Expert Tips: How to get more wildlife into your garden

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Most people wish they had more wildlife in their garden, mainly so they can fully embrace viewing and understanding all creatures a little better!

If you would relish more wildlife in your garden then here are some expert tips on how to do just that…

Jessyca Frederick from Water Wise Now

The best way to get wildlife into the garden is to choose plants native to your area. For each type of wildlife that you’re interested in attracting, there is likely a plant out there that you can add which could specifically attract that creature.

Most small birds like woody shrubs with winter berries, bunnies like low-lying flowers and new green leaves, hummingbirds like red or orange trumpet-shaped flowers. One word of caution: native plants also bring insects, and not just the butterflies.

ladybug on tree

Carolyn from Perky-Pet says…

A great way to attract wild birds to your backyard is to create a bird-friendly backyard by providing 3 essentials: food, water and shelter.

BIRD FOOD – Bird feeders are a great start, but also consider planting some fruit-or-berry-bearing shrubs and trees. Plants that hold their fruit throughout the winter are an even greater benefit in the colder months. Ask at your local greenhouse or nursery for some suggestions of plants that would be ideal for your area and for the birds in your area.

WATER – A good water source, like a birdbath, fountain or a small pond, will help attract birds to your yard. All birds need water, not just for drinking, but also for keeping clean. Be sure to keep your birdbath clean and refill it often so water will be available to the birds when they need a drink or bath, especially in hot weather.

 BIRD SHELTER – An area of dense plants or shrubs that birds can use for nesting is ideal for helping birds make a shelter. Growing vines up your house or garden is also a good option for providing birds with a shelter area. Finally, placing a birdhouse in your yard is a nice addition for attracting bluebirds, wrens or other nesting birds.

birds on bird feeder

Angela from Eden Condensed says…

Squirrels – Plant fruit trees (I have apricot, nectarine, and peach trees in my garden) attract the neighborhood squirrels. I also provide them with a “critter mixture” of nuts and seeds, so they don’t take all of my fruit.

Butterflies – Butterflies are excellent pollinators, and they are so beautiful to watch, so I plant milkweed (Asclepias) for monarch butterflies as well as butterfly bush (Buddleja).

Birds – I have probably a dozen or more species of birds that visit my yard during the year, so I set out a bird feeder with seeds as well as a humming bird feeder. I also leave dry plant material on some of my plants for nest building. Currently I have 2 mourning doves building a nest on my front porch.

butterfly

Lisa from Your Pet Chef says…

We grow many of the vegetables we use in our food during the growing season here in Chicago. As a Master Gardener, I would recommend people try planting squash or green beans. They are great plants for several reasons:

1) They attract butterflies, bees, and even humming birds.

2) If they are dog owners, dogs love to eat these veggies. One of my dogs grazes on our green bean plants like a cow grazes on grass.

3) People can eat the veggies too.

green beans

Dina Gibbons from Rubber Mulch says…

Your backyard may not seem like a wildlife refuge, but if you want to bring more wildlife into your outdoor space, we’ve got just the right ideas to help you out:

  • Pick-up a seed packet of “Butterfly Garden Mix” at your local gardening center. Plant along the perimeter of your fencing or in a specific garden area to attract butterflies. Once established, watch the butterflies find you all summer long!
  • Have you ever considered a backyard pond? They can be quite small if space is limited and are easy to maintain. Backyard ponds attract beneficial wildlife soon after they are created. Add a variety of plants and they will work with the animals to maintain your pond as a healthy ecosystem. Never fear, a balanced backyard pond rarely attracts large amounts of mosquitoes.
  • Who doesn’t love seeing sweet little hummingbirds in your backyard? Hummingbirds are a useful addition to any wildlife habitat with their amazing pollination skills. These tiny miracle birds feed on nectar from flowers and nectar from a feeder (which can be made from scratch!)
  • For a quick, simple wildlife attraction, hang a few bird houses around your yard. If you have trees or fencing, hang ornate bird houses and fill them with birdseed.

water-lily

Hope you have fun getting ‘wild’! Tweet us your tips to share with our community @TigerSheds.

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