Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2016 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Gardening for Wildlife

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Gardening for Wildlife

So we’ve fed the caterpillars AND the butterflies.  What else can we do to make our yard a wildlife friendly place? 

Whenever possible, we can incorporate native plants in our landscapes.  After all, these are the plants that wildlife expects to be here.  Our whole ecosystem is based on what native wildlife will and won’t eat.  Especially use native berries and seed plants as these will attract birds.

Provide clean, fresh water.  Birdbaths, fountains, or ponds are all very important to wildlife.  I read an article recently that said that more birds die over the winter from lack of drinking water than from lack of food.  Buy a heater for your birdbath to keep the water from freezing.

Be very cautious in using chemicals in your yard.  Even an herbicide can kill insects if sprayed directly on them.  If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, then read, read, read the label very carefully and do exactly what it says—never more.  Timing is everything.  Apply products just before dark, when most of the bees and butterflies have already gone home.  And remember even an organic product can kill the good guys, if used incorrectly or at the wrong time.

Maybe we should reprioritize what we want.  If we really want a wildlife friendly yard, then why sweat the patch of clover in the side yard?  Food for bees.  So what if there are a few inchworms hanging from the maple tree in the front yard?  Food for birds.  And, yes, if they do eat some of the leaves, the maple will grow more.  And if the inchworms get on my little Japanese maple, then I’ll simply pick them off.

For more information on creating a wildlife friendly habitat in your yard, go to the National Wildlife Federation (nwf.org) or the Audubon Society (Audubon.org).  For making your yard more friendly to pollinators, specifically, contact The Xerces Society (xerces.org).  
Posted: 4/11/2016 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: bonniesgarden, gardeningforwildlife
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