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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. Both frogs and toads also appreciate plenty of loose leaf litter left under bushes and in other shaded, cool, moist areas. Build a Worm Tower. 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 If you intend to attract monarch butterflies to your yard, it is very important that you switch to organic gardening methods completely, or as much as possible. Certify Your Yard. 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) A showy and popular nectar plant for many species, Butterflyweed, a member of the Milkweed family, is also used as a host plant by Monarch butterflies, though Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)is their favorite.

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) A popular late season nectar plant for many species that acts as a host for attractive orange and black Pearl Crescent Butterflies. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) One of the most popular native prairie plants with gardeners, Black-Eyed Susans are excellent nectar sources. 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.

Unlike honey bees, many native bee species are partial to native plants, which often provide more nutritious pollen than showy, hybridized exotics. All bee species tend to prefer flowers that are blue, purple and yellow, and that bloom during the day. Native North American flowers bees love include: Bee-friendly native shrubs and trees include: How To Attract Wildlife To Your Garden For Beginners. Attracting Birds With Prairie Plants. 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.