There are lots of ways to encourage wildlife into your garden throughout the four seasons. If you are trying to attract birds or insects to your garden, then you will need to know what to plant in order to provide food and shelter for these creatures. Here are a few tips to help you do this.
Leave as much tidying up as possible until the end of winter
Gardening for wildlife does not have to be a chore. A little TLC can go a long way. The resulting benefits are numerous. Among them are: a healthy population of birds, squirrels, cats and even deer. Having said that, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, some studies show that certain forms of untidiness actually boost garden health.
One of the best ways to do this is to let nature do the work. By leaving your garden alone in the fall and winter, it will provide a natural habitat for many of the same creatures that populate it in the spring and summer. For example, birds will often feed off of seedheads that have gotten dried out by the frost. It may be a good idea to remove the bulbous fruits from the branches before a hard freeze sets in.
Plants to include in a late-season wildlife garden project
If you are planning a wildlife garden project for your backyard, you’ll want to start with a variety of native plants that provide habitat and food. These are plants that are adapted to thrive in your region, are not treated with pesticides, and have been shown to attract a wide range of animals and insects.
Aside from providing food and shelter for animals, these plants are also a great way to improve the appearance of your yard. Birds are particularly attracted to ivy, which provides late-season nectar for pollinators. Also, broom sedge is a good option, as it grows well in many soil types.
Other options include wild cherry, which produces fruit and provides year-round refuge for a variety of animals. White oak also provides food and shelter for insects.
Create a bog garden
Bog gardens are a great way to enhance your wildlife pond. They will provide lush foliage and beautiful bold flowers. You can even plant bog garden plants in your regular garden. The beauty of a bog garden is that it is easy to create and maintain. Here are some bog garden ideas and tips to help you create a fantastic haven for your wildlife.
When planning your bog garden, be sure to include a variety of plants that love moisture. These can be grouped together to form a border. For example, water avens are good ground cover, while pitcher plants are excellent for perches.
The best time to create a bog garden is in the late summer and early autumn. This will give your bog plants a chance to grow and produce leaves before the snowfall.
Keep hedgehogs away from your garden
There are a number of ways to keep hedgehogs away from your garden. This includes avoiding chemicals and flea sprays. You can also make your garden wildlife friendly and attract birds and other animals.
It is important to provide food and water for hedgehogs. You can use fallen leaves or hay as bedding for them. They prefer organic food. For this reason, it is a good idea to check compost heaps and leaf piles before discarding them.
Hedgehogs also love to hibernate in overgrown areas. If you have a shed, you may be able to create a hedgehog habitat. The hedgehogs will appreciate fresh water and supplementary food when they come out of their hibernation.
The best way to prevent your hedgehogs from killing each other is to keep them away from each other. You can do this by creating a hedgehog highway. A hedgehog highway is a 13 x 13 cm space in which hedgehogs can travel.
Join in with a wildlife survey
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is promoting a little bit of bird watching in your own backyard with its Giving Nature a Home campaign. It’s a great chance to show your support for local wildlife, from bees to bats.
As you might expect, the RSPB isn’t the only organisation keen on making the most of your garden space. Indeed, there’s a whole host of organisations that need your assistance. One such organisation is the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. Their Garden Bird Survey has been running for over 20 years, and has been known to yield some interesting findings.
Aside from the usual suspects, the RSPB is encouraging you to try out its Big Garden Birdwatch, which aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the birds, insects, and mammals that call the shires home.