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BONNIE'S GARDEN--May is Backyard Wildlife Month

May is Backyard Wildlife Month.  When I’m sitting on my deck watching a deer sniff the lavender (which they don’t eat) or watching a chipmunk, his cheeks stuffed full, climb out of the bird-feeder he managed to climb inside of, I feel like my backyard must be pretty wildlife friendly, but I know I can do more.

One of the major problems our wildlife is facing, is loss of habitat.  We can help by making our yards as wildlife friendly as possible.

So here are some things we can do:

Plant native plants when and where possible.  Native plants are what our wildlife expects to be here.  They provide the foliage/seeds/berries/flowers that they are looking for.

Provide a water source.  Bird baths or ponds are great, but even a large plastic saucer filled with water will do.  Just remember not to keep the water level more than a couple of inches deep or it might deter smaller birds. Also, be sure to change the water every couple of days (for one thing, it will keep mosquitoes from laying eggs.)

Provide shelter plants.  Trees and/or shrubs nearby provide shade, shelter from predators or weather, and a place to nest.

Minimize or discontinue use of chemical pesticides, etc.  I try to remember that every insect has a purpose.  Caterpillars may nibble on my flowers, but they turn into something else.  If you want butterflies, you have to let the babies eat!  Remember, too, that insects are also food for certain birds, etc.  As a matter of fact, most baby birds are fed exclusively insects.

I don’t want squash bugs on my squash so I hand-pick.  Squash are pollinated by bees, so do I want to spray a pesticide on them which might then kill that pollinator?

I don’t want deer or rabbits eating my roses, so I plant herbs close by.  The deer and bunnies don’t like the strong spicy fragrance.  There are lots of other plants deer won’t eat.  Next time you’re in here, get our hand-out.

For further information, you can contact the National Wildlife Federation at nwf.org or the Xerces Society at xerces.org.  The Xerces Society also has a very informative site with pesticide information at pesticideimpacts.org.
Posted: 5/22/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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