn about the place. But no, this was a well-planned excercise in putting tender plants to bed for the winter.


Straw, like bracken, acts as a dry mulch with good insulating properties. When packed around the base of borderline hardy plants such as callistemon (bottlebrush), young hardy fuchsias and diascias, it can make the difference between them surviving or failing after a hard winter. And with some of our recent winters being exceptionally hard I wanted to take no chances.


As introducing the straw to the plots will add an new dimension (i.e. a new habitat for invertebrates), we not only needed to mulch the more tender plants in the Souther Hemisphere beds but also follow through with mulching the relevant plants in associated beds. We quickly discovered one bale of straw was not going to be enough. Anyone got a spare bale or two?!


Carolyn our volunteer about to mulch a bottlebrush plant



Packing the straw tightly around the base of a diascia


No comments have been left