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Credit: Larry Trotter

The bee population is in trouble. Here is a small thing every gardener can do to help – plant crimson clover. Trifolium incarnatum is an annual, non-invasive clover with luscious rhubarb-red flowers. It also acts as a nurse plant for hard-working ladybugs, in all stages from larval to adult.

If you don’t have much space for growing, try sowing about 20 seeds in a pot to be put on the patio. You will be well rewarded when you see the bees happily sipping nectar from the gorgeous crimson blooms in May and June.

In addition, crimson clover is a popular cover crop. You can plant it in the fall, then incorporate into the soil in the spring for an extra nitrogen boost.