Creating Your Wildlife Garden

Tips to get started!

Painted Lady butterfly feeds on nectar from Verbena

  1. Feed birds by providing nuts, seeds and fat balls all year round. This way birds will nest in your garden during the summer and survive winter with your help.
  2. Allow grass to grow longer at the back edge of your garden, this provides cover, breeding sites and food for hoverflies, parasitoid wasps, butterflies and moths. Insects are the backbone to wildlife gardening.
  3. Encourage frogs into your garden by building a pond, regardless of size. Frogs control slug populations, a welcome friend of the gardener indeed.
  4. Bee kind in the garden by creating a flower meadow, herbaceous border or even a patch of annual flowers. This is incredibly important for all pollinating insects like bumble bees, bees, wasps and flies.
  5. Grow mixed species hedging that include berry varieties like hawthorn, cotoneaster, rowan and firethorn. This provides shelter and food  for birds like song and mistle thrush, fieldfare and blackbirds.
  6. Grow plants that suit your site and be guaranteed of success without any need for additional fertilizers. Before planting a new garden, complete a soil test to establish soil ph and available nutrients. This will act as a guide on choosing the right plants for your garden. Excess fertilizer will leach from the soil to our water courses causing contamination. So instead of adding straight fertilizers without knowing if its required, I suggest feeding the soil with an organic mulch each year.
  7. Grow native species to maintain biodiversity and enhance heritage plant species in your location. Bear in mind though, that most plants (ornamental and native) provide essential food, cover and breeding sites for wildlife.
  8. So get in the garden and make a difference today!

Herbaceous borders buzz with activity

Thrush content with a juicy worm

3 comments

  1. David says:

    Hi Lorraine,

    Great tips, thank you for that. i will be working on my garden soon and plan to put your tips to use.

    Quick question, does leaving the clippings down after cutting the grass help fertilise the soil?

    Kind regards

    David

  2. admin says:

    Hi David
    I am delighted that you found my wildlife gardening tips helpful. In regard to your question, grass clippings are rich in nitrogen and this is released to the soil as a fertiliser. In turn, this feeds the grass promoting more growth and more cutting. This approach is ideal if you have a mulching control on your lawnmower that produces very fine clippings that avoid clumps of cut grass on your lawn. (Large clumps of cut grass will cause bare patches in the lawn in the long run due to lack of light and dampness).
    Alternatively use clippings in the compost (along with other organic material) or as a mulch. In my garden I gather the grass clippings after mowing the lawn and put them along the base of the hedges and on veg patches. This provides a mulch that suppresses weeds, holds moisture and feeds the plants. I hope this answers your question.
    Cheers
    Lorraine

  3. Paul O'Donnell says:

    Lorraine,
    Saw an article of yours in the Dunshaughlin newsletter. The website looks great. Fair play to you on all the work. I got some great tips and will be heading to Small Deliveries for the peat free compost from now on! Hope all the family are well.
    Cheers,
    Paul O’Donnell

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