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Attracting Wildlife to Your Lawn: Tips for a Nature-Friendly Yard

Posted on March 21st, 2024

The presence of animals is a clear sign of a healthy and well-maintained lawn. It’s an indication that your yard is a thriving ecosystem that offers food, water and shelter. If you don’t have this yet, attracting wildlife to your lawn offers terrific opportunities to connect with nature. Animals can also beautify your yard and support crucial processes like pollination, seed dispersal and natural pest control.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the proven tips for attracting wildlife to your yard.

1. Plant Diverse Trees and Flowers

Seeds, plants and flowers are essential food sources for animals. Herbs like lavender, thyme, oregano and sage are irresistible to bees and butterflies due to their rich nectar. Similarly, sunflowers, hyssop and lavender are abundant pollen and nectar sources. Trees also help attract wildlife, like sparrows, bluebirds and mockingbirds, to your yard, as they act as shelter. 

To keep all these beautiful creatures coming to your yard all year, consider planting evergreen trees to protect birds year-round from predators and harsh weather. Also, consider installing an automatic irrigation system to keep your flowers and shrubs healthy throughout the seasons. 

2. Install Bird Feeders and Houses

Birds assist in pollination and consume insects that damage crops and flowering plants. To attract more birds to your property, set up feeders and birdhouses. They are available in various sizes and shapes and can be crafted as fun DIY projects. 

The most common types of birdseed are millet, cracked corn and sunflower seeds. To entice berry-eating birds, try soaking raisins and currants in water overnight and then placing them on a table feeder.

You can prevent overcrowding by using table-like feeders for ground-feeding birds and hopper or tube feeders for those in shrubs and treetops. If you have visitors in the shape of chickadees and woodpeckers, try setting up suet feeders higher off the ground. 

When you do start the process of constructing your birdhouses, opt for wood slabs, as metal or plastic materials may not provide adequate insulation for nests. Be sure to drill holes on each side of the birdhouse just below the roof for improved air circulation. Also, be sure to avoid adding perches to prevent predatory birds like crows, magpies and ravens from accessing eggs and hatchlings in the nest box.

3. Create a Brush Pile

Having brush piles is essential in attracting wildlife to your yard, including the following:

  • Mammals: Skunks, foxes, raccoons, rabbits and chipmunks
  • Birds: Sparrows, cardinals and towhees
  • Reptiles and Amphibians: Turtles, treefrogs and fence lizards

To create a sturdy brush pile, start by placing larger branches or logs on the ground. From there, smaller twigs, leaves and branches can be added to create a dense and diverse structure. Natural materials like leaves, pine needles and grass clippings provide additional cover and insulation for different animals.

Ensure the brush pile remains safe for both wildlife and humans. Remove sharp or hazardous materials, such as broken branches or exposed nails. Avoid excessive pruning or trimming that could disrupt nesting sites and displace the animals using it as shelter.

Make seasonal adjustments to the brush pile as needed. For example, in winter, you may add extra insulation materials like straw or hay to provide warmth and protection.

4. Minimize Pesticide Use

Pesticides threaten pollinators like bees, butterflies and beneficial insects by disrupting their reproductive cycles and cognitive functions. This can decrease pollinator populations, affecting the ecosystem’s balance.

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives you can explore to keep pests at bay without harming other creatures:

  • Natural Fly Traps: These include flypaper strips coated in sticky substances and carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap.
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil interferes with the growth cycle of insects, including beetles, lace bugs, caterpillars and spider mites. It’s usually available in different formulas, such as granules, dust or concentrate, and can be applied as a foliar spray or soil drench.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE): This naturally occurring silica works by dehydrating and physically damaging the exoskeletons of insects. It’s highly effective against soft-bodied insects like slugs, snails, aphids, mites and caterpillars. Sprinkle a thin layer of DE on the soil or directly onto leaves and stems to combat pest infestations effectively.
  • Physical Barriers: Row covers or netting can protect plants from birds and small mammals.
  • Beneficial Nematodes: Microscopic roundworms actively seek out beetles, caterpillars or grubs. They penetrate the pests’ bodies, releasing bacteria that break down their tissues and lead to their demise.

5. Provide a Water Source

While many animals will travel great distances to find water, you can significantly shorten their journey by incorporating a water source on your property. 

You don’t need to install a fountain or dig a large pond on your property. Setting up a shallow basin or ceramic bowl on the ground can help in attracting wildlife to your lawn. Opt for a container with sloping edges for easy access to water. 

Ensure the water source is away from busy pathways or areas with heavy human traffic. Placing bird baths near shrubs or trees gives birds a sense of safety, allowing them to seek cover quickly if necessary. 

Transform Your Lawn Into a Haven for Wildlife

Regular upkeep of your garden is essential for attracting wildlife to your lawn. Practices such as mowing, fertilizing, watering and overseeding help stimulate stronger root systems and increased foliage, creating more food, shelter and nesting sites.

Let Turf Unlimited help you grow a lush outdoor space. Our services cover a wide range of areas, catering to both home and business owners. 

Get in touch with us and create a vibrant ecosystem right in your backyard!

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