In this blog, we look at an aspect of gardening which is relevant all-year round, and that’s wildlife. Here we provide a few handy (and often overlooked) tips on how to maintain a healthy environment for wildlife to thrive in.
Grow A Variety of Plants
Shrubs, climbers, evergreen and deciduous plants will all increase the range of visiting wildlife. The key elements of a wildlife friendly garden are: rich food sources, shelter, and a safe habitat. This means that a good mix of plants and shrubs will go a long way towards helping improve these factors.
Cut Down On Chemicals
Insects are of course an important link in the food chain. Whilst at first it may seem like a good idea to rid your garden of problem insects such as slugs, snails, wasps and aphids, this could have a detrimental effect further on in the food chain for those who may feed on them normally. It is worth considering though that organic alternatives are available in order to dispose of slugs and other pests if they are proving too much of a problem.
Think Before You Tidy
Try to disturb things in your garden as little as possible. Piles of logs, twigs and leaves encourage insects and shelter wildlife. It is also advisable not to cut hedges until nesting birds have moved on.
Plant A Tree
Trees support a huge variety of wildlife including birds, fungi, butterflies, spiders, ants and other invertebrates. A fully-fledged Birch Tree for example can provide a home for as many as 229 differing types of insect species.
With the decline of countryside ponds, this is a must. Absolutely anything that can harbour water can be used; an old washing up bowl for example would do nicely, but of course remember to place a large rock near the side in order to allow frogs and other visitors to get back out!
Give Someone A Home
Create smaller habitats; areas of long grass, nettles and log piles, as well as bug boxes and bird boxes are ideal for providing cheap and cheerful homes for wildlife.
Build A Compost Heap
A valuable element in any garden, providing food to improve soil and plants, and also providing an attractive habitat for all manner of wildlife, compost heaps are not only useful for getting rid of organic waste, but in turn provide food and nutrients to the wildlife of your garden. Look out for sheltering amphibians and hedgehogs though before emptying!
All these ideas will help build up the natural biodiversity in your garden which will benefit your plants and you. Good luck!