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Wildlife Gardening

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How To Attract Snakes To Your Garden. Despite their bad reputation, snakes can be a gardener's best friend.

How To Attract Snakes To Your Garden

They will happily take care of insect and rodent pest problems for you free of charge. Garter snakes are considered especially beneficial by many gardeners thanks to their taste for slugs. If you live in an area where poisonous snakes are common, be wary of deliberately attracting snakes to your yard, especially if you have young children or pets. Attracting Frogs and Toads To Your Garden. Toads will especially appreciate a pile of large rocks stacked with plenty of crevices and cavities to provide a cool, safe place to hide from predators and hot summer days.

Attracting Frogs and Toads To Your Garden

Toads also like to burrow down into soft, moist dirt under logs and boards. You can also purchase a toad house. These come in many attractive designs and many toads seem to love them. If possible, try to find a house with two doors to provide an escape route in case the house is discovered by predators. Snakes are a threat to frogs and toads, and domestic animals such as cats and dogs will sometimes attack them. The most common reason toad houses go unused is actually their size. An overturned terra cotta flower pot, either propped up with a large rock or with a doorway broken into the side, also works fine. Build a Worm Tower. A worm tower is a type of in-ground worm farm made from a large piece of plastic piping with holes drilled in the sides.

Build a Worm Tower

The holes allow worms, worm juice, worm castings, and finished compost to pass easily back and forth between the worm tower and the surrounding soil. Worm towers can save a substantial amount of time and labor for gardeners. How To Attract Butterflies to Your Garden. Butterflies are not only beautiful, they also play several important roles in local ecosystems.

How To Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

How To Attract Monarch Butterflies. Nectar Plants Nectar sources for adult monarch butterflies are also important, especially as they begin their long journey south.

How To Attract Monarch Butterflies

Monarchs tend to prefer native wildflowers, but the adults are not as picky as the caterpillars, and some non-native species are popular as well. Some excellent nectar plants for monarchs include: Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)Aster (Asteraceae sp.)Bee Balm/Bergamot (Monarda sp.)Blazingstar/Gayfeather (Liatris sp.)Cosmos (Cosmos sp.)Zinnias (Zinnia sp.)Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) Shelter Monarchs like to roost in trees at night and during rainstorms and other bad weather. Protecting Monarchs From Pesticides. Managing Woodlots for Wildlife: Mast. Attracting Butterflies With Prairie Plants. Although your choice of wildflower species should depend on what species you are attempting to attract, here are a few recommendations.

Attracting Butterflies With Prairie Plants

Unless otherwise stated, prairie plants prefer well-drained soil in full or partial sun. Cupplant (Silphium perfoliatum) A popular nectar plant that also provides an important water source for butterflies as it collects rainwater in its deep, cup-like leaves. Cupplant is also hugely popular with birds. Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) Plant a Bee Garden. Bees are looking for two main things in a good home: food and nesting habitat.

Plant a Bee Garden

The surest way to encourage native bees to to plant a profusion of flowers and flowering trees and shrubs with staggered blooming periods, so that there are some flowers blooming from early spring until late autumn. Remember that unlike honeybees, most solitary bees do not travel long distances, so be sure to concentrate plantings near bee nesting habitat. University of California studies have found that native bees prefer gardens with a large variety of flowers, preferably at least 10 different attractive species, planted in large groupings of similar flowers. How To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden For Beginners. Once you know the basics of wildlife gardening, it is very easy to attract beautiful butterflies, birds and other wildlife to your garden.

How To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden For Beginners

All wildlife visitors are looking for three things: FoodWaterShelter If you provide these three things, it will be easy to attract wildlife even to the smallest of city gardens. Water All wildlife needs a steady source of water. A more expensive option is to install a pond or other water garden on your property. Attracting Birds With Prairie Plants. Unless otherwise marked, prairie plants prefer well-drained soil in full or partial sun.

Attracting Birds With Prairie Plants

Cupplant (Silphium perfoliatum) may be the single best plant for birds in North America. It provides food, water, AND cover, all three of the things birds look for in a home. It gets its name from the way the large leaves clasp the stem, producing little cups that hold rainwater for days or weeks after a storm. Hummingbirds and butterflies love the relatively small, but numerous bright yellow, daisy-like flowers, and the seeds are devoured by goldfinches and other seed-loving birds.The large leaves and thick stems also provide shelter, especially when planted in groups. At over six feet tall, this plant may be too large and coarse for many border plantings, but will be right at home in larger plantings or planted in hedge-like groups as you might sunflowers.

Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) produces unique pinkish purple flowers that butterflies and hummingbirds love. Attracting Wild Turkeys, Quail, Pheasant, and Grouse. Whether you want to watch them or hunt them, attracting gallinaceous birds - turkey, pheasant, quail, and grouse - to your yard or acreage is surprisingly easy.

Attracting Wild Turkeys, Quail, Pheasant, and Grouse

Gallinaceous birds need relatively large ranges, so you are most likely to see them if you live near wild or agricultural lands. Like all wildlife, they need three main things to be happy: shelter, food, and water. Although gallinaceous birds fly well, they prefer to travel mainly by foot and they are happiest travelling under cover. If your land is adjacent to a wild area, you can draw them further into your yard by planting hedgerows that provide them with a safe corridor to travel along.