WHAT ARE YOU PLANTING, AND WHY?
Have you made a trip to the nursery yet to buy more plants than your garden would ever need? Yup! Most of us have. But have you thought more about them than just how they look or what they fit in with at the ground level? Have you thought about all the creatures that visit your garden every minute, of every hour, of every day? Are you cutting back as much as possible on pesticides and other toxic chemicals? This is an important thing to take seriously.
Forget the deer...they are a problem that even chemicals probably can't control...so let's not deal with them here.
The creatures I am addressing here are your birds and pollinators mostly. If you put down a chemical to control grubs, the next robin who picks up a grub for it's chick back in the nest, feeds it poison! A bird doesn't have the benefit of choosing "organic" at the grocery store! It has to assume that everything it gets in the garden is safe for it's babies. Is it?
If you spray for some harmful beetle or other on your plants and flowers, every bee, butterfly, ant, wasp or other pollinator will be eating that as well. Good bye "good guy"!
It is SO critical for us conscientious gardeners to keep all of this in mind. Try to be as organic as possible. Try so very hard NOT to put toxic chemicals in the garden if at all possible. Be helpful, not harmful to our wildlife neighbors. They are what make our gardens bloom and reproduce. We need them and they need us to be helpful, not hurtful.
Every creature that comes visiting has three things they need. Try to offer it to them.
- Food- For the insect that is pollen and nectar. For the bird it is seeds and berries. Pick flowers that will attract bees, butterflies, wasps, etc. Your shrubs and trees should flower and generate some kind of fruit for the birds. They will appreciate that very much.
- Water-if you don't have a natural water source like a brook or pond, you should try to get out some clay dishes or a bird bath. These will help the insects and the birds with their water requirements for life.
- Shelter-Trees will provide shelter for the birds. It will also give them an area to build nests, and even watch out for predators. If you can, have a brush pile somewhere for ground dwelling creatures to hide out.